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Preview: Ipswich Town vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday.

Ipswich Town will hope to earn three points in their opening home game of the season when they entertain Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon.

Mick McCarthy's men reached the playoffs last season and their home form will be crucial if they are going to do so again.

Ipswich Town

Manager of Ipswich Town Mick McCarthy looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Ipswich Town at Griffin Park on August 8, 2015© Getty Images

Ipswich were left with a bitter taste in their mouths last weekend, when they threw away a two-goal lead in stoppage time at Brentford.

The Tractor Boys looked set to start their campaign with an impressive victory away at the West Londoners when Kevin Bru and Ryan Fraser scored.

However, Andre Gray and James Tarkowski ensured that the match finished 2-2, and McCarthy later said that the result felt like a defeat.

Ipswich hit back in the League Cup this week as they beat Stevenage 2-1, but McCarthy will put a greater emphasis on this game as he looks to mount a promotion challenge again.

McCarthy has kept the majority of his squad from last season, and keeping striker Darryl Murphy is seen a major coup. They have signed several players in this window so far, and have much more depth in their squad.

After the visit of Wednesday, Ipswich host Burnley before travelling North to play Preston North End.

Recent form: D
Recent form (all competitions): DW

Sheffield Wednesday

A general view during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Watford at Hillsborough Stadium on October 18, 2014© Getty Images

Wednesday's fans can be forgiven for getting a little excited after their stellar start to the new campaign.

New manager Carlos Carvalhal guided his new men to a 2-0 win over newly-promoted Bristol City, with Tom Lees and new signing Lewis McGugan supplying the goals.

Carvalhal has already put his stamp on the team, as they played more attacking football in a game which saw Jack Hunt, Marco Matias, Alex Lopez and Ross Wallace make their debuts.

They backed that up with a thumping 4-1 win over Mansfield in the first round of the League Cup, so travel to Ipswich in good spirits.

New signing Matias seems capable of replacing the missing goals of Gary Madine and Chris Maguire, while Lewis McGugan will expected to add some craft from midfield.

Following their trip to Suffolk, Wednesday will face Reading at home before a Yorkshire derby with Leeds United.

Recent form: W
Recent form (all competitions): WW

Team News

Christophe Berra for Ipswich Town on January 4, 2015© Getty Images

Ipswich centre-back Christophe Berra could make his first league start since last season after returning from suspension.

The Scottish international was sent off against Norwich City in the playoffs last year, but played against Stevenage in midweek.

Jonathan Parr could return to the side at left-back.

Wednesday boss Carvalhal could name the same side that beat City last week, although Caolan Lavery and Jose Semedo are pushing to start.

Ipswich Town possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Parr; Skuse, Bru, Fraser, Maitland-Niles; Sears, Murphy.

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Semedo, Helan; Matias, Lopez, McGugan, Hutchinson, Wallace; Nuhiu

Head To Head

Rather surprisingly for two old and historic clubs, this will be just their 46th meeting since the first in 1958.

Both sides have won 17 times while 11 others have been drawn, although Wednesday have not won in their last five attempts.

Last season the teams drew at Hillsborough, before Ipswich won 2-1 at Portman Road on their way to the playoffs.

Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:

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We say: Ipswich Town 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Last season, Ipswich were outstanding at home as they collected 50 points, and it is clear that they feel comfortable in front of the Suffolk faithful.

Wednesday have had an encouraging start, but with a new manager and plenty of new signings it would be a surprise if they didn't have a topsy-turvy start. For those reasons, we are going for a 2-1 Ipswich win.

Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday?

Ipswich Town
Sheffield Wednesday
Ipswich Town
Sheffield Wednesday
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Steve Cotterill stands on the touchline during his stint as Nottingham Forest on January 17, 2012.
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