Ipswich Town v Birmingham City – is Emyr Huws a good bet for first goalscorer today?

Emyr Huws was both ineligible and injured when Ipswich lost 3-1 at Cardiff prior to the internationa

Emyr Huws was both ineligible and injured when Ipswich lost 3-1 at Cardiff prior to the international break. He could add an injection of positivity to the midfield today. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town host Birmingham City in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm ko). Here’s the lowdown on the opposition, referee and betting.

Lukas Jutkiewicz has been playig as the lone striker in a defensive Birmingham City system. Phot: PA

Lukas Jutkiewicz has been playig as the lone striker in a defensive Birmingham City system. Phot: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Opposition tactics

Birmingham City boss Gianfranco Zola says today’s game could be decided by who is more fitter and focused.

“It will be tough for them as well, they are in the same position, we cannot make mistakes but they cannot make mistakes either,” said the Italian. “It is an even game for many reasons, we will see who is going to be fitter and more focused.”

Zola has abandoned his attacking principles and set-up with a very defensive 5-4-1 system in recent weeks to secure hard-fought draws against Cardiff and Newcastle. Lukas Jutkiewicz is the hard-working lone front man.


You may also want to watch:


“I think it is very natural for this team to play better with a bigger team because the nature of this team is to defend firstly,” said Zola. “I realise that, that is the main reason why our game plan has changed a little bit.”

Opposition key man

Most Read

Ryan Shotton Versatile centre-back was imperious in the recent win at Wolves and home draw with Newcastle.

However, there’s also been mistakes and Zola has claimed the ex-Stoke and Derby man has a tendency to ‘play at his minimum’.

Referee

Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

36 games this season, issuing six red cards and 123 yellows.

Odds

Ipswich: 13/10

Draw: 23/10 Birmingham: 21/10

Value bets

Emyr Huws first goalscorer – 14/1 (bet365)

Welshman has been a positive influence in midfield since arriving on loan from Cardiff. Netted against Villa and Brentford. Should return to the team today.

0-0 draw - 13/2 (various)

Town’s last home outing, against Wolves, was a bore draw – their third at Portman Road this season. Birmingham are struggling for goals.

Draw at HT and FT – 4/1 (BetVictor)

No-one had drawn more games in the Championship than Ipswich this season (15).

Clayton Donaldson last goalscorer – 6/1 (various)

Jamaican international has been Birmingham’s topscorer in previous two seasons. Mick McCarthy is a big fan. Available again after a three-month absence. Could be a super sub today.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus