Ipswich are the Championship's in-form away team. Can Brighton secure a welcome win?
Brighton and Hove Albion - with just two home league wins all season - welcome Ipswich Town to the Amex tonight (Wednesday) with the Tractor Boys currently enjoying the Championship’s best away run.
The Seagulls have not won on home soil in five games while Ipswich lead the division’s away form guide having gone six unbeaten on their travels – chalking up 14 points and 12 goals in their last half dozen away matches.
Chris Hughton’s charges, then, face a tough task to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat to Brentford.
Against an impressive Brentford side, Brighton were unlucky not to rescue a late point despite losing Lewis Dunk to a double booking.
The Seagulls showed spirit in abundance but could not find an equaliser, meaning Hughton tasted defeat for the first time as Brighton boss.
One positive note for the Albion ahead of tonight’s match is that Ipswich will be without their seven-goal striker David McGoldrick, who has a track record of tormenting the Seagulls back four and has formed an impressive partnership with Championship top scorer Daryl Murphy.
Noel Hunt will likely replace McGoldrick alongside Murphy after bagging a brace in Ipswich’s defeat of Millwall last time out. Freddie Sears could also feature after recently joining Ipswich from Colchester United.
Attacking midfielder Paul Anderson will provide a significant creative threat and has six assists and one goal to his name, meaning the Albion’s deep midfield duo of Rohan Ince and Danny Holla will have to be at their best defensively to deny him the space between midfield and attack in which he thrives.
Cole Skuse performs an important role at the foot of the Ipswich midfield while former Crystal Palace player Darren Ambrose carries a threat from long-distance and could feature off the Ipswich bench.
In defence, Tryone Mings has been hugely impressive this season and in Christophe Berra, Ipswich boast one of the division’s most-consistent central defenders who, like Dunk for the Brighton, provides a significant threat at set pieces.
Brighton will have to do without Dunk, who has been the side’s stand-out performer this season. Gordon Greer and Greg Halford will form the defensive double-act, presuming Halford shakes off a late twinge he appeared to suffer against Brentford.
New signing Leon Best, who joined the Albion on loan from Blackburn Rovers yesterday, should feature at some stage - even if used from the bench. His arrival could spell the end of Chris O’Grady’s time in Sussex although presumably not until after the Arsenal game at the weekend.
LIKELY LINE-UP: Stockdale, Calderon, Halford, Greer, Bennett, Holla, Ince, Forster-Caskey, March, Baldock, Mackail-Smith.
LIKELY SUBS: Walton, Bruno, Hughes, Colunga, Teixeira, Best, O’Grady.