Preview: Leicester vs Ipswich
Manager Nigel Pearson faces a stern test against a rejuvinated Ipswich Town, as the Tractor Boys travel to the Walkers Stadium on Sunday.
Roy Keane's men have fought back from a dreadful start to the season to claim back-to-back victories against QPR and Blackpool, and go into Sunday's match in high spirits.
Leicester head into the game on the back of three straight wins, buoyed by the FA Cup victory over Swansea last weekend. The win added to successive victories over both Sheffield Championship clubs, putting City in a healthy position going into the new year.
The Foxes will be aiming for a perfect start to 2010 with three points on Sunday, hoping the momentum from a hugely successful 2009 can maintain their current playoff position.
Ipswich have suffered just one defeat in their previous 12 matches, making them one of the Championship's in-form sides at the moment. A season which began in total disarray has slowly been transformed into something more respectable, as Roy Keane aims to continue the charge at the Walkers on Sunday.
The last meeting between the two sides ended goalless, as neither side could find a way through at Portman Road earlier in the season.
Leicester have confirmed that the match will definitely go ahead unless weather conditions change dramatically inbetween now and Sunday.
Leicester goalkeeper Chris Weale: 'Ipswich have picked up a good vein of form and will be a good test.'
Ipswich defender Gareth McAuley: 'They were in a mess with the number of players that were at the club that last year. But they had a lot of players that left after relegation and I was delighted to see the club do so well last season. The players have carried that on this year and are having a good run.'
Leicester City Team News:
Leicester could welcome back left back Bruno Berner to the starting lineup following recovery from a calf injury, with Ryan McGivern expected to make way.
Wayne Brown looks fit to face his old club, but will have a tough job of dislodging Jack Hobbs and Michael Morrison in the heart of Leicester's defence.
Striker Martyn Waghorn has finally completed the last of his three match suspension, and is now available for selection.
Player to watch: Matty Fryatt
With talk of a switch to Premier League Wigan, Fryatt can go out onto the Walkers pitch on Sunday and show where his heart really lies.
The striker has carried on the excellent goal-scoring form of last year to help himself to 12 so far this season, making him Leicester's most dangerous goal threat.
Ipswich Town Team News:
Jon Stead continues to serve his suspension, paving the way for Stern John to continue leading the Ipswich front line.
Roy Keane could provide a debut to new signing Brian Murphy, as Irishman bids for a starting berth between the sticks.
Player to watch: Jack Colback
The highly-rated 20-year-old is currently on loan from Sunderland, Roy Keane raiding his old club in August.
The midfielder has hit two goals in his last four games, most recently netting the opener in Ipswich's FA Cup victory over Blackpool at the weekend.
Match Facts & Stats
- Leicester have lost just once in their past five clashes with the Tractor Boys.
- Ipswich have won only one of their last seven visits to the Walkers, that victory arriving on Boxing Day 2002.
- This will be the Foxes' fifth successive home match.
- Leicester have only failed to score in three matches this season, one of those being the goalless draw at Portman Road earlier in the season.
- Ipswich are rather fond of drawing, with 12 of their 23 Championship fixtures ending on level-terms.
I think this will end up with victory one way or another, but quite who for is tough to call. With our home advantage, I'll go for 1-0 to Leicester.
Saturday 16th January
Leicester: Swansea (A)
Ipswich: Coventry (H)