Bank Holiday football from the Championship continues as Newcastle look to take maximum points as they face Ipswich at Portman Road this afternoon while Brighton take on Wigan (KO 15:00).
The pressure is really mounting on Newcastle as they look to keep in touch with Championship pacesetters Brighton, who look to be steam rolling their way to Championship glory.
The Toon were dealt a hammerblow on the weekend as Chris Wood’s late goal grabbed a point for Garry Monk’s Leeds Utd, and with Brighton winning 2-0 at Wolves, there is now daylight between the top two sides who have been going toe to toe each week for Championship supremacy.
Brighton, who have a very winnable home game against Wigan now have a four point advantage over Newcastle, and with only four games left, maximum points really are a must as Rafa Benitez’s side travel to Portman Road.
Its not all doom and gloom for Newcastle however, with a healthy eight point lead over third placed Huddersfield, and they should claim an automatic promotion spot come the end of the season. but there’s little doubt the side need to take something from the game today to ease the pressure and keep the chasing pack at bay.
Ipswich have seen something of a recovery in recent months in the Championship, and are proving tough to beat at the moment. Its only two defeats in their last thirteen in the league, and Mick McCarthy has done a tremendous job with the Tractor Boys now sitting in 15th place, nine points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle still boast the best away record in the Championship, having taken a staggering 43 points on their travels from only 21 games played, but in recent weeks their form has dipped, and a loss against Sheffield Wednesday last time out at Hillsborough will have been tough to take.
The loss of top scorer Dwight Gayle, who is also out of today’s match with hamstring trouble has been a blow to the side, although they still possess plenty quality throughout the squad.
The Newcastle away win is the most backed result here, although their odds of 4/5 look a little on the skinny side considering the recent form of Ipswich.
The Tractor Boys have drawn three of their last four at Portman Road and we could see a similar result this afternoon, with both sides happy to take a point. Bet365 have a best priced 9/4 on the draw and that looks well worth a punt.
Those looking for a touch more value could do worse than back the 0-0 correct score at 8/1, or the 1-1 correct score at 7/1, both of which offer significant appeal to punters.
Will there be a dramatic twist in the Championship race today? Probably not.
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