Championship leaders Bournemouth battle play-off hopefuls Ipswich

Championship leaders Bournemouth will travel to Portman Road aiming to extend their lead at the summit with a victory over play-off contenders Ipswich Town.

The hosts, 2/1 with Coral to triumph, currently sit in a promising sixth position, a single point ahead of Brentford in a play-off position, while the Cherries have impressively climbed a point above Watford at top spot.

Eddie Howe’s men, 7/5 to win, come into the clash on the better run of form, having gone unbeaten in six consecutive domestic league outings, including four clinical victories. This is a slight contrast to Mick McCarthy’s side, who have won just two of their previous six Championship fixtures.

As the season draws to a thrilling finale, both second tier teams will be hoping to secure a vital three points which could potentially catapult them towards a vastly rewarding promotion to the Premier League. However, the last three encounters between the sides have ended in a score draw, and a fourth consecutive stalemate is a 12/5 chance.

Both managers recently secured signings in the final week of the emergency loan transfer window, with the new arrivals seemingly likely to feature at Portman Road. Bournemouth boss Howe revealed top scorer Callum Wilson is a major doubt, meaning new temporary signing Kenwyne Jones could make his debut.

The former Sunderland and Stoke City forward is a 19/10 chance to net anytime on his maiden appearance for the automatic promotion favourites, while fellow attacker Matt Ritchie is 14/5 to score anytime, having struck in his previous two outings in this fixture.

McCarthy’s Tractor Boys have plenty of in-form forwards of their own, with star striker Daryl Murphy having recently returned to his club after being included in the Republic of Ireland squad for a Euro 2016 qualifying clash against Poland.

The Irish sharpshooter was an unused substitute in his nation’s 1-1 draw, but he has struck a superb 23 goals this current Championship campaign and is 5/1 to strike the last goal in his latest appearance. His fellow international squad player Harry Arter has enjoyed a successful goalscoring term for Bournemouth and is a 13/5 chance to net again anytime.