Friday 3rd April 2015, Portman Road. Live on Sky Sports 1. Kick-off 5:15pm.
We’re back to domestic football with a bang as two Championship promotion rivals meet at Portman Road where Ipswich Town welcome league-leaders Bournemouth.
The Cherries are in pole position to clinch top spot, sitting one point clear of second-placed Watford, while Mick McCarthy’s sixth-placed Tractor Boys are only six points shy of Friday’s opponents.
The South Coast outfit headed into last weekend’s international break riding a six-game undefeated streak and will be buoyant after beating fellow title challengers Middlesbrough 3-0 courtesy of a pair of penalties.
Despite their lofty position, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe doesn’t want his players to concentrate on anything further than their next game.
“It’s all about keeping this group concentrated on the short-term objectives,” the 37-year-old boss told Sport360.“The only way I can do that is by commenting on the short-term objectives which is the next game. Next season isn’t in our thoughts. People say we have got a decent run-in but the Championship has proved that no game is easy and no-one gives you anything.”
The Tractor Boys clinched three points to climb into a Play Off place before the international break, beating Watford 1-0.
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy is relishing another encounter against a title challenger and won’t be holding back in their pursuit of promotion.
“In my opinion, Bournemouth are the best team in the league so we know what is ahead but it’s a challenge that we are relishing – and we have beaten ‘the best teams in the league’ before at Portman Road,” McCarthy told itfc.co.uk
“We will be going for it, no question about that and if we do win, we will be within three points off Bournemouth.”
The last three meetings between the sides have ended in stalemates, and a draw can be found at 12/5 with Bet365.
However, the difference in this game might be found in Ipswich’s home form versus Bournemouth’s record on the road. The Suffolk outfit is Friday’s underdog but have lost just one of their last six games at Portman Road while the Cherries have taken just four points from their four most recent away trips.
Back an Ipswich Town win with BetVictor at 21/10.
Ipswich Town to win 21/10 (BetVictor – get a £25 welcome bonus today)