Why an Ipswich win ends Wolves’ play-off hopes

Portman Road - Ipswich Town

As the two sides prepare to meet at Molineux, Ipswich Town lie three points above rivals Wolves with three games to go.

The Championship play-off battle has been an extremely tight one all season and it appears to be going down to the wire as Derby County, Ipswich, Brentford and Wolverhampton Wanderers battle it out for the final two spots.

The former pair in that group gained the upper hand in the final full midweek set of fixtures as the Rams defeated already-relegated Blackpool and Ipswich won against Cardiff City.

Brentford lost to Sheffield Wednesday, while Wolves fell short at promotion-chasing Middlesbrough after a plucky display.

At the weekend, Ipswich have the opportunity to end Wolves’ play-off hopes as the two sides meet in a crunch encounter on Saturday lunchtime at Molineux.

Mick McCarthy’s men currently sit three points clear of Kenny Jackett’s side, who are looking for back-to-back promotions, with three games remaining in the regular season.

Ipswich appeared to have peaked too early in the promotion race after a run of just six wins in 17 games since the turn of the year, but two wins in a row have seen them catapult themselves back into pole position to make the play-offs.

Meanwhile, Wolves have done the opposite. They lost just three of their 17 games since 2015 began and had looked to be timing their run to the top six perfectly, but two successive defeats have seen them slip out, meaning that a win is a must on Saturday.

In a game which sees Championship top scorer Daryl Murphy go up against the top scorer in the whole Football League this season in Benik Afobe, it could be the one which finally decides the Championship play-off spots.

Should Wolves win then the race for the top six positions will go down to the wire, but an Ipswich victory all-but ends the home sides’ hopes as they will open up a six-point gap with just two games to go.

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