Sports Betting Weekly

Ipswich Town v Bournemouth

When: Friday, 03 April 2015 @ 23:15 (FINISHED)
Where: Portman Road
League leaders Bournemouth will have a fight on their hands when they look to extend their lead at the top of the Championship on Friday, as they face a resurgent Ipswich Town side who can close the gap on top spot to just three points with victory.

Such is the nature of the Championship and the fine margins between success and failure that sixth-placed Ipswich could end the day in either fourth or eighth position depending on the outcome of the game and other matches in this week’s round of fixtures. One advantage both teams will have, however, is that due to their later kick-off time, they will both know exactly what is required of them as they step over the white line and the full ramifications of defeat or victory.

Ipswich will be hoping that struggling Fulham can sort themselves out enough to overcome Brentford – who are currently one point behind the Tractor Boys – while also hoping that Nottingham Forest can take all three points against eighth-placed Wolves at The City Ground.

As for Bournemouth, manager Eddie Howe will be sure to keep a close eye on proceedings at The Riverside Stadium as Middlesbrough take on relegation-threatened Wigan – who will be tricky customers following four straight away wins – and at the Amex, where Brighton face Norwich. Ultimately however, if you sort your own shop out, you don’t need to worry about anything else.

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy will be given a huge boost ahead of the final stretch of the season now that he feels the injury situation – which coincided with a dip in form for the club – is clearing up at Portman Road, and this could certainly hand his side an advantage over the rest of the chasing pack.

It’s been 13 years since Ipswich were last in the Premier League and it will be results against the likes of Bournemouth that determine whether the Suffolk-based club can do something about changing that – be it via the play-offs or the automatic promotion positions.

Meanwhile, following their highly impressive 3-0 win over Middlesbrough last week, Cherries boss Howe hopes that in beating a promotion rival, his side have gained an invaluable psychological edge which will carry them over the line and into the Premier League without the need of the play-offs.

Doing so would complete a remarkable rise for the Dorset club – who have never been in the Premier League – especially since they were playing in League One just two seasons ago.

Perhaps owing to their superior league standing, Bournemouth go into the game as slight favourites and are listed at 3/2 in spite of some shaky away form, which has seen them record just two wins in their last seven outings on the road. That said, Ipswich’s home form hasn’t been much better with three wins in eight, and this has left them priced at 85/40. A draw is available at 12/5, and with the respective form of both sides, would be well worth a bet but for the recent international break.

Ipswich’s most likely outlet for goals will again come in the form of the Championship’s top scorer, Daryl Murphy, despite the striker having gone through a bit of a barren patch recently – the 32-year-old, who has 23 goals this season, has just two strikes in his last eight matches.

Nevertheless, the Irish striker is available at 13/2 to open the scoring or 23/10 to net anytime. As for Bournemouth, Callum Wilson is most likely to bag for the Cherries, though again he is on an awful run of form at the moment with one in nine. He is 11/2 to score first or 19/10 to score at anytime.