Riding high in the Championship following a run of 11 games without defeat in the league, Mick McCarthy can seemingly do no wrong in Suffolk at present and Derby should be afraid, be very afraid.
The Tractor Boys are justifiable favourites for victory at 6/4 after beating the Rams 2-1 at Portman Road last season while those backing the teams to play out another draw – as they did at Pride Park last season – can get 23/10 on such an outcome with a Derby win 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
But with the Blues in fine form at home of late and Derby decidedly dodgier on the road and unimpressive in their recent FA Cup clash with lowly Southport we fancy the Tractor Boys to trample all over Steve McClaren’s promotion dreams again and here are three of the best bets available.
Much of the Blues’ success so far this season has been built on some fine home form and a rock-solid defence, so it makes sense to back the Tractor Boys to win to nil here, with six of their last eight wins at Portman Road coming alongside a clean sheet.
They won’t be daunted by facing a team of Derby’s stature either having seen off similar promotion contenders Watford and Middlesbrough without conceding a goal while the Rams have recently racked up losses against Leeds and Boro on the road without finding the net.
The 31-year-old is already enjoying his best professional season to date after netting 17 times in the Championship so far this term for the Tractor Boys with the Irishman proving particularly prolific for the Blues at Portman Road.
Four of Murphy’s last five goals have come in Suffolk as part of a return of 10 goals so far at home in the league and Derby could prove to be the latest victims of the ex-Sunderland man’s fine run.
A former Norwich player, Martin will need little motivation when going up against old rivals Ipswich and has been in good form in front of goal in recent weeks with 14 to his name so far this term.
The Rams forward has scored three in his last four for Derby and as the team’s penalty taker could get among the goals, though any strike may end up only being a consolation for the visitors.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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