Ipswich Town vs Southampton: Preview and Prediction

Outright Championship leaders Ipswich Town will only look to cement their place at the summit when they take on fourth-placed Southampton.

Ipswich Town had to dig deep and rely on a whole lot of luck to get where they are after the weekend’s action in the Championship before Southampton come visiting Portman Road. Having played their game against Blackburn Rovers early on gave the Tractor Boys the onus to put pressure on their rivals, and manager Kieran McKenna will be delighted at the outcome.

Conor Chaplin’s ninth-minute strike proved enough to secure three points and a place at the summit of the Championship. As a bonus, Ipswich Town finished the weekend as outright leaders of the league after both Leicester City and Leeds United dropped points, with the former surrendering their top spot miserably in 2024.

Ipswich’s win over Blackburn Rovers came courtesy of capitalising on Aynsley Pears’s clanger. They also had luck on their side as their opponents saw three goals disallowed. While the Tractor Boys are on top on Easter weekend, their fate in the title race might not be solely in their own hands, as Leicester City have a game in hand over them, meaning should they win it, the Foxes could reclaim the top spot.

Russell Martin will rue his team’s result after Southampton only managed a draw against Middlesbrough, which may have dented their hopes of challenging for a top-two place. They still harbour ambitions to do so, and should the Leicester City or Leeds United falter, it could give the Saints an opening they need at the end of the season.

The Saints are still nine points behind second-placed Leeds United and in with the chance for the playoffs. However, Martin will hope for a good result against Ipswich to relaunch their hopes of automatic qualification into the Premier League.

However, a loss could severely dent their ideas and might even end all dreams of a top-two finish for Southampton. Hence, Martin will lean towards caution before heading into this tie, as Southampton have a must-win encounter on their hands.

Team News & Tactics

Ipswich Town

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna will likely opt for an unchanged lineup despite the frailties shown by his side during their win over Blackburn Rovers on Friday. There is the element of giving some of his players a pause that won’t occur to the manager, as he will want everyone in a competitive shape and ready to challenge every three days.

The one significant change from the previous game would be the availability of Lewis Travis, who was ineligible to face parent club Blackburn Rovers on Friday. He should return to the bench and play a part during the game. In terms of injuries, Ipswich may not have suffered any fresh blows.

Vaclav Hladky will take his spot between the sticks, with Ipswich Town lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Southampton. The backline should feature Axel Tuanzebe, Cameron Burgess, Luke Woolfenden, and Leif Davis.

As for the midfield unit, Massimo Luongo and captain Samy Morsy will pair up in the double pivot. Conor Chaplin will reprise the no. 10 role, with Omari Hutchinson and Nathan Broadhead being the two wide attackers. Finally, Kieffer Moore should lead the line for Ipswich Town on Monday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hladky; Tuanzebe, Burgess, Woolfenden, Davis; Morsy, Luongo; Hutchison, Chaplin, Broadhead; Moore


Unlike Kieran McKenna, Russell Martin could make plenty of changes to his Southampton lineup, with the likes of Ryan Manning, Jan Bednarek, Joe Aribo, and David Brooks set for recalls. The Saints do not have many problems with the fitness of their players, with Juan Larios and Ross Stewart the only absentees ahead of the game against Ipswich.

Gavin Bazunu will start in goal with a back four of Bednarek and Taylor Harwood-Bellis in central defence, with Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Manning in the full-back roles. Flynn Downes will sit at the base of the midfield, with Stuart Armstrong and Aribo on either side.

Brooks will start in the wide right zone, with Kamaldeen Sulemana on the left flank. Finally, Adam Armstrong will lead the line for Southampton against Ipswich Town on Monday night.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Harwood-Bellis, Manning; Aribo, Downes, Stuart Armstrong; Brooks, Adam Armstrong, Sulemana

Key Stats

  • Ipswich Town have won eight of their last nine matches in the EFL Championship.
  • Ipswich Town had a one-point lead at the summit of the championship table.
  • Ipswich Town have scored at least three goals in their last four games at Portman Road.
  • Southampton needs a clean sheet in their last eight games in all competitions.
  • Southampton are nine points behind second-placed Leeds United with two games in hand.

Player to Watch

Omari Hutchinson

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Omari Hutchinson needs to pick up a form from now on and help Ipswich Town reach their goals. All eyes were on the attacker as he got subbed off in the win over Blackburn Rovers. But it was not a good performance in the time he was there on the pitch.

Hutchinson has his future at stake and a big chance to help the Tractor Boys win the Championship rather than eyeing a top-two finish. Meanwhile, he has a significant opportunity to prove himself and his parent club as Ipswich Town take on Southampton in a. big game on Monday.


Ipswich Town 1-1 Southampton

Multiple factors will be at play when Ipswich take on the Saints. Whether McKenna can harness the idea of staying top of the league into his players and churn out another result remains the question, but it is all still possible,

Southampton are no pushover, as they can still harm the chances of the current front three, over whom they have a two-game advantage. This means that the Saints will still consider themselves in contention for automatic places, and the pressure of this game could see the two sides engaging in a pulsating draw.

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