Geoff Peters: QPR v Leicester preview
The pick of this weekend’s fixtures in The Championship is the top of the table clash between Queens Park Rangers and Leicester City at Loftus Road. Both sides have won 12 of their 20 league games and leaders QPR have a three point lead over the Foxes, who sit third, a point shy of Burnley who they drew with last Saturday.
QPR have taken 14 points from the past seven games, seven points either side of a 2-1 loss at Doncaster. Leicester, meanwhile, have been inconsistent in their previous six outings, gathering just seven points out of a possible 18.
Only Derby (42) have scored more than Leicester (32) but the Foxes have shipped slightly more than a goal a game, in contrast to their frugal defensive record at the same point a year ago.
QPR have been tight at the back, conceding just 10 in 20 games including five clean sheets in the previous eight. This is an area which boss Harry Redknapp has clearly addressed. They managed seven clean sheets in 38 Premier League games last season and 13 already this time around.
Home form is where QPR have been especially strong. Unbeaten at Loftus Road, they’ve won eight and drawn two, conceding twice – to Derby last month and Sheffield Wednesday on the opening weekend of the season. Brighton and Blackburn are the only sides to deny them a home maximum.
Leicester’s away form has been up and down – five wins, one draw and four defeats. Two of those have come in their previous outings, at Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton.
“QPR is a big fixture for us but of course they’re all important in the Championship,” said manager Nigel Pearson after Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup. “Clearly if you can beat the sides around you, it makes a huge impact on league position.
“We’ve got to go there and play with a positive intent. When we do that we tend to be very good but we’ve got to be a bit tighter than we have been of late. I think we’ve conceded probably too many soft goals and the players recognise we’ve got to be better in front of goal as well.”
At time of writing, QPR are favourites to claim all three points this weekend and best priced at from Bet365 (Ts & cs Apply) while Leicester are at 27/10 from BetVictor with odds for the draw at 5/2 from Betfred.
Derby County’s odds have been slashed to 2/1 with BoyleSports on the back of their recent fine run of six league wins on the bounce. They’ve taken 25 points from a possible 30 since Steve McClaren took over from Nigel Clough at the start of October.
The Rams are up to fourth, three points off second place and are red hot favourites 9/20 with Paddy Power to continue that impressive streak at home to Doncaster who are available at 8/1 with SkyBet to win at Pride Park.
Two new managers will be hoping to arrest a recent poor run of results this weekend. Watford appointed Giuseppe Sannino as replacement for his fellow Italian Gianfranco Zola – the Hornets haven’t won in nine and go to Ipswich. Danny Wilson is back for a second spell at bottom club Barnsley – they travel to sixth placed Leeds having collected just seven points in eight games.
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November 6th, 2018 by Simon A