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Preview: Leeds United vs. Ipswich Town

Sports Mole previews Tuesday night's Championship fixture between Leeds United and Ipswich Town.

Leeds United will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the Championship season when they host Ipswich Town at Elland Road on Tuesday evening.

However, it is a different story for the visitors, who have lost their last two and were humbled at Reading on Friday.


Leeds United

Chris Wood of Leeds United celebrates scoring during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on August 19, 2015© Getty Images

The month of September promises to be a tough one for Leeds, with matches against two of the division's promotion contenders coming in quick succession.

They emerged from the first of those, against Brentford on Saturday, with a credible point. The visitors took the lead at Elland Road through Marco Djuricin but the Whites pegged them back in the second half thanks to a strike from Mirco Antenucci.

Ipswich are up next for Uwe Rosler's side, who preserved their unbeaten start thanks to Antenucci. However, it is worth remembering that they have won just once so far from their six outings this season and have drawn five times.

With eight points on the board so far, Leeds are in touch with the early pacesetters in the division and a handful of wins would propel them into the top six and possibly beyond.

Rosler will be aware that his side need a greater cutting edge in the final third. Eight new signings were brought in over the summer, including the likes of striker Chris Wood, but the team's tally of seven goals so far suggests that the new faces are still taking their time to settle in.

Nevertheless, a win over Ipswich would signify Leeds as potential promotion candidates and heap more misery on the visitors.

Recent form: DDDWD


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 have dropped from the top of the table down to eighth in the space of two games due to a pair of damaging defeats.

Having suffered a home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion two weeks ago, the Tractor Boys returned to action after the international break at Reading but were on the wrong end of a 5-1 hammering.

Mick McCarthy's side were a shadow of their normal selves at the Madejski Stadium. Having fallen behind early on to Orlando Sa's goal, Freddie Sears levelled matters in the 11th minute, but that was as good as it got for Ipswich. Sa completed his hat-trick, while Nick Blackman and Oliver Norwood also got on the scoresheet as the hosts were allowed to run riot in Berkshire.

Town have conceded eight goals in their last two games and McCarthy will be looking to shore up the leaky defence quickly. Scoring goals has not been a problem, with 11 netted from their six matches, but recent results have seen their goals against column take a hammering.

Daryl Murphy has not been among the goals yet after struggling with injury in the opening month of the season, and a return to form would provide a welcome boost.

McCarthy, though, will not tolerate another defensive display like the one at Reading and he will take his side to Elland Road with the emphasis on keeping it tight at the back.

Recent form: WWWLL


Team News

Alex Mowatt of Leeds United celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Millwall at Elland Road on February 14, 2015© Getty Images

Leeds boss Rosler will assess midfielder Alex Mowatt before picking his side to face Ipswich. The youngster was withdrawn at the break against Brentford after struggling with injury, with goalscorer Antenucci replacing him.

Rosler has no new injury concerns, although midfielder Tommaso Bianchi remains sidelined following knee surgery.

McCarthy will decide whether to ring the changes after the Reading defeat, with Murphy pushing to start after coming off the bench on Friday to replace Brett Pitman.

The Ipswich boss has a fully fit squad to choose from, although it is unlikely that summer signing Tommy Oar will make his debut after he played for the Under-21s against Birmingham City on Monday.

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Berardi, Cooper, Bamba, Taylor; Adeyemi, Cook, Antenucci; Byram, Dallas; Wood

Ipswich Town possible starting lineup:
Gerken; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen; Skuse, Douglas, Fraser, Sears; McGoldrick, Murphy


Head To Head

Leeds have enjoyed the better record against Ipswich down the years, with 30 wins to Town's 25 and 20 draws.

Ipswich have not won on their last six visits to Elland Road. The last time they tasted victory in West Yorkshire came in September 2005, when they ran out 2-0 winners in the Championship.

Last season's meetings went the way of the home side, with Ipswich winning 4-1 at Portman Road in December 2014, with Leeds securing a 2-1 win in the return in March.


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We say: Leeds United 1-1 Ipswich Town

Leeds have become the Championship's draw specialists in the early stages of the season and it is likely that they will have to settle for another point here. Ipswich might have been shipping goals for fun recently, but they will be determined to put that right and their attacking quality should see them claim a share of the spoils at Elland Road.



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Uwe Rosler manager of Leeds United reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Burnley at Elland Road on August 8, 2015
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