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Summary

  1. Ayala header gives Boro the lead
  2. Ipswich's Murphy capitalises on keeper error
  3. Adomah smashes in before Bamford hits cool double
  4. Win takes Boro top of table

Live Reporting

By Alistair Magowan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Vote results

And finally, many thanks to all of you who voted.

We asked who you thought would win the Championship this season - Boro came out on top with 24.9% of the vote. Derby were second with 21.5%.

Middlesbrough 4-1 Ipswich

Ok, that was a decent starter as the Championship reaches the final straight. Don't forget you can stay up to date with all the scores right here on the BBC Sport website.

I'm sure there will be plenty of twists and turns, not only today, but for the rest of the season. The Championship is once again proving that when it comes to the title race, you cannot predict what will happen. See you soon.

Middlesbrough 4-1 Ipswich

With third-placed Derby facing fifth-placed Norwich at 15:00, Boro could still be top at the end of Saturday. As for Ipswich, they are still a point adrift of sixth-placed Brentford.

Middlesbrough 4-1 Ipswich

Middlesbrough striker Patrick Bamford: "In the last four weeks we haven't been that consistent, so we are delighted to get the win. Should I have had the hat-trick? I should have had four!"

FULL-TIME

Middlesbrough 4-1 Ipswich

All over and Middlesbrough run out comfortable winners. They are top of the Championship table by three points ahead of Bournemouth, Derby and Watford.

Middlesbrough 4-1 Ipswich

The difference today has been ruthlessness in front of goal, and in Patrick Bamford Middlesbrough might just have the ammunition they need to get promoted. He certainly doesn't look nervous as we close in on the end of the season.

GOAL

Middlesbrough 1-1 Ipswich

Back under way again. And we have an equaliser from Daryl Murphy.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Ipswich

This doesn't look good for Dean Gerken. Bartosz Bialkowski is warming up on the sidelines, it looks like he will be coming on.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Ipswich

More bad news for Ipswich as goalkeeper Dean Gerken was injured attempting to reach that cross and is now getting treatment.

GOAL

Middlesbrough 1-0 Ipswich - Daniel Ayala

Middlesbrough work a short corner and the cross comes in for Daniel Ayala who makes no mistake with a close-range header. Great start for Boro.

Middlesbrough 0-0 Ipswich

Ipswich trying to hit Daryl Murphy quickly early on as Ipswich's top scorer puts in a robust challenge on Albert Adamoh.

KICK-OFF

Middlesbrough 0-0 Ipswich

So if Middlesbrough earn at least a draw, they will be top of the table. Ipswich need a point to get into the play-off places. So plenty to play for. Off we go at the Riverside.

Middlesbrough v Ipswich (12:15 kick-off)

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy
PA

As for Ipswich, this match is equally critical. Boss Mick McCarthy thinks that anything other than a win will mean that his team can kiss goodbye to automatic promotion. The Tractor Boys missed out on the play-offs by four points last season and McCarthy believes his side will need five wins to at least make the top six.

He says: "If there's two teams eight points in front us, we're not going to win automatic promotion. So the games we have coming up are vital."

Middlesbrough v Ipswich (12:15 kick-off)

It's the start of a huge week for Middlesbrough. As one of the four teams equal on 66 points, they face the top two - Derby and Bournemouth - in the next seven days. And having won only two of their last six games, boss Aitor Karanka is well aware that it may come down to a battle of nerves.

He says: "If you are playing to win something you will face pressure, we have to manage this pressure and have to work in the same way we have been working for the last seven months."

Get voting

Who will win the Championship?

So, tighter than your old boss at the top of the Championship.

And we'd like to know who you think will win the Championship this season. Let us know by using the vote inside this live text - and we will publish the results later on Saturday.

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Team news

Middlesbrough v Ipswich (12:15 kick-off)

Middlesbrough make three changes to the team that lost 2-1 away at Nottingham Forest. Daniel Ayala replaces the injured Ryan Fredericks at full-back. Adam Reach and Jelle Vossen come in for Lee Tomlin and Kike.

Once change for Ipswich. Teddy Bishop replaces Richard Chaplow in midfield.

Middlesbrough XI: Konstantopoulos, Kalas, Gibson, Ayala, Friend, Clayton, Leadbitter, Adomah, Bamford, Reach, Vossen.

Ipswich XI: Gerken, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings, Parr, Bishop, Skuse, Tabb, Sears, Murphy.

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Middlesbrough v Ipswich (12:15 kick-off)

Top 10 of the Champioship
BBC

One is a former Real Madrid player, aiming to join his mentor Jose Mourinho in the top flight for the first time. The other is a straight-talking Yorkshireman, who believes promotion with a Championship club will be his only chance of tasting the Premier League again.

Two different characters, but joined in the same goal. Middlesbrough are on 66 points, with only goal difference separating them from the top of the Championship, while seventh-place Ipswich are five points behind. It's tighter than those jeans you wore in the 80's. Or maybe it was your dad?

Right, enough rambling; time for some team news....

Middlesbrough v Ipswich (12:15 kick-off)

Aitor Karanka and Mick McCarthy
Getty Images

Which manager would you like to see in the Premier League next season - Middlesbrough's Aitor Karanka or Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy?