Ipswich Town’s next nine games are against teams all currently in the bottom half of the Championship table. Stuart Watson makes some predictions. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town go to Millwall for a televised Championship clash tomorrow night.Ipswich Town go to Millwall for a televised Championship clash tomorrow night. (Image: PA)


Where: The Den 

When: Weds, Feb 14 (8pm, Sky Sports) 

Current position: 18th 

First-half goals from Conor Chaplin, Massimo Luongo and Nathan Broadhead put Town on their way to a comfortable 3-1 home win against Millwall back on November 29. 

That was only Joe Edwards’ third game in charge of the Lions, with the former England U20s boss still in the early stages of trying to change predecessor Gary Rowett’s pragmatic, physical brand of football into a more possession-based, fast-attacking style.  

Results haven’t drastically picked up since then – they come into this game having taken just one point from the last five – but Edwards believes his side are ‘making progress’ towards tipping more fine margin affairs their way. 

The South London club’s league record at The Den since the start of December reads: W2 D3 L1, while striker Michael Obafemi was an eye-catching January transfer window loan signing from Burnley. 

Stu’s prediction: A bit like the Valentine’s Day game at Bristol Rovers last year, this has the makings of a difficult night that could give a few the jitters. I’m going for a comeback point – 1-1. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Swansea City have suffered heavy defeats to the likes of Southampton and Leicester recently.Swansea City have suffered heavy defeats to the likes of Southampton and Leicester recently. (Image: PA)


Where: The Liberty Stadium 

When: Sat, Feb 17 (3pm) 

Current Position: 16th 

Town’s 3-2 win in the reverse fixture, back on November 11, was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested. Jack Taylor’s stunning strike cancelled out Jay Fulton’s early opener, before further goals from Chaplin and George Hirst (pen) rendered Lowe’s stoppage-time finish a mere consolation. 

The South Wales club sacked manager Michael Duff in early December after sliding to within five points of the drop zone. He was eventually replaced, in early January, by Notts County boss Luke Williams, another boss known for playing attacking, possession-based football. 

After a tough set of fixtures – which saw 11 goals conceded in defeats to Leicester, Southampton and Bournemouth (FA Cup) - the Swans spurned good chances in a 1-0 home loss to Plymouth and then won 1-0 at Hull last weekend. They now have back-to-back home games against Leeds (tonight) and Ipswich (Saturday). 

“The feeling in the changing room is that they believe they are onto something and can now compete with the top sides in the division,” said Williams. 

Stu’s prediction: Swans are improving, but are still early in a transitional phase. Town, with more firepower and depth, to triumph 1-2. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Rotherham United are bottom of the Championship table with 19 points.Rotherham United are bottom of the Championship table with 19 points. (Image: PA)


Where: Portman Road 

When: Tues, Feb 20 (7.45pm) 

Current position: 24th 

Rotherham are rock-bottom, struggling to score and look destined for the drop with just 19 points to their name. 

Ipswich had to settle for a 2-2 draw at the New York Stadium in a re-arranged fixture on November 7. The Millers, who made the game scrappy and chaotic, snatched a dramatic late leveller through Christ Tiehi’s long-range rocket. 

Matty Taylor was replaced in the hot seat by Leam Richardson on December 11. He’s been able to do little to turn the tide. 

The Millers may be difficult to beat at home, but they’ve taken just four points from a possible 45 on the road. 

Stu’s prediction: This has the potential to be a confidence-boosting big win under the lights. I’ll go 4-0 Town.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town legend Tony Mowbray is now in charge of Birmingham City.Ipswich Town legend Tony Mowbray is now in charge of Birmingham City. (Image: PA)


Where: Portman Road 

When: Sat, Feb 24 (3pm) 

Current position: 19th 

Marcus Harness stepped off the bench and scored two late goals to salvage Kieran McKenna’s men a 2-2 draw at St Andrew’s on November 4. 

Wayne Rooney was subsequently sacked in early January after just 15 games in charge and was replaced by Town legend Tony Mowbray.  

A 2-0 loss at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend has left the Midlands side just three points above the drop zone. Their next two games – at home against Blackburn and Sunderland – will shape the tone ahead of their trip to Suffolk. 

Andre Dozzell, who joined Birmingham on loan from QPR in January, will return to Portman Road for the second time this season. Striker Jay Stansfield is a player Ipswich coveted in January. 

Stu’s prediction: Town to secure back-to-back home wins in the space of five days – 2-0.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Morgan Whittaker is in fine form for Plymouth Argyle.Morgan Whittaker is in fine form for Plymouth Argyle. (Image: PA)


Where: Home Park 

When: Sat, Mar 2 (3pm) 

Current position: 15th 

The two clubs who finished first and second in a high-quality League One promotion race last season go head-to-head again. 

Ipswich won the reverse fixture 3-2 at Portman Road in late October, but a lot has changed at the Devon club since then. 

Manager Steven Schumacher was lured to Stoke City in December and replaced by ex-England U20 manager Ian Foster, while seven-goal attacker Finn Azaz saw his loan from Aston Villa ended when he was sold to Middlesbrough. 

This is a long trip down to South West though, the Pilgrims are strong at Home Park (W8 D3 L3) and have one of the division’s best players in 17-goal Morgan Whittaker. 

Stu’s prediction: I’ve gone for a 1-1. A draw wouldn’t be a bad result in this one. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Liam Manning (second right) is in charge of Bristol City.Liam Manning (second right) is in charge of Bristol City. (Image: PA)


Where: Portman Road 

When: Tues, Mar 5 (8pm) 

Current position: 13th 

Nathan Broadhead’s first half goal was the difference when Town won 1-0 in the reverse fixture on October 25. 

Robins boss Nigel Pearson was sacked after that game and replaced by former Ipswich academy graduate and coach Liam Manning. 

Beating West Ham and subsequently pushing Nottingham Forest all the way over two games in the FA Cup will have given them confidence they can climb the table in the second half of the season. 

Stu’s prediction: I like Manning and wouldn’t rule out his side pushing for the play-offs. A game in which points could be dropped at home – 1-1. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Cardiff City signed Famara Diedhiou in the January transfer window.Cardiff City signed Famara Diedhiou in the January transfer window. (Image: PA)


Where: Cardiff City Stadium 

When: Sat, Mar 9 (12.30pm, Sky Sports) 

Current position: 14th 

Sub Freddie Ladapo scored twice to secure Ipswich a comeback 3-2 home win against Cardiff on September 2. 

The highest-ranked side Erol Bulut’s men have taken points off this season is Sunderland. They’ve lost more league games than they’ve won at home so far this season. 

Time will tell if six January signings – including Nat Phillips and Famara Diedhiou – inject new life into their season.  

Stu’s prediction: Bluebirds look more likely to sink than rise to me. I’ll go 1-2 Ipswich. 

  East Anglian Daily Times: Sheffield Wednesday's Ike Ugbo (right) celebrates with Ian Poveda after scoring in a recent 2-0 home win against Birmingham.Sheffield Wednesday's Ike Ugbo (right) celebrates with Ian Poveda after scoring in a recent 2-0 home win against Birmingham. (Image: PA)


Where: Portman Road 

When: Sat, Mar 16 (3pm) 

Current position: 23rd 

It’s been a miserable season back in the Championship for the Owls, with statements aplenty from owner Dejphon Chansiri. 

Town won 1-0 at Hillsborough back in August thanks to Chaplin’s late goal in front of the away end. 

The South Yorkshire club have improved since Danny Röhl replaced Xisco Muñoz in October, giving hope that they still might beat the drop. 

Still, just two of their 26 points have come against teams currently in top-six and only seven have been claimed on the road in total. 

Stu’s prediction: Wednesday have conceded 12 goals in their last three away games. Ipswich to win 3-0. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Sammie Szmodics has scored an impressive 22 goals across all competitions for Blackburn Rovers so far this season.Sammie Szmodics has scored an impressive 22 goals across all competitions for Blackburn Rovers so far this season. (Image: PA)


Where: Ewood Park 

When: Fri, Mar 29 (3pm) 

Current position: 17th 

Town edged a seven-goal thriller in the reverse fixture at Portman Road last September, Massimo Luongo bagging the winner in a topsy-turvy encounter. 

Rovers were on the cusp of the play-offs come the start of December, but then went into freefall. Eight defeats in 10, followed by a transfer saga that saw striker Duncan McGuire not landed on deadline day due to an admin error, led to manager Jon Dahl Tomasson going. He’s been replaced by former Birmingham boss John Eustace. That’s a smart appointment. 

With striker Sam Gallagher (a Town target in January) fit again and 22-goal Sammie Szmodics having the season of his life, I can’t see the Lancashire club getting sucked into the dogfight. 

Stu’s prediction: I’ve got a feeling Rovers will go into this Good Friday home game with little to lose. A lot can happen between now and then, but I’ll say 2-2. 



Yes, I’ve got Ipswich (including last weekend’s home draw with West Brom) to go on a 10-game unbeaten run leading into a crunch Easter Monday home clash with Southampton. 

If my predictions are correct (W5 D4), Ipswich would be on 79 points heading into their final seven games. Would that be enough to keep them in the top-two mix? We’ll see. It would certainly be a remarkable achievement regardless.