Betting, past meetings, transfer targets, danger men and all the vital information ahead of Ipswich Town v Birmingham

Kevin Bru scores for Ipswich, taking them to a 4-2 victory earlier this year

Kevin Bru scores for Ipswich, taking them to a 4-2 victory earlier this year - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Take a look at our guide to Ipswich Town’s televised clash at home to Birmingham City.

Birmingham City's Clayton Donaldson celebrates after scoring their third goal completing his hat-tri

Birmingham City's Clayton Donaldson celebrates after scoring their third goal completing his hat-trick during the Sky Bet Championship match at St Andrews, Birmingham. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

When and where?

Friday, 7.45pm at Portman Road

What’s the team news?

There are still a few lingering injury worries which have yet to clear up fully for Mick McCarthy, going into this one, with Ryan Fraser the main doubt having picked up a knock against Leeds. Cole Skuse should be fit, while Freddie Sears is back in contention. See the full story here.

For Birmingham, changes are possible with Andrew Shinnie the most likely to come into the side.


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Who is their manager?

Gary Rowett has done a superb job since taking over as Blues boss last October, with his side 23rd in the table. They ended up 10th in what was a remarkable turnaround.

Demarai Gray is a danger for Birmingham

Demarai Gray is a danger for Birmingham - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

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How have they been getting on so far this season?

Five wins in eight games represents a pretty good start for Rowett’s side, with the highlights including an away win at MK Dons and home wins over Reading and Bristol City. They’ve only failed to score once, which was last time out when they went down 1-0 at home to Forest.

Who has the best record in this fixture?

This is another fixture where the Blues have the edge, having won 34 of the 75 clashes. Birmingham have won 27, with the rest draws.

What happened last time they met?

The meeting in February was one of the most entertaining of the season at Portman Road, with the Blues ultimately running out 4-2 winners. Two goals from David Davis brought the visitors back into it as the score stood at 3-2 to the hosts heading into the closing stages, but Kevin Bru settled the nerves with a 90th minute goal to finally seal the points.

Keith Stroud is taking charge of this game

Keith Stroud is taking charge of this game - Credit: Archant

Who is the ref?

Keith Stroud is the man in the middle. He took charge of two Ipswich games last season and neither ended well for the Blues. First, he was refereeing the game in which they lost 1-0 at home to Norwich, overseeing the 3-2 loss at Brighton.

Who is Birmingham’s danger man?

Clayton Donaldson is Birmingham’s leading scorer with three goals, but they all came in one game against Bristol City. Demarai Gray has been touted as the next big thing, due to his pace and guile, but he’s yet to find the net this season.

What are the bookies saying?

Town are very much the favourites for this one at 10/11, with a draw 11/4 more likely than a Birmingham win 10/3 according to the bookies. An Ipswich first scorer is the betting tip, with seven Town players priced shorter than Donaldson to open the scoring.

Paul Caddis in his Swindon days

Paul Caddis in his Swindon days - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Anything else worth knowing?

Birmingham skipper Paul Caddis was once a tentative transfer target for Ipswich, during the Paul Jewell era, but he eventually moved to St Andrews on loan from Swindon, before making his move permanent.

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