Wolves welcome Ipswich for must-win match in play-off place race
With just three games to go in the current Championship campaign, promotion play-off hopefuls Wolverhampton Wanderers (5/4 with Coral to win) host rivals Ipswich, who currently sit in the coveted sixth place spot.
Tractor Boys tactician Mick McCarthy’s return to The Molineux to face his former club is an intriguing subplot, but the ex-Wolves boss will take a backseat as all eyes remain on the play-off push.
Wolves have suffered two successive defeats and now find themselves placed in an inadequate eighth, three points behind their visitors.
Despite two turnovers on the trot, however, the Molineux men are strong on home turf, where they have not lost since February, and are now 12/5 to split the spoils.
With only nine points left to play for, however, Kenny Jackett’s boys should be going for the jugular and are 9/2 to net three or more.
Wolves will be relying on their terrific trident of Bakary Sako (a tempting 2/1 in the anytime market), Nouha Dicko (7/4) and ex-Arsenal striker Benik Afobe (5/4) to attack Ispwich.
The talented trio have notched 10 of the hosts’ last 13 goals, and Afobe in particular has excelled and enthralled since his winter window switch from the Emirates. The 22-year-old Englishman is a fantastic 5/1 to fire home first after striking an excellent 11 in 18 appearances.
Ipswich, meanwhile, are a tasty 2/1 to triumph on their travels, having lost to Wolves just twice in their last seven duels. The Tractor Boys also took the spoils from the reverse earlier this term, but coach Jackett believes his team have improved defensively since then and can provide a sterner test.
The Wanderers coach told media: “Certainly defensively we’ve tightened up and made strong efforts to avoid conceding soft goals.
“If the opposition are going to score against us, let’s make sure they’re good goals, not goals we feel disappointed in ourselves for making it easy for them.”
Wolves’ case is strengthened by Ipswich’s poor recent record on the road, as McCarthy’s men have only won one of their last four away encounters.
The visitors have been victorious in their past two outings, however, and boast dangerous Daryl Murphy, who has 22 for the term so far and was on target last time out.
Having bagged a brace against the Molineux men already this campaign, Murphy is a majestic 9/1 to score two or more again, or 6/1 to have the final say.
Fellow forward Freddie Sears, meanwhile, is second-top Ipswich scorer and has four from his last four appearances, making the in-form sharpshooter a superb 7/1 to strike first, or 2/1 to make an impact anytime.