VINCE BLISSETT (@Vince_RFC) takes a look at Sunday's East Anglian derby between Norwich and Ipswich. What you backing Vince?
Norwich v Ipswich | Sunday 12:00 | Sky Sports 2
The East Anglian derby takes centre stage on Sunday lunchtime as Ipswich make the trip to Norwich for what could be an entertaining game. Both of these teams have had rough patches earlier in the season resulting in both managers coming under big pressure. Both clubs stuck by their men though and have been rewarded in part for doing so.
Under pressure managers
Alex Neil has turned things around at Norwich after a slump and look set for a late push for a playoff place. You’d have to say that if they get there then the Canaries could be the ones to beat. But they should really be pushing for an automatic promotion spot.
Mick McCarthy on the other hand has just carried on doing his thing. They’ve been between 14th and 18th pretty much all season and is exactly where I’d expect to see them at this stage.
All the stats put them in that region too so the pressure on big Mick was possibly unjustified. They did have a long run of not scoring though which obviously doesn’t help but the scoring touch came back and now safety heading for mid table obscurity.
My very first thought for this game was goals and the prices available seemed very generous on first glance so I did some digging. I’m about to go stat heavy so apologies, stick with it.
Starting with Norwich, they are 4th in the home league table opposed to 17th in the away one so I’ve overlooked their goal stats away from home for now.
The Canaries have scored 36 goals in their 16 home games, that’s 2.25 per game, including at least one in each of the last nine Carrow Road fixtures. 11 of the 16 have seen over 2.5 goals (24 of 33 if include away games). Nine of those 11 have also seen BTTS.
As already mentioned Ipswich had real problems scoring goals earlier in the season but have turned that around now. In the last 19 leagues games they have scored in 14 which includes seven of nine away from Portman Road of which six have also seen BTTS land.
Four of those six have gone BTTS and over 2.5. Add in home games on top and 12 of the past 19 have gone BTTS and eight BTTS and over 2.5 so goals are back on the agenda for the Tractor Boys.
I don’t tend to have an interest in head to head records in the main but this is one of those match ups where it could be relevant. Ipswich haven’t beaten Norwich since April 2009 (seven attempts) losing five and drawing the others including a 1-1 draw at Portman Road back in August.
Going back 10 years (seems as good a sample as any) there have been 12 East Anglian derbys, Eight of which have seen BTTS and six over 2.5 goals as well.
Goals the shout
Norwich are on good form coming into this. Unbeaten at home in 2017 whilst overall losing just two of the last 10, away at Rotherham and Burton which are odd results.
Ipswich are also in fairly good form, unbeaten in their last four including score draws against Reading and Leeds at home plus Brighton away. The victory coming at Villa Park.
Tom Lawrence is suspended for this one which is a blow, the on loan youngster has been their star player and carried the Tractor Boys at times, particularly through the festive period and January.
The temptation here is to back Norwich to win a goal filled game but Ipswich’s three draws against other promotion contenders mixed with the added edge of a derby puts me off. Instead I’m going the route of BTTS & O2.5 goals which Coral have generously priced at 6/4.
Norwich v Ipswich – Both Teams To Score & Over 2.5 Goals (6/4 Coral)