Championship: Ipswich Town - Middlesbrough
Big game for both , Town can move into the play off places, at least for 24 hours with a point and Boro would go top, with all three.
Ipswich are in their best form of the season, are unbeaten in six, scoring 12 goals in their last four (three wins) and are very tough to beat on home soil, 3-5-1 this season and they collected a Championship high 50 points here last season, which included a 2-0 defeat of Middlesbrough, infact, Boro have lost on their last three visits, all by 2+ goals and have not posted a win at portman Road in more than 20 years. The Tractor Boys have drawn too many games here this season, but only Burnley have won and a point in this fixture is almost always seen as one earned and not two lost by Championship clubs. Boro are well aware of how tough this will be and doubly so as they played a Capital One Cup game with Everton in midweek, they rotated quite heavily for that, but eight players featured in both the cup tie and the win at Huddersfield last weekend and a third really taxing game inside seven days is going to be a big ask for some and I really do not see why Boro should be favourites to win this. I have already seen Ipswich at Griffin Park this season, they were big, strong, well organised, exactly how they and any team managed by Mick McCarthy always are and despite that being the opening day of the season, it was already fairly clear that they would again be in and around the playoffs. However, as I mentioned earlier this week, it is going to be tough for any of the teams outside the top five to break into that elite group and if clubs do not simply want to be playing for one remaining post season place, they can afford few slip ups and have to make the most of home games against teams above them in the table and that makes this game hugely important for Town. Boro are a bit physical on the road, but those tactics will not work against Ipswich and I have to side with the hosts, with the draw no bet safeguard.
Ipswich Town level ball 2.02 asian line/Sportmarket.
There is one major concern and that is David Nugent is now a Boro player following his move from Leicester City in the summer and he simply loves to play against Town, with a whopping 14 goals in his last 13 matches against them for City, Preston and Portsmouth (remember them ?) , if that was not impressive enough, he has scored in a perfect 7/7 visits tp Portman Road, nine goals in total and no prizes for guessing that he nominates it as his favourite away ground. He was one of those rested in midweek and if Boro are to score this evening, the goal(s) seems as likely to come via him as anyone else
Daryl Murphy has six goals in his last three league games for Ipswich, after failing to score in his first 13 and you know that I love a striker in form, he was top Championship scorer last season with 27 goals, six more than anyone else, including the opener in this fixture last season and his earlier drought was simply a blip and recent Town opponents are paying the price.
Nugent and Murphy are both circa 2.80-3.10 general quote in the anytime goalscorer markets and both are probably a little on the big side at the upper end given those stats, especially Murphy, who is the focus of so much of what Town do offensively and he has averaged far better than a goal every two games for the last 16 months, despite a 13 match fry spell, which is incredible (0.67 goals per game otherwise).
Taking either would be fine, but Town will be looking for Murphy at every opportunity and if you can find 2.875-3.10 I would suggest 1 unit....there is 3.30 on Betfair sportsbook btw.