Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Ipswich Town on Track to Seal Fairytale Return to the Premier League

Ipswich Town on Track to Seal Fairytale Return to the Premier League

Ipswich Town are back in the Championship for the first time in five years after their promotion-winning campaign from League One in 2022/23.

The Tractor Boys are defying the odds in their quest to secure back-to-back promotions and have emerged as a hot topic courtesy of their high-flying results this season.

Ipswich are gunning for an automatic promotion slot, with their remarkable form at Portman Road contributing significantly to their exceptional campaign.

Kieran McKenna’s side have lost just once (W9, D3), boasting the joint most goals on home turf of any side in the division (33, alongside Plymouth Argyle).

Despite their impressive campaign, reaching the Premier League at the first time of asking remains a monumental task. But their trajectory suggests a fairytale finish could be on the cards.

Mastermind McKenna at the Helm

McKenna has been the mastermind behind Ipswich’s fascinating season. The 37-year-old is the second youngest manager in the English second tier, and his remarkable job at Ipswich has earmarked him as one of the finest tacticians in the country.

McKenna’s Ipswich have picked up an extremely impressive 55 points from 26 Championship games and boast the second-best attacking record in the division, having scored 48 times.

Only Championship pacesetters Leicester City have found the back with greater regularity, with Enzo Maresca’s side bagging 54 goals.

Their prolific form in front of goal is hardly a newfound hobby, with the Tractor Boys netting 101 goals in their promotion-clinching campaign – a feat achieved just 13 times across the top four tiers of English football since 1967/68.

Ipswich sit second in the Championship rankings, ten points behind Leicester and three ahead of Southampton after a tricky run of form that has allowed the latter to gain ground in the top two race.

They have failed to win any of their last five Championship games (D4, L1), recording three consecutive draws during the increasingly concerning winless streak.

Ipswich started 2024 with a disappointing goalless draw against ten-man Stoke City but will hope their 3-1 win over Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round sparks a revival.

McKenna took over at Portman Road when the Suffolk outfit were plying their trade in League One and he quickly endeared himself to the fans in East Anglia.

Ipswich have transformed into a side not necessarily ‘possession-based’ yet still likes to take control of matches through their brave build-up play under his leadership.

They like to transition at speed, employing a central progression pattern, and a lot of their attacking success comes from the wide areas where they pose a substantial goal threat to the opposition.

Despite the attacking plaudits Ipswich very well deserve, their defensive record is almost as impressive.

They have conceded 33 goals in 26 games, recording the joint-third most clean sheets in the Championship. They have also conceded 13 goals on the road, the joint-third-best defensive away record.

McKenna’s ability to instil a high level of intensity in his players is testament to his coaching prowess.

They work just as diligently during turnovers to effectively thwart transitions, highlighting his commitment to cultivating hardworking teams where every squad member gives their all for the badge.

Can Ipswich Win Promotion to the Premier League?

Heading into the second half of the season, Ipswich are well-place to apply pressure on table-topping Leicester as they try to book their place in the Premier League next season.

Despite enjoying an excellent first half of the season, much of Ipswich’s current squad lacks the experience of dealing with the gruelling challenge that the Championship season provides.

The January transfer window will play a crucial role in helping McKenna’s side maintain their promotion charge, with a striker reportedly topping the club’s shortlist.

They look to be on the market for another number nine to provide competition for English duo Kayden Jackson and George Hirst to increase their already frightening goal threat.

Ipswich will have a reasonable budget to spend following their promotion, and this could be the final piece of the puzzle to help them get over the line.

Irish duo Jack Taylor and Marcus Harness have played a significant role in Ipswich’s success story this term, contributing six goals between them.

Their exploits have increased interest in the club among football fans on the Emerald Isle, and many of them have been wagering on them to secure automatic promotion.

For punters keen to join in by gambling on Ipswich’s remarkable journey, exploring the odds offered by the best betting sites in Ireland would add an extra layer of excitement to the ongoing Championship campaign.

Intriguingly, several online bookmakers think Leeds United and Southampton will both overhaul Ipswich between now and the end of the season.

However, if Ipswich can get back on track and string a couple of wins together, they should be able to consolidate their place in the top two and deliver a winning return to bettors who wager on them at odds of 5/6 to secure a place in the Premier League.

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