These are my basic pre match notes for the three games I am covering live this evening, they are incomplete without my half time notes/updates/ selections of course, but you might find them of some interest.......
IPSWICH TOWN - READING
This shoud be quite entertaining and I do not expect either to settle for a point. Town have drawn fewer home starts than any team in the Championship in any case and with a midtable finish seemingly assured, have no reason to be cautious. Reading are unbeaten in six and are playing at a very high level at present, they do have a FA Cup quarter final with Manchester City this weekend, but just six points off the playoffs, will surely give their all for the win this evening. They have scored more goals in the last five minutes of games ( 11 in total) than any other side in the division and are unbeaten in all 16 matches that Mikele Leigertwood has started, I have told you before how very important he has been to the Royals. Bit of a mini crisis for Town with several players facing late tests, team news vital here. Reading have collected points in 7 of the 11 games in which they have trailed at the half.
Confirmed team news: Kebe and Tabb out for Royals, Howard and Karacan in, a very adventurous 4-3-3 formation, at least thats what it looks like.
Town : Fulop, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, O'Dea, Drury, Norris, Leadbitter, Martin, Scotland, Wickham..... no Bullard !
SWANSEA - WATFORD
Swansea will stay in second place with a win tonight regardless of what happens elsewhere which is a big incentive and will be looking to bounce back after a 1-0 loss at Scunthorpe on saturday. Despite the loss, they played well at Glanford Park on a pudding of a pitch, which did not suit their silky ball passing style of football, enjoying 61% possession and winning the attempts on goal count 18-9, coach Brendan Rodgers pronounced himself "pleased" with the performance afterwards and you will not hear that too often following a defeat. Watford now looked booked for a midtable finish despite ending a poor run with a 1-0 win over Millwall at the weekend, the Lions having had several clear chances to take the lead, the Hornets can beat anyone on a going day, but their lack of depth has caught up with what is a talented, but young and inexperienced squad. Key stat, visitors have won only 3 of the 12 games (25%) in which they have gone in level at the break, Swans 7 of 14 (50%).
Confirmed team news : John Eustace returns from suspension for Watford. Swansea: Dobbie in for Britton, Moore replaces Beattie, the same starting eleven who walloped Leeds here 3-0 recently.
BRENTFORD - BRIGHTON
No real history between these two clubs, but there is a little ill feeling between the two owners, who are probably the two biggest gamblers/syndicate owners in europe, not that that makes any difference, as neither is likely to play !
Brentford had a long and fruitless journey up to the North East at the weekend and performed poorly in a 3-0 loss to Hartlepool. That has left the Bees firmly in midtable and their Wembley final next month aside, we can only expect them to really get "up" for the bigger league fixtures and a visit from the league leaders, with a large travelling support under the floodlights at Griffin Park, which is always special, certainly falls into that category. Bees have already seen off Championship Hull City and EPL side Everton here this season and new boss Nicky Forster will want to recover quickly from his first loss in charge and claim another scalp, the game has extra meaning for Forster who returned to the Bees after three years with the south coast side last year and knows many of the visiting team well.
Brighton are also top of the second half table with an impressive 16-12-4 record, first goal might be crucial, Bees are 8-0-0 when leading at the half, only conceding twice, Brighton are 12-1-0 with just four goals against.
Confirmed team news: Four changes for the Bees, Bryne and Reed make their full debuts, Legge and MacDonald return..... strong looking team in my not so humble opinion !
I will send match updates by email as usual .