League leaders Sheffield Wednesday travel to Portman Road to face Ipswich on Saturday afternoon, in what is arguably the pick of the Football League matches this weekend.
The hosts currently occupy 3rd place in the League One table despite their recent dip in form. The Blues have gathered a total of 55 points so far this campaign, following 15 wins, 10 draws and 4 defeats.
After their blistering start to this season's campaign, Ipswich’s form as of late has been inconsistent to say the least. The Blues have only won two of their last eight league games and now find themselves six points outside of the automatic promotion places.
Whilst they are still the highest scoring team in League One, having scored 54 times so far this season, defensive errors have started to hamper Ipswich’s league progression. The Blue’s have only recorded two clean sheets in their last ten league outings and have conceded late on in games against the likes of Oxford and Plymouth.
Ipswich featured in a FA Cup 4th round replay on Tuesday night as they travelled to Turf Moor to take on the Championship leaders. The initial tie had finished goalless in a game devoid of clear cut chances. The game looked to be heading for extra time as both teams had scored early in the first period and neither could find a second goal.
However, a 94th minute winner for the hosts destroyed Ipswich’s dreams of the FA Cup 5th round. Now that Ipswich are out of all the domestic cup competitions, Kieran McKenna may be thankful that all of his resources can be focused on promotion to the Championship.
Sheffield Wednesday have climbed to the summit of the league One table following a remarkable run of form that has seen the Owls go unbeaten in their last sixteen league games, having won their last six.
Under Darren Moore, Wednesday’s defence has become impenetrable, with the Owl’s having recorded a clean sheet in each of their last five league games. The defensive partnership of Dominic Iorfa and Liam Palmer has been pivotal to their defensive prowess.
The Owls were also eliminated from the FA Cup on Tuesday night as they faced Fleetwood in a 4th round replay. The tie ended 1-0 to Fleetwood after a 60th minute winner from Carlos Mendes Gomes. Similarly to Ipswich, Sheffield are now out off all domestic competitions and can now focus on ensuring promotion back to the second tier.
Sheffield Wednesday have dominated recent meetings between these two sides, in fact the last time that Ipswich recorded a home win against the Owls came in August 2015. The last five encounters of these sides have resulted in three Sheffield wins and two draws.
An 89th minute equaliser for Sheffield ensured that the points were shared when these sides met earlier on in the campaign. Ipswich were leading the match by two goals heading into the last fifteen minutes of the game, before late Wednesday goals from George Byers and Michael Smith rescued a point for the Owls.
Ipswich are the home favourites heading into this weekend’s clash and are currently priced @ 19/20 to come out on top, whilst an away win for Sheffield is priced @ 11/4. We are backing Sheffield to win here due to their far superior form heading into this tie. We believe that Sheffield's attacking quality, in the form of Michael Smith and Josh Windass ,may be able to expose Ipswich’s defensive frailties.