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Jan 29, 2022 at 3pm UK
Sheff WedsSheffield Wednesday
IpswichIpswich Town
Johnson (6')
Dean (26')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Ipswich Town - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Ipswich Town - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The battle for spots in the top six of the League One table will continue on Saturday, as Sheffield Wednesday welcome Ipswich Town to Hillsborough.

A victory over AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday saw the visitors leapfrog the Owls and move into eighth spot, with the sides separated by just a single point.

Match preview

Kieran McKenna's tenure as Ipswich Town manager has kicked off in impressive fashion, with the former Manchester United coach first overseeing consecutive victories over Wycombe Wanderers and Gillingham in his first two games at the helm after Paul Cook's dismissal.

While they would then suffer a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers, the Tractor Boys have bounced back in style, firstly beating Accrington Stanley 2-1 at Portman Road last Saturday as Wes Burns and Conor Chaplin netted goals to overturn an early deficit.

The Suffolk outfit then made it four wins from the new boss's five games in charge last time out, as Burns was again on the scoresheet, this time netting a brace in a 2-0 win at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.

As a result of their impressive upturn in form, the Tractor Boys have quickly climbed the table, and, after an underwhelming first half to the season, they now sit just five points behind the playoff places.

While they still have far more work to do to achieve their goal of at least earning a spot in the top six, Ipswich will be full of renewed confidence and will look to make it three wins on the bounce to take another step towards the playoffs on Saturday.

They welcome a Sheffield Wednesday side who sit just a single point and place behind in the table, despite Darren Moore's side experiencing inconsistency throughout the campaign.

After defeats to Sunderland and Shrewsbury Town and a two-week hiatus in their schedule, the Owls returned to action in style, defeating fellow promotion-chasers Plymouth Argyle 4-2 on home turf thanks to goals from Sylla Sow, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Sam Hutchinson and Josh Windass.

Moore's side then met Oxford United last time out, and, despite taking the lead on two separate occasions through Barry Bannan and Windass, they would eventually succumb to a 3-2 defeat as former Owls forward Sam Winnall headed in the decisive goal in the 84th minute.

While that gave their playoff hopes a further hit, the Yorkshire outfit remain just four points behind the top six with games in hand on most of the sides above them, and a victory on Saturday over a rival in the table would act as a huge positive swing for the Owls in their search for an immediate return to England's second tier.

Sheffield Wednesday League One form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Ipswich Town League One form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Although Sheffield Wednesday remain without key centre-backs Dominic Iorfa and Chey Dunkley, Darren Moore has given his back line a huge boost recently with the captures of Jordan Storey and Harlee Dean from Preston North End and Birmingham City respectively, and the duo are both in contention to make debuts for the Hillsborough club.

Elsewhere, the likes of Lewis Gregory, Callum Paterson, Josh Windass and Sylla Sow will jostle for hotly-contested places in attack, with Windass particularly impressive since his recent return from injury, finding the net off the bench in back-to-back games.

Captain Barry Bannan will continue to lead the midfield alongside Australia international Massimo Luongo, who comes in on the back of a string of eye-catching performances.

Ipswich are without left-back Kane Vincent-Young, who will serve a suspension after being shown a late red card last time out, while fellow left-sided player Hayden Coulson is ruled out through an injury.

On the opposite flank, Wes Burns will come in with confidence, having taken his tally to seven league strikes for the season from wing-back with a goal and a brace in the last two games.

James Norwood, Conor Chaplin, Kayden Jackson, Macauley Bonne, Sone Aluko and Joe Pigott will all battle for spots in the front three, giving McKenna several tough decisions to make.

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Storey, Dean, Hutchinson; Hunt, Dele-Bashiru, Bannan, Luongo, Mendez-Laing; Gregory, Windass

Ipswich Town possible starting lineup:
Walton; Donacien, Edmundson, Woolfenden; Burns, Carroll, Bakinson, Celina; Aluko; Norwood, Bonne

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Ipswich Town

With the two sides fairly evenly matched in terms of squad strength and points tallies, this could go either way, but, given their superior form, we just give the edge to the visitors.

A trip to Hillsborough is no easy task, but the Tractor Boys come in on a high following their upturn in fortunes and McKenna's men will back themselves to earn a third straight victory to climb closer to the playoff spots.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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22Crewe AlexandraCrewe2957172448-2422
24Doncaster RoversDoncaster3064202258-3622
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