Wolves To Feed On Tractor Boys
Wolves v Ipswich
Ipswich take on Wolves at Molineux in the Championship’s live Saturday afternoon offering and what looks likely to prove a pivotal game to both in their bid to reach this season’s play-offs.
Successive 2-1 away losses to Birmingham and, most recently, Middlesbro, have stalled Wolves in their promotion bid as they dropped to eighth spot in the table, three points behind Ipswich in the chase for a top-six finish, with a playoff place the best the midlands club can now achieve this term.
That pair of defeats brought an end to a run of six unbeaten for Kenny Jackett’s side, and only one loss in ten prior to their turnover in Birmingham last Saturday. Wolves have, however, picked up five wins and a draw in their last six home games outings at Molineux where they play two of their final three league fixtures.
With 14 goals to his name Bakary Sako is the club’s top scorer in the Championship this season, including in their defeat to Boro, while Benik Afobe has 11 in just 18 appearances.
In direct contrast to their opponent’s recent run of results, Ipswich have returned to the top six on the back of two home wins in a row, against Blackpool and Cardiff, and have now lost only once in their past six games.
Freddie Sears, Cole Skuse and Daryl Murphy got the goals in the Tractor Boys’ 3-1 victory over Cardiff on Tuesday to leave Mick McCarthy’s men’s fate in their own hands, although other results now mean they’re in a four-way battle for the play-offs with Derby, Brentford and Wolves with the top four now the only teams capable of claiming automatic promotion.
Murphy is the leading scorer in the Championship having registered his 24th league goal of the campaign in midweek, but Sears is the man in form having scored four in as many games.
Wolves could make a change in defence with Scott Golbourne coming in for Kortney Hause, who was came off at half-time in the defeat to Middlesbrough while Nouha Dicko could also start should they decide to go with three forwards.
David McGoldrick is expected to miss out again for Ipswich, with Jay Tabb the only likely change to the starting line-up ahead of Stephen Hunt on the left side of midfield.
Head to Head
Ipswich ran out 2-1 winners when the sides met at Portman Road last November with Murphy netting a brace either side of James Henry’s equaliser for Jackett’s side. It was the first time in six meetings that either has won against the other at home though, with a pair of wins for each over that run with Wolves claiming five wins to two for the Tractor Boys in the last ten clashes.
It looks to be a case of now or never for Wolves, as since they’re now three points behind Ipswich with an inferior goal difference currently standing at seven in favour of McCarthy’s side a loss here would all but rule their chances of a second promotion in a row.
At 13/10 the hosts can do just that though and are well worth getting behind to keep a fascinating play-off chase going right to the wire.
Both teams have scored in each of the last four games for both sides and that looks a worthy punt too at 4/5 with over 2.5 goals another good shout at evens while both scoring in a win for Wolves looks terrific value at 15/4.