Southampton - Ipswich Town

Thankfully to 10 points deduction, Saints hold 13th place in the third tier with just three points more than teams from relegation zone. Lately they play very well at their St Mary's Stadium as they’ve noticed six games without a home defeat (four wins, two draws). However, boss Alan Pardew has some problems regarding starting eleven for today’s game. Two regular midfielders are out. Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended, while Dean Hammond is injured. Defenders Danny Seaborne and Jon Otsemobor are Cup tied, while another two from back line Radhi Jaidi and Graeme Murty are long term absentees. However, Saints haven’t lost in six at St Mary's, since Brighton's winning 3-1 visit on 15 November.


Ipswich are still struggling as they hold 19th place in Championship with five points margin from relegation zone. After huge number of draws (13 so far!), Town started to scoring some goals and win. Have four wins in last six competitive games and scored eleven goals. Beside that, boss Kean carries attacking philosophy and his team has the highest number of goal attempts in second tier. They also look serious in this competition as they beat strong home side Blackpool in previous round, 2-1 on the road. Fact they have just a single defeat (C.Palace 1-3 away, Ipswich got a lead but also got a red card in the first half and conceded three times) in previous 15 games makes from them slight favorites today. Striker Jon Stead is suspended, midfielder David Norris will face a late fitness test, while goalie Brian Murphy is close to a return.


Alan Pardew is doing very well at Southampton as they still carry the hopes about play-off spot, but they already had too much problems against top League One sides (defeats vs. Leeds and Colchester), will have to overcome some important missings and I simply can’t see them winning today. Ipswich  will surely go for a win as the last thing that Keano wants is reply. I expect some goals and away win, but can not fully exclude a possibility of a draw. Dnb 2 is a bet, away win a gamble.


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