Stalling Tractor Boys face tough test in Devon
Ryan Lowe’s impressive newly promoted Plymouth Argyle, 11th, play host to Paul Lambert’s Ipswich Town, sixth, this Saturday with the Pilgrims certainly looking in better shape in recent weeks than the Tractor Boys. Without letting recency bias cloud my judgment these two were on opposite sides of a 2-0 scoreline against fellow playoff chasing teams last time out. Lowe’s men beat Lincoln City to book their place in the third round of the FA Cup while Ipswich were beaten at home by Lee Bowyer’s Charlton Athletic. There is a midweek fixture in between this game at the time of writing, should the Pilgrims avoid picking up any serious injuries to key players on Tuesday when they host struggling Rochdale, I think they will have enough to get past this uninspiring Ipswich team.
Plymouth face Rochdale, a side who like to play with the ball on the ground as do Argyle, suiting Lowe’s men’s style to a tee, I would expect them to make light work of Brian Barry-Murphy’s side. Whereas the Tractor Boys travel to a wounded animal in Oxford United. Karl Robinson’s 2019/20 League One playoff finalists were leading 1-0 going into the 85th minute before slumping to a 2-1 defeat at home to fiercest rivals Swindon Town. That result will only fuel the Us’ motivation to make amends on Tuesday, and taking more out of Paul Lambert’s men as a result. Argyle’s preparation is favourable.
Plymouth are easier on the eye and have been involved in more entertaining contests of late, the Pilgrims have scored in 16 of 20, conceded in 16 of 20 with both teams scoring in 12 of their last 20 outings. Ipswich have arguably been more solid but less exciting, scoring in 15 of 20, conceding in 11 of 20 with both teams finding the net in seven of their last 20. The Tractor Boys have also lost five of their last six encounters in League One, in my opinion they are at the beginning of a downward trajectory towards mid table obscurity.
Plymouth have found a real diamond in Luke Jephcott if the early signs are to be believed in. The 20-year-old Welshman began to come into his own at the back end of last season before League Two was suspended and Argyle were promoted automatically via points per game. Jephcott has eight goals from 12 games in all competitions, already surpassing his previous total of strikes in senior football in just the early knockings of this campaign. His finishing ability is scary and all round skill set is developing at a very fast pace, you can back him to score at anytime with bet365 at a considerable price of 2.20.
Ipswich are a team to be getting against in the next few weeks for me, and Plymouth definitely have the minerals to overcome them.