It’s top vs bottom in The Championship on Sunday, is it as plain sailing as it looks? Or do The Tractor Boys have some hope at upsetting the odds?
The Canaries 3-1 win at Leeds last week was the most pivotal result of their season, and possibly for the whole of The Championship thus far. A Mario Vrancic double and a goal from Teemu Pukki put the game well out of sight before Patrick Bamford had netted in to injury time. It wasn’t just a result that gave Norwich a numerical edge in the title race, it was a real statement of intent. They went to Elland Road and carved Leeds apart, they played on the front foot with no fear. At a glance Norwich’s form looks relatively poor, with just two wins in their last six. However they’ll be content with that, a point away at West Brom was a solid result, and although they would’ve wanted a win at home to rivals Sheffield United; a point will suffice. The biggest disappointment came at home to Derby at the end of December as The Canaries were beaten 4-3 at Carrow Road by Frank Lampard’s play off hopefuls.
Norwich have what would be considered a favourable run of games, based on league positions. After this tie they face Preston and Bolton, and nine points will be the only option for the players. With Leeds facing a tough trip to Middlesbrough early on Saturday, Norwich could know that they have the opportunity to go clear on points rather than just goal difference. It’s crunch time for Norwich and they’ll be keen to assert their dominance on lowly Ipswich.
Ipswich Town have won just once away from home this campaign, it’s been an arduous season so far and it shows little sign of letting up. On the road this season, The Tractor Boys are the second lowest scorers with just nine goals in 15 away fixtures. They have also conceded the most on their travels, shipping 31. They have a grand total of just five away points. In addition they have lost by two or more goals a staggering 11 times, a stat which makes for difficult reading given the strength of attack they face on Sunday. Norwich -1 handicap result could have some value here, priced at 2.1.
Ipswich have struggled to create chances throughout the season, their main hope for a goal is Freddie Sears. He has managed just 11 shots on target in the league. He has however, scored six of them, and Norwich will still be very wary of the threat he poses. If you fancy Sears to cause a stir, the Ipswich forward can be backed at a lengthy 11.0 first or 5.0 anytime.
Teemu Pukki Norwich’s top scorer this season, and is the third top scorer in the division. He has helped himself to 18 goals and has scored in each of his last three league outings. 15 of his goals have come in the 14 of his goals have came in the second half, with six of those coming from the 76th minute onwards. He is priced at 4.0 to score the last goal of the match, with anytime priced at 1.83 and first at 3.75.
The Finnish forward isn’t the only threat Norwich have of course, with so many goals scored this season there has been goals all over the pitch. Perfectly demonstrated by Mario vrancic’s double at Leeds, which sees him move on to seven goals for the season. Onel Hernandez has six for himself and further six assists. Should Pukki need the help, Jordan Rhodes has been waiting in the wings to help on multiple occasions. Rhodes has played less than half the minutes of his counterpart but has managed an impressive nine goals, meaning he finds the net every 113 minutes. He’s at 2.1 anytime, and 4.5 last.
Teemu Pukki to score last @ 4.0
Norwich -1 @ 2.1
Norwich to win the second half @ 1.67