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Preview: Ipswich Town vs. Brentford

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship game between promotion rivals Ipswich Town and Brentford.

Ipswich Town face a stern test of their promotion credentials when they hosts Brentford at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon.

A 2-0 loss to fierce rivals Norwich City last weekend was followed by a 2-1 defeat to Leeds United on Wednesday night, and the disappointing results have seen Mick McCarthy's side fall out of the top six.

Brentford have capitalised on Ipswich's form to replace them in the playoff spots and move one point ahead of the Tractor Boys in the race for promotion.

Despite having 11 games left in the campaign, McCarthy will be keen to ensure that a frustrating week does not turn into an extended slump as he looks to keep the pressure on the sides above them.

Although they currently sit seventh in the table, automatic promotion is still a realistic possibility for Ipswich, who are only six points behind Championship leaders Middlesbrough.

Mark Warburton's Brentford squad will have a similar ambition, and neither side will want to lose any ground on the top five.

Brentford warmed up for the vital game by thrashing Huddersfield Town 4-1 in midweek as Warburton continues to get the best out of the players ahead of his summer departure.

The visitors could be unchanged on their trip to Suffolk, with Chris Long looking to continue his impressive start at the club after netting a brace on his full debut.

Daryl Murphy missed a late penalty to condemn Ipswich to defeat against Leeds, but he could be back in the starting lineup alongside Freddie Sears, who came off the bench to score at Elland Road.

Doubts remain over the fitness of David McGoldrick, while recent loan signing Chris Wood could be forced to settle for a spot on the Ipswich bench.


Recent form: WWLWLL

Possible starting lineup: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings, Bru, Skuse, Tabb, Parr, Murphy, Sears


Recent form: LLWWLW

Possible starting lineup: Button, Tarkowski, Moore, Bidwell, Odubajo, Douglas, Diagouraga, Jota, Pritchard, Dallas, Long

Sports Mole says: 2-2


Who will win Saturday's match at Portman Road?

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Manager of Ipswich Town Mick McCarthy looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Ipswich Town and West Ham United at Portman Road on July 16, 2014
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