It would be fair to say that these two clubs took completely different approaches to the current season, with Nottingham Forest aiming to buy their way out of the Championship while Ipswich took a much more reserved, and cheaper, slant. At first it looked as though the former was going to win hands down, but Ipswich travel to the City Ground trailing their opponents by just two points with the chance of leapfrogging them this weekend.
There’s no doubt that the last few weeks of results is the issue that has hindered Nottingham Forest’s chances the most. During the opening few weeks Stuart Pearce’s men just couldn’t do anything wrong and it immediately looked like they could romp to the Championship title. A goalless draw at Millwall appears to have thrown them off-course somewhat – with this being the start of three league games of the exact same scoreline. Considering how much money Forest invested in their frontline over the summer this is certainly worrying, although on a more positive note they are still just one point off top spot. As such, considering their goal difference, they will at least find themselves in 2nd with a draw this Sunday.
The exact opposite has occurred for Ipswich meanwhile, with the Tractor Boys starting the campaign in slow fashion but really coming into their own over the last few weeks. In fact, a derby-day loss to Norwich appears to have been the turning point for Mick McCarthy’s men, with the club proceeding to embark on a run of six unbeaten games following that. Four of those matches have resulted in victories, meaning that should the Portman Road outfit beat their opponents by a substantial margin this weekend they could quite amazingly find themselves top of the Championship.
Something that could help get Nottingham Forest’s promotion push back on track is the fact that the City Ground outfit don’t have any fresh concerns. In fact, they might be able to call on an additional player, with Matty Fryatt available after making a return from a groin problem during the week. It’s a similar story for Ipswich, who also have very little to report. While Mick McCarthy still won’t be able to rely on the services of Cameron Stewart and Stephen Hunt who are out for the foreseeable future, there could be a place for Jonathan Williams who has recently joined the club on loan for a second occasion.
Ipswich’s form over the last few weeks has made a lot of people sit up and take notice, although we don’t think they will pull off another victory against a side as accomplished as Forest. Stuart Pearce’s men may have experienced something of a blip over the last couple of weeks, but it’s worth mentioning that they are still unbeaten and when you take this into account we can’t see anything but a 1-1 scoreline at the City Ground.