EFL Championship

Blackburn v Ipswich: Back Tractor Boys at evens on Good Friday

Kieran McKenna - Ipswich manager
Ipswich are just a point off the Championship promotion places

In-form Ipswich look to put further pressure on in the Championship promotion race with a positive result at Blackburn on Good Friday. Betfair writer Mark O'Haire is backing the Blues at Ewood Park.


Blackburn 3.8514/5 boss John Eustace piled on the praise for his players following a goalless draw at Middlesbrough before the international break. Rovers drew their sixth match in eight Championship games at The Riverside Stadium, though it was an encouraging effort from the visitors, who restricted Boro to few clear-cut sights at Aynsley Pears' goal.

Eustace said: "I thought with and without the ball we were outstanding. We had a very good week on the training ground. We are really disappointed that we didn't win the game. We showed great character in difficult moments and got through that. We are disappointed not to win but I'm delighted we didn't lose. With a bit of luck, we could've won it."

After approaching recent weeks with a back-five, Eustace changed shape on Teesside with a four-man defence, while Sondre Tronstad returned in midfield. The Norwegian impressed in a holding role alongside John Buckley and the Blackburn chief admitted he's pleased to have options available again following a rough run with injuries at the club.

# TEAM P W D L GF GA PTS xGF xGA xGD EXP FCST
1 Leicester 46 31 4 11 89 41 97 0 0 0
2 Ipswich 46 28 12 6 92 57 96 0 0 0
3 Leeds 46 27 9 10 81 43 90 0 0 0
4 Southampton 46 26 9 11 87 63 87 0 0 0
5 West Bromwich 46 21 12 13 70 47 75 0 0 0
6 Norwich 46 21 10 15 79 64 73 0 0 0
7 Hull 46 19 13 14 68 60 70 0 0 0
8 Middlesbrough 46 20 9 17 71 62 69 0 0 0
9 Coventry 46 17 13 16 70 59 64 0 0 0
10 Preston 46 18 9 19 56 67 63 0 0 0
11 Bristol City 46 17 11 18 53 51 62 0 0 0
12 Cardiff 46 19 5 22 53 70 62 0 0 0
13 Millwall 46 16 11 19 45 55 59 0 0 0
14 Swansea 46 15 12 19 59 65 57 0 0 0
15 Watford 46 13 17 16 61 61 56 0 0 0
16 Sunderland 46 16 8 22 52 54 56 0 0 0
17 Stoke 46 15 11 20 49 60 56 0 0 0
18 QPR 46 15 11 20 47 58 56 0 0 0
19 Blackburn 46 14 11 21 60 74 53 0 0 0
20 Sheff Wed 46 15 8 23 44 68 53 0 0 0
21 Plymouth 46 13 12 21 59 70 51 0 0 0
22 Birmingham 46 13 11 22 50 65 50 0 0 0
23 Huddersfield 46 9 18 19 48 77 45 0 0 0
24 Rotherham 46 5 12 29 37 89 27 0 0 0
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Ipswich 1.991/1 thrashed Sheffield Wednesday 6-0 at Portman Road in their last outing before the international break. Omari Hutchinson and Ali Al-Hamadi both bagged braces around goals from Cameron Burgess and Nathan Broadhead. The Blues registered their biggest win of the campaign to sit just a solitary point outside of the automatic promotion places.

Tractor Boys' boss Kieran McKenna made three changes to his team with Harry Clarke and Jeremy Sarmiento dropping to the bench, while Conor Chaplin was unavailable through injury. They were replaced in the side by Axel Tuanzebe, Broadhead and Hutchinson respectively with the latter catching the eye.

Speaking post-match, McKenna described his team's display as 'outstanding', saying: "I thought we were outstanding, pretty much from the first minute to the last. In all phases of the game, we showed our identity, our style, our culture in the group. The relentlessness of it was what I liked the most - there was real determination to deliver for the 90+ minutes."

Town attractive at evens

Despite signs of potential progress under Eustace, Blackburn remain mired in the Championship relegation scrap, sitting only three points above the drop-zone. Rovers have won twice since the start of December (W2-D8-L10), managing only two clean sheets in 21 league dates. The hosts have also returned W4-D4-L10 against top-half team this term.

Ipswich have picked up top honours in seven of their past eight encounters (W7-D0-L1), as well as securing W23-D5-L2 when facing-off against teams outside of the top-six - that includes W9-D4-L2 outside of Portman Road. The Blues have scored in every away day at sides outside the play-off positions, striking at least twice in nine of those 15 fixtures.

Back Ipswich @ 1.991/1

Bet here

Ipswich were as short as 1.768/11 when travelling to Cardiff in their most recent road trip, so the opportunity to support the Tractor Boys at [1.99] shouldn't be dismissed. The aforementioned numbers make a persuasive case for supporting McKenna's men.


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