Championship Preview – Ipswich Town vs Middlesbrough

Championship Preview – Ipswich Town vs Middlesbrough

Championship Preview – Ipswich Town vs Middlesbrough

This Friday evening marks the beginning of Sky’s 10 televised Football League games in 10 days even and what a way to start as the opening fixture boasts two of the best teams in the Football League. Tonight, the second place Middlesbrough squad take the long journey down south to East Anglia. They take on the resurgent seventh place Ipswich Town who haven’t been defeated in six games.

Despite how well Middlesbrough are playing this season, we think the short rest week and long journey will mean Middlesbrough won’t get the result they want. We’re backing Ipswich Town or Draw at odds of 8/15. You can Treble the Odds on your first £10 bet by signing up here or clicking the banner below! 

Ipswich Town F.C. will have to be confident going into this fixture this evening. Mick McCarthy’s side are on a six-game undefeated streak following a slump in results. After being eliminated in the Playoff Semi-Finals against their bitter rivals, Norwich City last season, McCarthy strengthened his squad in the summer and were tipped to be one of the team going up to the Premier League in 2016. That was looking good after a strong start however after a 3-2 loss to Brighton at the end of August and a terrible 5-1 defeat to Reading, this began a slump throughout September and October which saw them muster only a single victory in 10 games. November was much better, managing to earn victory in three of their games, drawing the other, scoring 12 goals in the process. They’re coming off a 3-0 victory away to Charlton last Saturday.

Part of the return to form is because of target man, Daryl Murphy, finding his scoring touch again. The Irish-man, who won the Championship Golden Boot last season, couldn’t find the net all season until early in November where he kicked off his campaign by putting a hattrick past Rotherham. He has since scored three more goals, including two last week. He’s scored six goals over three games. Freddie Sears also got back to his scoring ways last week after not hitting the net in 11 games. Mick McCarthy’s man are without any fresh injury woes, but are still without David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop and Ryan Fraser who are still suffering from long-term injuries.

Like their opponents this evening, Middlesbrough also managed three victories out of four in November, however they lost their remaining game. Also just like their opponents, Middlesbrough were a team slain by Norwich City FC in last year’s Championship Playoffs, however this was in the final in front of more than 85,000 at Wembley. Altor Karanka’s men started the season incredibly well, losing only once in their first 12 games over August and September, winning 9 of them. They started off slow in the first three weeks of October, not managing a win, but they managed to earn two league victories in the final week of October, and a mid-week draw against Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Just like their opponents this evening, Middlesbrough have the benefit of no fresh injury woes as the key cogs of the team were rested mid-week in their Capital One Cup Quarter-Final tie against Everton which they lost 2-0. They are still without long-term absentees Rhys Williams, Alex Baptiste and Damia Abella. All three are back in light training however so a return is expected soon. Middlesbrough will be boosted by the return of defender Tomas Kalas who has been out with a knee injury suffered whilst on international duty. Middlesbrough have been one of the most impressive defensive outfits this season, allowing only 12 goals in all league fixtures.

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Both teams are on a very impressive run of form and that has largely been the case for Middlesbrough all season. Ipswich made Portman Road a fortress last season and an incredibly hard place to travel for travelling teams which means their confidence will be high against Middlesbrough tonight who make the long journey from up north. This is especially the case when Ipswich boast one of the most potent strike forces in the league, scoring 28 this season, second best in the Championship. Whilst Middlesbrough have the defence to keep them in check, it’s incredibly hard to back against Ipswich and Daryl Murphy particularly when they’re on a good run of form and scoring regularly. With the short week and the long travel, the home fans will ensure the Tractor Boys have the support to get them the win, or at the least a draw whilst on Sky Sports. Ipswich Town FC to win or draw.

Dan Glozier.

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