Football – England – Championship
Saturday 16th February 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Ipswich Town take on mid-table Blackpool at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon as they make a bid to climb away from the relegation zone and relative safety.
Ipswich’s results overall have been a bit up and down recently with an encouraging point at Championship leaders Cardiff City, a disappointing point at home to Barnsley, a 4-0 thumping of play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough at home which was sandwiched between two away defeats at Bristol City and rising Blackburn Rovers.
However, at Portman Road, The Tractor Boys have been a bit more consistent having lost just once in their last eight on home soil which was a 0-3 loss to Brighton but bear in mind that Brighton have the second best away form in the Championship to Charlton Athletic outside the top six teams. A 3-0 win over Millwall in early December along with draws against Bristol City and Barnsley have kept Ipswich Town out of trouble so far, and they should have enough to at least avoid defeat again today.
Ipswich’s home record stands at 4-5-6 21/22 with Daryl Murphy (6 goals) leading the goalscoring but he now has former Peterborough striker Aaron Mclean partnering him up front along with Carlos Edwards (4 assists) and experienced striker Michael Chopra on the bench.
Visitors Blackpool have chalked up just two wins from their last nine matches which were a 2-1 win at Wolves and last weekend’s 2-1 win over Millwall but defeats against Wolves (at home), Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic, Cardiff City and a disappointing 1-2 loss at home to Barnsley means that The Seasiders are now only an outside chance of making the play-offs.
Away from home, Blackpool have produced some mixed results recently with wins at Sheffield Wednesday, Peterborough United and Wolves, draws at Bristol City, Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town and losses at Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic. Their away record stands at 5-4-6 22/24 but they’ve kept just two clean sheets from their last seventeen away matches which I believe gives Ipswich the edge here today.
These two teams have been inconsistent away from home recently, but Ipswich have been the more steady at home and given they’re back at Portman Road this Saturday I’ll hand the advantage to the Tractor Boys with the round ball but they could nick this perhaps 2-1.
Pick: Ipswich Town AH0 (Draw No Bet) @ 1.80 bet365 which looks a fair price