All aboard the party boat! Ipswich Town fans can enjoy their trip to Fulham

Freddie Sears is congratulated after scoring inside the opening minute at Craven Cottage last season

Freddie Sears is congratulated after scoring inside the opening minute at Craven Cottage last season. Photo: PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town take on Fulham, at Craven Cottage, in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm ko). Here’s your match preview.

Cole Skuse is ruled out for a second successive game due to the concussion he suffered in last weeke

Cole Skuse is ruled out for a second successive game due to the concussion he suffered in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Birmingham. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

What’s to play for?

Town’s relegation fears were all but ended in midweek. A positive performance, helped by some shambolic Wigan defending, saw Mick McCarthy’s men ease to a 3-0 home win over the second-bottom side. With everyone else down at the bottom losing, the gap to the drop zone is now a healthy nine points with six games to play.

Fulham are just two points adrift of the play-off places and could leapfrog Sheffield Wednesday today.

Current form

Top-scorer Tom Lawrence is available again after a groin injury. Photo: Steve Waller

Top-scorer Tom Lawrence is available again after a groin injury. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


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Tuesday night was only Town’s third win in 2017. Optimists will point out they have lost only once in their last 11 outings now.

Fulham lost 4-2 at Derby in midweek as David Nugent bagged a hat-trick in a wide open game. The Cottagers ground out a 1-0 win at rock-bottom Rotherham last weekend and before that dropped home points against lowly Wolves (lost 3-1) and Blackburn (drew 2-2). They have the least number of home wins (eight) out of the division’s top 11 teams.

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Head-to-head

McCarthy admits his team were ‘hopeless’ when they were passed off the park by Fulham in the reverse fixture – a 2-0 defeat on Boxing Day – and insists his side ‘won’t let them play’ today.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy (left) says he won't let Slavisa Jokanovic's (right) side dominat

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy (left) says he won't let Slavisa Jokanovic's (right) side dominate possession like they did at Portman Road. Photo: Mark Bullimore - Credit: Mark Bullimore

Town have won their last two trips to Craven Cottage by a score of 2-1 and haven’t lost there since a 10-1 thrashing on Boxing Day in 1963.

Close to 2,500 Blues fans are set to pack the away end today and, as has become tradition, many will enjoy a party boat trip up the Thames beforehand.

Bosses say

Mick McCarthy: “Imagine if we’d have lost (on Tuesday) and everyone else had won? It could have been three points (above the relegation zone) with Fulham, Burton and Newcastle to come. They’ll still be tough games, but not as tough now.”

Slavisa Jokanovic: “We must all stick together and be strong, fighting until the end. I believe my team play the best football, but we haven’t made enough good results. In these six games left we have to hit fifth gear and push hard to fight to be at the top of the table.”

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