Can Paul Lambert kick-start sorry Ipswich's season?
It’s been a wretched season so far for Ipswich Town. Paul Hurst has come and gone, and with 11 points from their 17 matches – already five points from safety at the bottom of The Championship – the Tractor Boys have brought in ex-Norwich boss Paul Lambert to drag them out of this mess.
The visit of West Brom – the Championship’s top-scorers with 37 goals – will prove to be another very tough assignment for Ipswich, and I’m expecting the Baggies to return to the Black Country with all three points.
Town’s form at Portman Road is certainly better than on their travels: they have only lost twice (though these two defeats have come in their last three home matches) and the rest have been drawn. Their last home result – a 1-1 draw with ten-man Preston (who had an outfielder in goal for the last 20 minutes) – sums up the lack of belief and quality around the place.
The Baggies emphatically ended a run of four matches without a win before the international break: beating Leeds United 4-1. With momentum on their side, and West Brom’s mini-blip a thing of the past, I can’t see past them winning this.
While they generally score goals for fun, West Brom have certainly had trouble keeping them out. Darren Moore’s side have conceded in all but one league match this season, and have looked leaky at the back all season.
Ipswich have a similar problem in defence – also registering just one clean sheet this season – though they already look a little more adventurous under Paul Lambert, scoring three in their last two.
The stats scream towards both teams scoring, and it’s an outcome I’m very much predicting.
We’ll round things off with a massive 10/1 RAB: Freddie Sears and Jay Rodriguez to score at any time, and either team to win.
Sears has scored in his last two league appearances, and looks like one of the few Town players capable of finding the net on a semi-regular basis.
Rodriguez, with eight goals this season, has formed a great strike partnership with Dwight Gayle, and will be keen to add to his tally against an Ipswich side who have conceded 28 league goals.
These two are arguably the respective sides’ biggest goal threats, and at 10/1, it’s certainly worth considering.