Our Saturday football accumulator is an 11/2 treble that comes courtesy of selections from all…
Ipswich Town V Norwich City
Saturday 9th May. 12:15PM. Sky Sports 1
If the Championships play-offs wasn’t a mouth-watering prospect in itself, two matches of the East Anglian derby will surely excite every football fan in the country.
The Ipswich v Norwich rivalry is one of the fiercest in British football and with a place at Wembley on offer, the stakes could scarcely be any higher.
Prepare yourselves for 180 minutes on pure adrenaline!
Tractor Boys Aim To End Losing Streak[quote_right]Ipswich have lost each of their last four derbies against Norwich, their worst ever run against their rivals.[/quote_right]Mick McCarthy’s men have enjoyed an incredible season given their financial restrictions but the Tractor Boys have really struggled in the derby recently, suffering a record four straight defeats against Norwich. There couldn’t be a better time to put things right than Saturday’s clash at Portman Road.
The first leg is must win territory for Ipswich and McCarthy’s men will be confident as they enter this clash on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run at home, which includes eight goals in the past three matches alone. The addition of Freddie Sears has certainly helped take some pressure away from top scorer Daryl Murphy and the deadly duo could cause real problems for the opposing defence.[quote_center]Click here to grab a £50 free bet at Paddy Power[/quote_center]
However, Ipswich’s success has also been built on a strong defence and the Tractor Boys will be pleased with conceding just 18 home goals all term. One clean sheet in nine home fixtures is a worry, particularly against such a formidable Norwich frontline, but the hosts certainly have no reason to be frightened.
Reaching the play-offs was a huge achievement in itself. Maybe, just maybe, the underdogs have another moment of inspiration up their sleeves.
Can Canaries Sing Their Way To Premier League?[quote_right]Only champions Bournemouth (573) had more shots in the Championship than Norwich this campaign (570).[/quote_right]Norwich were the form side following Alex Neil’s appointment shortly after the season’s midpoint and the Canaries will consider themselves unlucky not to have secured automatic promotion to the Premier League. However, the Canaries are fancied to bounce back to the top flight with victory over the Tractor Boys, followed by a play-off final win on May 25th.
The Canaries not only won 15 of their final 22 matches this term, they additionally boast the Championship’s joint best away record. These two facts will inspire huge confidence as they make the short trip to Portman Road and the yellow army will be extremely optimistic about seeing their team advance at the expense of their fiercest rivals.
However, the suspension of key man Lewis Grabban will be a big miss for the Canaries. Fortunately, the Canaries have plenty of other capable goalgetters that should compensate for Grabban’s absence.
Had Neil been at the helm since day one, there is a strong chance Norwich would already be back in the Premiership. Can they rise to the challenge by singing all the way to Wembley? Judging by their recent form, it’s hard to say no.
Ipswich Town V Norwich City Betting Tips
Despite conceding home advantage in this first leg, Norwich have been established as slight favourites at 7/5 with Bet365. Meanwhile, the Tractor Boys can be backed at 9/4 while the draw is available at 23/10.
Passions will be running high ahead of this one and both teams will be out to claim the ultimate local bragging rights. With this in mind, we think it’ll be a game of goals.
Both teams are blessed with capable strikers whilst five of Ipswich’s last six have ended with a minimum of three goals. We’re backing that sequence to continue here.
[quote_center]Over 2.5 match goals @ 6/5 with Paddy Power[/quote_center]
Whilst form is a little irrelevant at this stage, Norwich do appear to have Ipswich’s card marked right now and there’s a good chance they’ll put their terrific away record to good use at Portman Road.
In light of Grabban’s absence, we’re backing Gary Hooper to shine. The former Celtic man has been brilliant under the new gaffer and could emphasise his importance to the cause by breaking the deadlock.
[quote_center]Gary Hooper to score first @ 11/2 with Bet365[/quote_center]