STAR PREVIEW: Ipswich v WBA

As we head towards December, one thing is clear: The Championship remains an incredibly tight league. Seven points separate the top 10 sides, all of whom are realistic title contenders.

That makes every single point vital to keep up with the pace and fifth-placed West Brom will be looking for a win at Ipswich, bottom of the table but having just had a change in management, with Paul Lambert taking over the reins. The Scot has tried to instil some stability by naming the same starting XI and substitutes bench in two draws against Preston and Reading.

That represents a much-needed improvement and given the tight nature at the bottom of the league (just like at the top) Town fans can still have some hope for a recovery, of sorts, as they attempt to climb up the table.

West Brom didn’t start the season well but they have found their scoring boots like few teams in the division’s recent history and they managed to relieve themselves from a small slump with an epic 4-1 thrashing of Leeds at the Hawthorns just before the international break. They needed less than 30% of the ball to smash the early leaders with goals from Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips, Harvey Barnes and Dwight Gayle.

West Brom have fired themselves into the title conversation with an astonishing amount of goals – at this stage of the season only Sunderland (in 2011/12) had scored more than their 36 goals and they have racked up four or more on five occasions since dropping down from the Premier League.

It’s understandable that the promotion chasers are as short as 10/11 given the obvious gulf between the two in the table but their away record is not as good as their form at the Hawthorns – they’ve won just two of their nine games away from Birmingham.

Ipswich Town v West Brom
Championship
7:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
DEC 2010 CARLING CUP Ipswich 0-1 West Brom
JAN 2010 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 1-1 West Brom
AUG 2009 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 2-0 Ipswich
JAN 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 2-0 West Brom
SEP 2007 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 4-0 Ipswich
DEC 2006 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 2-0 Ipswich
OCT 2006 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 1-5 West Brom
APR 2004 DIVISON ONE Ipswich 2-3 West Brom
SEP 2003 DIVISION ONE West Brom 4-1 Ipswich
APR 2000 DIVISION ONE West Brom 1-1 Ipswich
DEC 1999 DIVISION ONE Ipswich 3-1 West Brom

A much surer bet looks to be goals. Between the two teams they have kept just two clean sheets in 34 games between them and Lambert’s improvement, combined with West Brom’s firepower could give us yet another similar result.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
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