Wolves v Ipswich: Expect goals in the race for a play-off place

Wolves v Ipswich
Saturday, 12:15
Live on Sky Sports 1

Wolves

Successive 2-1 defeats away from home in the past week have put a huge dent in Wolves’ attempts to secure themselves a play-off spot and Kenny Jackett knows that defeat here could now all but extinguish those hopes. They were blown away by Middlesbrough’s red-hot opening salvoes on Tuesday night and despite an impressive second-half performance couldn’t get back on level terms.

Last time out at Molineux Wolves were rather fortunate to beat Leeds, squandering a 3-1 lead before grabbing a late winner. However, they have lost just once at home since early December so are certainly in good form in front of their own fans, netting 21 times in the last six of those matches. And the last time they failed to score at home was at the end of January.

Benik Afobe has 30 goals overall this season and forms a triple attacking threat along with Bakary Sako (14) and Nouha Dicko (12), which should give the visiting defence plenty to think about.

Ipswich

In contrast to their hosts here, Town have picked up six points in the past week with two home wins over lower table opposition (Blackpool and Cardiff), which has moved them back into sixth place, three points above Wolves and also Brentford. Crucially Mick McCarthy‘s men also have a superior goal difference to both of that pair.

They have lost four of their last five away from home during a tough run which has seen them visit three of the top four, the only exception being the expertly-planned tactical performance at Watford which brought that vital 1-0 win at the end of last month.

Striker Freddie Sears has scored four times in the last four games and his emergence as an alternative threat has lifted some of the burden on top-scorer Daryl Murphy and means that simply aiming to mark him out of the game is no longer a strategy opponents can rely on.

Over/Under 2.5 goals

In winning League One last season, the foundations of Wolves’ success were built upon the best defence in the division and they began this campaign in similar vein, with a series of clean sheets helping them to an early position in the top third of the table. After the poor run before Christmas they seem to undergone something of a transformation though and lately have become a side who score with ease but concede plenty too.

They haven’t failed to score for 12 games and sitting three points behind their opponents here with an inferior goal difference, they really need the win and will have to come out all guns blazing. This should lead to an open, attacking game and while they have plenty of firepower in the trio mentioned above they will no doubt leave some holes at the back for their opponents to exploit on the break.

I was slightly surprised to see over 2.5 goals available to back at better than evens [2.04] and that stands out as the first recommended bet for this fixture.

Both Teams to Score

Following on from the above, the [1.82] available about both teams to score seems to represents good value here. BTTS has landed in each of the last four games for both sides and Ipswich have found the target in five of their last six away from home. They have plenty of big men and possess a strong threat from set-pieces with Murphy capable of both converting chances or creating them for his team-mates as McCarthy’s side look to get the ball into the box as early and often as possible.

As previously stated, Wolves will have to take a few risks as they look for goals – a draw would leave them still three points behind the visitors with just two games to play and Town at home next week. I don’t think they can afford to allow that to happen and have to go for the win, committing plenty of men forward and ensuring we see some end-to end stuff with both sides getting on the scoresheet.

Recommended Bets
Back over 2.5 goals at [2.04]

Back both teams to score at [1.82]

2014/15 P/L

Staked: 125 pts
Returned: 124.12 pts
P/L: – 0.88 pts

*2pts best bet if stated
1pt other recommended bets