It would be fair to say that expectations for these two sides were completely different at the start of the campaign, with Ipswich expected to launch some sort of bid for the top six while Watford were tipped to struggle immensely. However, following the opening months it is most definitely Watford who will be the most satisfied, with the Hornets keeping their head above water as they occupy 18th position. Ipswich on the other hand are sat in 21st spot and it is only goal difference which is keeping them out of the bottom three.
Looking at investments over the past few years, Ipswich are definitely one of the big spenders of the Championship. However, for all the money they have splashed around, they have never even threatened the top places and this must worry their supporters enormously. The appointment of Paul Jewell through the summer was meant to spark a new era at Portman Road, but instead the former Derby boss has struggled to make an impact and has not been able to hide his frustrations with his team in recent interviews. There is absolutely no doubt that the Tractor Boys currently have the worst form in the division, with the club approaching this clash having suffered six straight defeats. The recent 4-0 drubbing to Burnley will have done nothing for confidence, although if the Portman Road outfit can somehow manage to collect all the points this weekend they will at least leapfrog their opponents.
There is absolutely no doubt that Watford will be looking over their shoulder for most of the campaign, although that is generally accepted by the Hornets’ faithful who realise that their club is in a tight financial position. Despite early fears over Sean Dyche, more and more Watford fans are starting to warm to their manager and that is mainly due to recent form. The club have lost just one out of their last six and those results have been enough to keep them out of the relegation zone. Still, the Vicarage Road outfit will be fully aware of the danger that they remain in and know that a defeat could even send them into the bottom three on Saturday.
As for team news, Ibrahima Sonko looks set to go straight into Ipswich’s team after he recovered from a hamstring problem. On a more negative note, goalkeepers Richard Wright and David Stockdale are both missing as injuries hinder them. Watford meanwhile are sweating on the fitness of top scorer Marvin Sordell as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury. Sean Dyche is also without Martin Taylor, Lloyd Doyley and Stephen McGinn who are still on the treatment table.
As for a prediction, our money is on the draw for this clash. While the form book may indicate that Watford are due the points, we think Ipswich’s home advantage will be of great significance. With that, our tip will be a 1-1 score line.