Albion face tough clash with table-topping Tractor Boys

Kazenga LuaLua scores against Blackburn Rovers (Photograph: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)
Kazenga LuaLua scores against Blackburn Rovers (Photograph: Paul Hazlewood, BHAFC)

Albion will be hoping to go into the two-week break on a high.

With the first international period of the season just over the horizon, Albion will be hoping to go into the two-week break on a high as they travel to Portman Road for a top-of-the-table clash with Ipswich Town.

Both sides have still to lose in the opening month of the Championship campaign – having won three matches and drawn one each – with the Suffolk side topping the division on goal difference. Town, however, have gone one better by making the third round of the League Cup on Tuesday night, while Albion were beaten 2-1 by League One Walsall.

Chris Hughton’s side showed their ability to grind out a win when a draw would have been the fairer result in a tight contest with Blackburn last weekend. This time they will face an even harder task against an Ipswich side looking to improve on last season’s sixth-place finish.

Albion’s opening four games have been against sides who are all likely to finish in and around mid-table, or in the bottom half fighting relegation. Mick McCarthy’s men will give fans an idea of how Hughton’s squad compares with those who are more than likely going to be pushing for promotion.

In three years at the club, the former Wolves boss has slowly but surely helped rebuild Ipswich into promotion contenders. They look set to welcome back last season’s top scorer Daryl Murphy to the side this weekend, and the Irishman will pose a dangerous threat to the Albion back four.

With Lewis Dunk’s future secure, Hughton will be confident his defence has the strength in depth to deal with whatever is thrown at them by the home side at Portman Road.