Football – England – Championship
Saturday 9th February 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Mid-table Blackburn Rovers take on Ipswich Town at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon as the hosts look to continue their slow but steady progress up the table and a win here could see them go level with Burnley who are currently in 7th place.
Since the departure of Henning Berg, Blackburn have put some impressive wins together including a 3-1 away win at Barnsley, 3-0 over Nottingham Forest and last weekend’s 2-0 home win over Bristol City. In between those wins they’ve also taken points at Molineux (1-1 v Wolves) and a 1-1 home draw with 8th placed Brighton.
Blackburn’s home form stands at 7-2-6 18/17 and you just can’t rule out Rovers at home in this one with a certain Mr.Rhodes in the line-up; 18 goals and 4 assists has been his league return so far this season as he continues his prolific goalscoring streak and I daresay numerous Premier league clubs are getting ready to table bids once summer rolls around. Nuno Gomes (4 goals) and Kazim-Richards (3 goals, 3 assists) are in support along with play-maker Morten Gamst Pedersen (7 assists), and they should create plenty of chances this afternoon.
With just one win from their last five league outings, Ipswich Town are not in great shape as they prepare for their trip up north. With defeats against Brighton 0-3 at home, and an important 1-2 loss at Bristol City, last weekend’s win over Middlesbrough 4-0 would have been a welcome boost for the Tractor Boys.
Ipswich did also get a point at Cardiff City back in mid-January but they do have to contend with clinical Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes today and their defence which has kept just 3 clean sheets from their last fourteen away matches may well not cope. Ipswich’s away record stands at 5-3-7 12/29 with only Huddersfield Town (32 goals conceded) having a worse defensive record away from home in the Championship.
Daryl Murphy (6 goals) is their leading goalscorer but Ipswich tend to struggle for goals away from home and they’ve failed to score on six occasions so far and new signing Aaron Mclean may need more time to gel with his team-mates.
Blackburn have improved recently at home and with Rhodes up front, you have to give them the edge in this one against a leaky Ipswich defence – could be a 2-1 win for Blackburn but give the quarter ball as it softens the blow if Rovers don’t win.
Pick; Blackburn Rovers AH-0.25 @ 1.70 Pinnacle