Brighton must be breached if Ipswich Town are to record a season's first - consecutive wins
PUBLISHED: 12:24 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 14 February 2017
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Ipswich Town will attempt to do something they have failed to achieve all season when they travel to high-flying Brighton tomorrow night - string back-to-back wins together.
The Blues head to the AMEX Stadium with a spring in their step, following Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Aston Villa, but the difference between fallen Premier League giants Villa and Chris Hughton’s Seagulls is huge at the moment.
SEAGULLS ARE SOARING
If Town win on the South Coast, they will become just the third team since January 1, 2016, to leave Brighton with all three points – the Seagulls having collected 62 points from a possible 78 on home soil, since Wolves recorded a 1-0 victory there.
However, Town won the last meeting at Brighton – in the game immediately before Wolves’ success – but since then Hughton’s side have been outstanding in front of their home fans, Brentford the only team to have won there this season.
Brighton have picked up 38 points from a possible 45 at home this season, thanks in no small part to the goals of attacking quartet, Glenn Murray (16 goals), Anthony Knockaert (10), Tomer Hemed (nine) and Sam Baldock (seven).
Between them, they have scored 42 of Brighton’s 51 goals this term, as well as chipping in with 13 assists. At the back, meanwhile, Brighton have been just as impressive, conceding just eight goals all season at home.
The Seagulls, defeated in the play-off semi-finals last season, are currently six points clear of third-placed Huddersfield.
Tom Lawrence has been Town’s stand-out performer this season, but the 23-year-old, with eight goals in his last nine league and cup games, is on nine bookings.
A yellow card for Lawrence tomorrow night – which would take him to 10 for the season – would see the Welsh international miss Town’s next two Championship games, at home to Leeds and away, in the bitterly-contested derby, at Norwich City.
Tonight’s referee, Roger East averages 4.4 bookings a game. He officiated Town’s 5-1 defeat at Reading last season and the Blues’ 3-1 play-off semi-final heartbreak at Norwich, in May 2015, Christophe Berra being sent-off for deliberate handball.