Ipswich Town’s next six matches could make or break the season

Teddy Bishop in action during the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portm

Teddy Bishop in action during the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 18 October 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Four of Ipswich Town’s next six fixtures are at home. STUART WATSON takes a look at the run in detail.

File photo of Kenny Jackett.

File photo of Kenny Jackett. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

ROTHERHAM (H) – Sat, Oct 29

Last season’s ‘Great Escape’ under Neil Warnock already seems like a lifetime ago for the Millers.

Summer appointment Alan Stubbs was sacked last week following a sixth straight defeat.

Ex-Millwall and Wolves boss Kenny Jackett looks a shrewd appointment, but it could take him time to turn things around. His first game in charge ended with a 1-0 loss at home to Reading, courtesy of an 86th-minute goal, at the weekend.

Rotherham have lost all seven of their away games this season, conceding an average of three goals in each of those matches.

Ipswich certainly cannot afford a repeat of their last performance against the New York Stadium outfit on Suffolk soil. The Blues were booed off following a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Leon Best’s goal just before half-time.

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Mick McCarthy picked a three-man midfield of Cole Skuse, Jonathan Douglas and Luke Hyam that day. Fans will demand a bolder team selection this time around.

Prediction: 3-1 win

SHEFF WEDS (A) – Sat, Nov 5

File photo of Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.

File photo of Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The Owls were tipped by many to be serious promotion contenders this season after losing to Hull City in the play-off final.

Portuguese head coach Carlos Carvalhal has the complete opposite footballing philosophy to the ultra-pragmatic Blues boss Mick McCarthy – he constantly talks about his team needing to play attacking, entertaining football, even if that means leaving them short of defensive midfielders.

The Hillsborough club, who didn’t spend as big as many expected following their big money takeover, had a little bit of a play-off hangover to start with but have won six of their last nine games to rise to fifth in the table.

Prediction: 1-0 loss

NOTT FOREST (H) – Sat, Nov 19

The former European Cup winners have been outside of the top-flight for the whole of this century and came into this campaign off the back of slowly-diminishing Championship finishes of 11th, 14th and 16th.

It’s been a turbulent few years for the East Midlands club under the ownership of Kuwati businessman Fawz Mubarak Al_Hasawi, with six managers appointed in four years. Unknown French boss Philippe Montanier was the latest man through the door at The City Ground this summer.

The Reds have an in-form striker in Greece’s Apostolos Vellios (five league goals in nine), Britt Assombalonga fit again following a long-term absence and added Nicklas Bendtner to their squad, but they are yet to keep a clean sheet, have conceded 27 goals in 14 league matches, are yet to win an away league game this season and slipped to 19th in the table after registering just one victory in nine.

Prediction: 2-1 win

Nottingham Forest manager Philippe Montanier during the first round match of the Sky Bet EFL Cup at

Nottingham Forest manager Philippe Montanier during the first round match of the Sky Bet EFL Cup at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

QPR (H) – Sat, Nov 26

The West London outfit are very much a club still in transition following their 2014/15 relegation and subsequent 12th-place finish.

The last of their Premier League big earners were moved on in the summer and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men currently occupy 13th place after an up-and-down start.

A 6-0 home thrashing by Newcastle aside, they have been involved in fine margin affairs.

Prediction: 1-1

Bristol City (A) – Sat, Dec 3

Along with Huddersfield, Lee Johnson’s men are have been the surprise package in the Championship so far.

The Robins are sixth after winning four of their last six. Their sole home defeat was 1-0 to Newcastle.

Teenage striker Tammy Abraham, on loan from Chelsea, has already scored 11 goals in all competitions.

File photo of Queens Park Rangers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

File photo of Queens Park Rangers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Prediction: 1-0 loss

Cardiff (H) – Sat, Dec 10

Neil Warnock is already working his magic after being called upon for another rescue mission.

With Paul Trollope sacked after less than five months in charge, Warnock took over a team second-bottom of the table.

Since then the Welsh club have won two games (Bristol City and Nottingham Forest) and drawn the other (Sheffield Wednesday).

Prediction : 0-0

Summary

I’ve gone for two wins, two draws and two losses from these next six games. That would make it just one defeat from 11 home games but still leave the Blues well adrift of the play-off places heading into the festive period.

Bristol City Head Coach Lee Johnson before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich. P

Bristol City Head Coach Lee Johnson before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock celebrates his team's win with Craig Noone at the end of the game

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock celebrates his team's win with Craig Noone at the end of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Cardiff City Stadium. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images