Ipswich v Norwich - Sunday 12:00, Sky Sports 1
Ipswich are playing the role of derby underdogs to a tee. The pressure’s all on Norwich, says Christophe Berra. The Portman Road faithful are fearing the Canaries, according to Mick McCarthy. But come Sunday lunchtime, the pervading mood will be anything but inferiority and the home win has to be backed at 13/5.
Derbies, by default, are pick-em contests. Only at the very highest level or late in the season do they tend to be predictably one-sided affairs. At a push, Norwich might be favourites by virtue of their Premier League pedigree but anything above 2/1 for the Blues is madness. They scored four goals in their last home game, against a Barnsley side that has since beaten Derby and QPR.
The Canaries also netted four times on the opening weekend but their demolition of Blackburn has since been mitigated by subsequent results. While Rovers have been rolling over for Wigan and Cardiff, Alex Neil’s men have made heavy weather of home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City, creating hardly anything of note from open play.
As ever when the disparity between tissue and market is so great, there’s an opportunity to take even bigger value about the fancied side winning handsomely. Given the context, Norwich couldn’t possibly sit back and accept a narrow defeat, so take the 8/1 available on Ipswich to clear the -1 handicap.