Championship: Newcastle United v Ipswich Town
By Nic Barnes
Newcastle will be confident of extending their lead at the top of the Championship this weekend against an Ipswich side that are struggling for consistency this season.
Ipswich have only managed one away win in their last six games in the league and should expect a tough test against the league’s highest goal scorers (27) when they meet at St James’ Park.
Rafael Benitez should have no new injury worries from the team that beat Barnsley 2-0, although Chancel Mbemba is still doubtful with a leg injury.
Ipswich midfielder Cole Skuse could miss the clash with a toe injury he sustained in the 2-0 win against Burton Albion.
Former Toon striker Leon Best is looking forward to his return to St James Park and told ITFC.co.uk: “It’s my first time going back and I’ve got some great memories from my time there. I’m really looking forward to it. They are on a good run but the boys are up for it and we will go there with confidence that we can get a result.”
Championship top goal scorer Dwight Gayle, who has a strike rate of a goal every 87 minutes this season, will look to continue his form which saw him score both of Newcastle’s goals in their last game.
His manager Rafael Benitez said after the game when speaking to Sky Sports: “When you have players as clinical as Dwight, you will score goals. He is on fire now, he is happy and we’re all happy. I made it our priority in the summer to get him and Matt Ritchie to the club.”