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Watford logo
Championship | Gameweek 21
Dec 12, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Vicarage Road
Ipswich logo
1 - 2
Asprilla (12')
Kayembe (46'), Issouf Bayo (84')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Hirst (24'), Morsy (80')
Chaplin (39'), Hirst (45'), Luongo (53'), Hutchinson (89')

Preview: Watford vs. Ipswich Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Watford and Ipswich Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Having passed their Teesside test with flying colours on the weekend, promotion-chasing Ipswich Town are back on the road as they face Watford at Vicarage Road in the Championship on Tuesday night.

The Hornets snatched a point from their contest with Southampton last time out, while the Tractor Boys produced another standout performance at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Match preview

Watford manager Valerien Ismael applauds fans after the match on August 19, 2023© Reuters

After a highly-disappointing 10th-placed finish last season under a number of managers, Watford have now lost just one of their last 10 contests in the Championship following a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Russell Martin's Premier League-chasing Saints at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The Hornets looked destined for their first loss since their treacherous trip to the King Power Stadium to face Enzo Maresca's Leicester City on November 25, but a 96th-minute Rhys Healey strike cancelled out Che Adams's opener for the recently-relegated visitors.

Former Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion coach Valerien Ismael is implementing a more stylish philosophy than he did at Oakwell and The Hawthorns, as the Watford squad still contains plenty of high-quality footballers, despite the departures of Ismaila Sarr and Joao Pedro during the summer.

Sitting only two points behind sixth-placed Sunderland ahead of the busy festive schedule, the Hornets are within striking distance of the playoff positions as they prepare to welcome Ipswich on Tuesday, meaning promotion back to the top flight at the second attempt is not off the cards just yet.

Watford are unbeaten in their last five matches at Vicarage Road and have netted an impressive tally of 12 goals during that period, with leading marksman Mileta Rajovic making the net ripple four times in those five contests, including a brilliant brace in the 5-0 mauling of Rotherham United.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna looks dejected after the match on November 1, 2023© Reuters

The Ipswich promotion push is showing no signs of weakness or slowing down after the Tractor Boys made it three-straight wins in the Championship on Saturday afternoon, earning a 2-0 success at the Riverside Stadium against Michael Carrick's injury-hit Middlesbrough outfit.

Kieran McKenna's men sacrificed superiority in terms of possession for the all-important three points on Teesside, with strikes either side of the half-time whistle from playmaker Conor Chaplin and winger Omari Hutchinson securing their side's 15th win from the first 20 second-tier matches.

The East Anglian outfit have been the division's entertainers so far in 2023-24, having scored an outstanding 43 goals in 20 games since their promotion from League One, and the Tractor Boys have managed to net two or more goals in nine of their last 11 league fixtures.

Ipswich are currently heading for automatic promotion as they lie second in the Championship standings with 48 points from their 20 matches, sitting comfortably between league leaders Leicester and Daniel Farke's Leeds United - two sides who are propped up by substantial parachute payments following their relegations last campaign.

Chaplin's goal at the Riverside moved him onto nine league strikes for the term, ahead of teammates Nathan Broadhead (7) and George Hirst (5), with the 26-year-old refinding the sensational second-tier form which allowed him to be a crucial part of Barnsley's Championship term in 2019-20.

Watford Championship form:

Ipswich Town Championship form:

Team News

Chelsea loanee Omari Hutchinson playing for Ipswich Town in September 2023.© Reuters

With Watford facing a spell of three games in the space of a week, Ismael could opt to rotate his side for the visit of Ipswich, meaning Tom Ince and Vakoun Issouf Bayo may earn spots in the XI.

Goalscorer Healey is another candidate to escape the boredom of the bench on Tuesday night, with Yaser Asprilla or leading marksman Rajovic potentially making way.

Looking to repeat the promotion exploits of his Norwich City days, Jamal Lewis has nailed down the left-back slot at Vicarage Road and will start again in this one.

Ipswich Town will welcome back Massimo Luongo and Brandon Williams to the matchday squad on Tuesday, after both served a one-game ban against Middlesbrough due to yellow card accumulation.

Midfielder Sam Morsy is now walking the suspension tightrope after picking up his ninth caution of the season at the Riverside, and with a 10th card enough to see him sidelined for two matches, McKenna could rest the Egyptian ahead of the East Anglian derby on the weekend.

Chelsea loanee Hutchinson made the net ripple just five minutes after coming off the bench on Teesside to double the Tractor Boys' advantage, and the 20-year-old could be rewarded with a start should the visitors decide to rotate out Broadhead or Wes Burns.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Hamer; Andrews, Porteous, Hoedt, Lewis; Kayembe, Sierralta, Asprilla, Kone, Sema; Healey

Ipswich Town possible starting lineup:
Hladky; Williams, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis; Luongo, Taylor, Burns, Chaplin, Hutchinson; Hirst

SM words green background

We say: Watford 1-2 Ipswich Town

Ipswich kept their first clean sheet in nine matches last time out, but we cannot imagine them making it successive shutouts on Tuesday night.

Another one of the division's big hitters arrives at Vicarage Road in midweek, and we feel that Watford will be unable to stop the Ipswich juggernaut.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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