A seven-match fixture list takes place in the Championship on Tuesday evening with kick-off times staggered between 17:00 and 19:45. It promises to be another important evening from the second tier of English football with battles of note taking place at both ends of the table. In this article, we focus on matters at Loftus Road where London duo Queens Park Rangers and Fulham meet from 18:30 GMT.
This will be the second meeting of the season between the derby rivals following Fulham’s win over QPR back in November. The Cottagers nicked the points thanks to a 2-1 final score that day with Karama scoring a double, Hugill hitting a consolation for the beaten side that day. Neutrals hope this renewal proves to be just as entertaining, but Fulham followers will be confident in their side’s ability to do the double.
Stuck on a miserable three games winless streak, Fulham have dropped off the pace with the visitors dropping to fifth in the division as a result. Automatic promotion now looks to be a bridge too far, but the visiting side will want to finish as high as possible to give themselves a slightly easier ride during the playoffs. Rivals QPR would dearly love to inflict further punishment on their visitors.
QPR have lost each of their last two
After 39 games played Queens Park Rangers can be found down in 14th place with their season stats reading 14 wins, 8 draws and 17 defeats. They have scored 58 goals so far but conceded no less than 64 and that is more goals against than Barnsley who are bottom of the Championship. It has been obvious for quite some time that a fragile defence has held The Hoops back, but manager Mark Warburton has failed to address the problem. Plugging the leaks is sure to be his number one priority during the summer transfer window.
Queens Park Rangers have failed to take any of the last six points available to them and the hosts have managed just one win in their last four games. Their last win came over Preston North End on the road back on Saturday 7 March before heading into lockdown. Since returning, QPR have played two, lost two, failed to score a goal and conceded two. That poor run of form began with a 1-0 defeat at home to bottom club Barnsley. A match they were expected to win by most followers of the division, losing to a side likely to be playing League One football next season was a bitter pill to swallow for fans.
QPR then went down by the same score at the weekend when losing 1-0 at Charlton Athletic, another side stuck at the wrong end of the Championship. Heading to The Valley is never an easy task but QPR went into the game as favourites. Despite this, they were beaten by a single goal from Pratley inside 12 minutes. Warburton’s side pressed hard for an equaliser in the second half but lacked the composure to get it. Pressure is building on the side to deliver three points.
Fulham drop to fifth place
Fulham emerged from lockdown with hopes of improving into the top two and grabbing automatic promotion to the Premier League. It is likely they will end in the playoff places and secure an extended season so we could still see The Cottagers in the top division next season, but their preferred method would’ve been by a top-two finish. That now looks unlikely, meaning the aim between now and the end of the season is to finish in third. Doing so would help improve their chances of being promoted.
One point taken from the last nine available means Fulham have dropped to fifth in the table, their season stats reading 18 wins and 10 draws against 11 defeats. They have scored 52 goals in their previous 39 games but conceded 43, the same number as Millwall down in 11th. Scott Parker’s Fulham side retuned from lockdown with a hurtful 2-0 home defeat suffered against Brentford. They looked to have done enough to secure a draw that day but conceded two late goals. Behrahma scored on 88 minutes and Marcondes hit a second on 91. A real sucker punch for Fulham.
Things went from bad to worse at the weekend when they were hammered 3-0 by Leeds United at Elland Road, a result that kept their opponent’s title hopes alive. Bamford struck the opener on 10 minutes and that set the pace for the afternoon. Goals from Alioski and Harrison helped sink a sorry looking Fulham side who just weren’t at the races, beaten by a side who look good value to end as champions this summer and make an overdue return to the Premier League.
QPR vs Fulham prediction
Two sides out of form and low on confidence, it will be interesting to see which team can bounce back to get their season on track. QPR have lost their last two against sides involved in the relegation battle. Fulham have also lost their last two, but those defeats have come against decent opposition in Brentford and Leeds.
When looking back at the campaign, Fulham will remember those two defeats as the reasons why they were unable to secure automatic promotion. The pressure is now on the away side to dust themselves down and get back to winning ways. Fulham are nine places higher in the table than their opponents and have 14 more points on the board. They’ll be confident in their ability to record a 19th win of the season.
Traders have Fulham picked as betting odds favourites to win this match and backers will find the away win at 6/5. Queens Park Rangers to record a home win is 9/4. Can’t split the pair? A draw has been marked up at 12/5.