Bristol City aim to move back into Championship play-off contention with a positive performance against rock-bottom Ipswich on Tuesday night. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter.
"Despite their struggles, Town are generating 1.27 Expected Goals (xG) over their most recent five contests, landing 23 strikes on-target in that sample."
Bristol City v Ipswich
Tuesday March 12, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports
Bristol City suffer damaging defeat
Bristol City slipped to seventh in the Championship standings on Saturday after suffering a damaging 1-0 home defeat to high-flying Leeds at Ashton Gate. The Robins put in a limp performance and never looked like being able to breakdown the athletic and organised visitors, mustering just four attempts at goal to their opponents' 16.
Marlon Pack came closest to notching with two opportunities, whilst Famara Diedhiou wasted City's best opportunity on the stroke of half-time, taking a heavy touch instead of shooting when well placed. And it was not until the final 10 minutes that Lee Johnson's team forced major pressure upon the away side as they came up short.
Johnson handed a first start to 19-year-old forward Antoine Semenyo on Saturday with the highly-rated teen lining up on the left of a 4-2-3-1 system, with Diedhiou in advance. With goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa unable to make it following his calf complaint, Max O'Leary was given a start making it two academy graduates in the starting XI for the home side.
Ipswich impress at The Hawthorns
Ipswich manager Paul Lambert was left perplexed as to how his Town side failed to pick up maximum points away at promotion-chasing West Brom on Saturday. The Tractor Boys won the shot count 22-16 at The Hawthorns and landed seven shots on-target in an impressive effort from the rock-bottom outfit, particularly after half-time.
The hosts looked on course for a win when taking a five-minute lead with a deflected free-kick. Goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski made a string of smart first-half stops to keep Ipswich in the game before Lambert's men took charge of proceedings; Jon Nolan levelled after the interval and Town could have snatched victory when Kayden Jackson was twice denied late on.
Lambert said, "I've come away [from games] thinking 'how the hell have we lost?' It's not over, that's for sure." The Scot returned to a back-four at the weekend with Matthew Pennington, Trevoh Chalobah and James Collins all missing out through injury or illness. Nolan and Teddy Bishop impressed in the midfield of a 4-3-3 system at The Hawthorns.
Don't dismiss Town as no-hopers
Bristol City have enjoyed the upper hand in this fixture over recent years. The Robins have W6-D2-L1 in the duos past nine encounters since 2012/13, claiming top honours in each of the last three meetings, as well as the past four contests at Ashton Gate.
Bristol City are just [1.57] to enhance that record on Tuesday night despite arriving on the back of a four-match winless streak in the Championship. Lee Johnson's outfit have collected a solitary point from a possible 12 (W0-D1-L3) to drop out of top-six contention. The hosts have also tabled only seven triumphs in 18 Ashton Gate outings this term.
Ipswich [7.40] have looked doomed in their battle against the drop since October, although the Suffolk side have shown a competitive side since Paul Lambert pitched up. Since a derby defeat to Norwich at the start of February, the Tractor Boys have produced a series of eye-catching efforts and don't deserve to be dismissed as no-hopers this midweek.
Both sides can oblige at Ashton Gate
Saturday saw Bristol City fail to score for the first time since Bonfire Night in the Championship. The Reds may have struggled to create consistent goalscoring openings against Leeds but they should be capable of breaching an Ipswich defence that's recorded only three shutouts across the campaign.
Despite their struggles, Town are generating 1.27 Expected Goals (xG) over their most recent five contests, landing 23 strikes on-target in that sample. Therefore, odds of [2.16] available on Both Teams To Score looks a little too big to ignore here considering City have leaked in seven of nine home encounters with bottom-half teams this season.
Mark's 2018/19 Profit/Loss
Staked: 120.00 pts
Returned: 123.31 pts
P/L: +3.31 pts
Mark O’Haire says: back Both Teams To Score @ 2.16 in Bristol City v Ipswich