We look ahead to the East Anglian derby at Portman Road on Saturday lunchtime in the Championship with our Ipswich vs Norwich prediction and preview.
Ipswich vs Norwich Stats: The Quick Hits
- Ipswich are predicted to beat Norwich on Saturday, with the Opta supercomputer seeing them win the game on 58.1% of pre-game simulations.
- Norwich City are unbeaten in 12 derby matches against Ipswich, last losing against them in April 2009.
- Ipswich Town have won as many Championship games in 2023-24 (16 of 21) as Norwich City have in the entire calendar year (16 of 42).
- No teams have seen more goals scored in Championship matches this season than Norwich (74) and Ipswich (71).
Norwich’s trip to Portman Road this Saturday is a daunting one. They come up against an Ipswich Town side that have never won as many points over their opening 21 league games to a season as they have this season (51), despite this being their first Championship season since being relegated in 2018-19. They’ve already won 20 more points in 21 matches this season than they did in 46 games in that campaign (31).
Unbelievably, 51 points from 21 games isn’t enough for Ipswich to lead the Championship table, with Leicester having won a point more after their Wednesday night victory over Millwall. Based on three points for a win, this is the first second-tier season since 1904-05 in which we’ve seen more than one team win 51+ points across the opening 21 matches. The only three teams to have won this many points after 21 games since WWII have all won the title – Tottenham in 1949-50, Fulham in 2000-01 and Portsmouth in 2002-03, so that record will come to an end in 2023-24.
David Wagner has led Norwich to 30 points from their 21 games, which is two fewer than at this stage last season and their worst record after 21 Championship matches in a campaign since 2017-18 (27).
The Canaries have been buoyed by the recent return of Jon Rowe, with the English U21 international scoring in the midweek win over Sheffield Wednesday. That was his eighth Championship goal of the season, which tops the Norwich rankings ahead of Adam Idah (six) and Gabriel Sara (five). Other goal threats Hwang Ui-Jo and Josh Sargent will be missing this weekend through injury. Brazilian midfielder Sara also has eight assists this season, which is only bettered by Ipswich’s Leif Davis (nine), but the Canaries star is the leading creator in the Championship so far in 2023-24 with his 65 chances created for teammates, five ahead of Davis (60).
One of Ipswich’s strengths this season has been their ability to find goals throughout their team. Fourteen different players have scored for them in the Championship this season – only Leicester and Swansea (15) have seen a wider spread. George Hirst’s goal at Watford on Tuesday was his sixth of the season, with only Conor Chaplin (eight) and Nathan Broadhead (seven) having more. Captain Sam Morsy grabbed the winner late in the day at Vicarage Road with his second Championship goal of the season. He’ll be expected to start this weekend after avoiding a yellow card at Watford that would have seen him suspended for this clash.
Ipswich vs Norwich Head-to-Head
This will be the first competitive meeting between Ipswich and Norwich since 10 February 2019, when Norwich enjoyed a 3-0 win over their rivals at Carrow Road. The opening goal was scored by Onel Hernández, before a Teemu Pukki brace sealed the derby win.
Back then, the landscape heading into the match was very different, with Norwich second in the league and Ipswich bottom of the Championship table. Following that win, Norwich retook the lead at the top of the Championship, where they ended up in May, winning promotion to the Premier League. Ipswich Town remained bottom and suffered relegation to League One.
The last meeting between these two sides at Portman Road ended 1-1, on 2 September 2018. Gwion Edwards opened the scoring for the Tractor Boys, before Moritz Leitner equalised in the 71st minute.
Norwich are unbeaten in their last 12 matches against Ipswich, winning seven and drawing five. Across those 12 games, the Canaries have outscored their rivals 24-8. Ipswich’s last win over Norwich came in April 2009 at Portman Road, when goals from Alan Quinn, Giovani Do Santos and Jon Stead secured a 3-2 home win.
Including playoff games, Norwich have scored in each of their last 14 league visits to Ipswich (W7 D4 L3) since losing 5-0 back in February 1998.
Ipswich Town have been the best team in the top four tiers of England across 2023. They have won the most games (30), lost the fewest matches (3), scored the most goals (100), won the most points (100) and averaged the most points per game (2.33). They have won as many Championship games in 2023-24 (16 of 21) as Norwich City have in the entire calendar year (16 of 42).
Ipswich Town’s midweek win over Watford at Vicarage Road was their fourth consecutive Championship victory, after previously beating Middlesbrough, Coventry and Millwall. Their last defeat came in a 2-0 loss to West Brom at the Hawthorns on 25 November.
Kieran McKenna’s side have won each of their last eight home league games at Portman Road, scoring 25 goals during this run – the last newly promoted side in the Championship with a longer such run was Southampton in November 2011 (10 games).
Norwich’s recent form will give them some optimism for Saturday’s clash with their rivals. Over the last six Championship matchdays, David Wagner’s side have won 13 points (W4 D1 L1), which is only fewer than one team in the division. Annoyingly for Norwich, that team are Ipswich (15 points).
Scoring goals hasn’t been an issue for Norwich this season. They are the third-highest scorers in the Championship this season with 37 goals (behind Ipswich’s 45 and Leicester’s 41) and have only failed to score in two of their 21 games. Again, it’s only Ipswich (20 games) that have scored in more matches this season than Norwich (19 – level with Southampton). Unfortunately, Norwich’s defence hasn’t been as strong. The Canaries have conceded 37 goals, which is only topped by bottom side Rotherham (41).
Expect goals in this game – no teams have witnessed more goals in their Championship matches this season than Norwich (74) and Ipswich (71). The last league derby between these two clubs to end goalless was the 0-0 draw in November 1999.
Ipswich’s never-say-die attitude has helped them get where they are this season. They came from behind to win at Watford on Tuesday night, with it the latest comeback for the Tractor Boys. Overall in the Championship this season, Ipswich have won a league-high 15 points from losing positions, which is one more than promotion rivals Leeds United (14).
Norwich have also done well enough in recovering points from losing positions, with the joint fifth-most (10), but their inability to hold onto leads will be a worry ahead of this weekend. They have dropped 13 points from winning positions in the Championship this season, a tally surpassed by only Swansea (19), Coventry (14) and Millwall (14).
Ipswich Town have spent a higher proportion of their minutes leading in Championship games this season than any other team (49%), while despite being 11th in the table, Norwich have been leading for the sixth-highest proportion of time in the league.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Ipswich vs Norwich Prediction
Ipswich Town are predicted to continue their amazing Championship season with a win over rivals Norwich in the East Anglian derby on Saturday. The Opta supercomputer saw Ipswich win in 58.1% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations, with Norwich prevailing in around one in five of them (20.3%).
While a win would be an exceptional result for Norwich, they’d settle for a draw away at their rivals based on their current form – the Opta supercomputer saw the teams share the spoils in 21.6% of simulations before kick-off.