Middlesbrough sealed a play-off place last weekend when they beat Millwall 2-1. After a slightly ropey start, it’s a case of a job well done so far for Tony Pulis, who now has the chance to make a swift return to the Premier League. They look to be on course for a play-off against Aston Villa but defeat here would make it possible for Derby to catch them and Boro could yet slip to 6th and face Cardiff or Fulham in the play-offs.

That won’t be a hugely pressing concern for Pulis, who may consider rotating here with those games set to commence next weekend. However he will want to keep up the positive momentum that three straight wins have brought and another victory here would set them up nicely for the post-season action.

Ipswich meanwhile have nothing much to play for. Their season looked to be petering out in utterly unspectacular fashion until, out of nowhere, they scored four goals in the final twenty minutes at Reading last weekend to record a surprise 4-0 win. Their previous home game ended in a 4-0 defeat though and they have lost 6 of their last 9 overall so we probably shouldn’t read too much into that late flurry of goals at the Madejski.

They are currently under caretaker management but interestingly have been linked with a move for Frank Lampard, who has suggested he is ready to take on a managerial job. That would certainly add some perhaps needed glamour to Portman Road after a relatively uneventful few years under Mick McCarthy but you sense replacing him may not be a simple task, with Ipswich lacking the funds to really compete at the top end of the division.

Middlesbrough certainly have that in abundance. They were strongly expected to challenge for automatic promotion but that hasn’t happened. However their good present form is certainly timely and they head into both this game and the play-offs looking as strong as they have done all season.

They’ve won 7 of their last 11 in the Championship while Ipswich have won just 1 of their last 8 home games. All things considered, backing an Away Win looks good here. Going for Middlesbrough & Both Teams to Score could also be worth considering given 7 of Boro’s last 9 have produced goals at each end.

On the subject of timely returns to form, Britt Assombalonga has netted in his last two games and that’s another major plus for Boro. He had really lost his way following a great start to the season but still has 15 Championship goals and backing Assombalonga to score anytime could be worth a punt.

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