Baggies offer Town stiffest home test

TABLE-toppers West Bromwich Albion will offer the stiffest test this season to Ipswich Town's 16-match unbeaten home run.Tony Mowbray's side visits Portman Road today looking for a double after winning the corresponding game 4-0 at the Hawthorns.

By Elvin King

TABLE-toppers West Bromwich Albion will offer the stiffest test this season to Ipswich Town's 16-match unbeaten home run.

Tony Mowbray's side visits Portman Road today looking for a double after winning the corresponding game 4-0 at the Hawthorns.

There is bound to be a big bank holiday crowd with Albion bringing their full quota of fans and Town supporters hoping their team can raise their game after debilitating Christmas week defeats against mediocre opposition at Leicester and Coventry.

Having slipped down to eighth place, Ipswich need to maintain their home form if they are to stay in touch with the leading sides.

David Wright, who has been playing as well as at any time since he arrived at Portman Road last January, has won the Championship with Wigan.

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He said: “The standard of the division is not very high this season and we will need shooting if we don't take advantage.

“We've every opportunity to make a serious promotion challenge, but we must maintain our home form and start improving results away.

“It's sure to be a very tough game against West Brom.

“They're a top team in very good form, but then we can take confidence from the fact we're in very good form at home.

“We badly need a result, after the way our last couple of away games have gone, and it would start the year off on the right foot to beat West Brom.”

Mowbray is likely to make changes after sticking with the same side for resounding Christmas week home victories over Bristol City and Scunthorpe.

The Albion boss is set to freshen things up with striker Ishmael Miller among those who could be recalled.

The on-loan Manchester City striker has not started since injuring his knee against Wolves on November 25 and Mowbray hinted that Miler is likely to replace Roman Bednar.

Filipe Teixeira, who did well against Ipswich in the 4-0 win at the Hawthorns, could also be restored to the starting line-up after being rested for the last two matches.

Striker Kevin Phillips always appears to find the net against Town, with Albion winning 5-1 when they visited Suffolk last season just after Mowbray's appointment was announced.

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