QPR look to bounce back at Villa Park
QUEENS Park Rangers take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Tuesday evening with the R’s hoping to get back to winning ways following Friday’s defeat to Derby County.
Rangers will be hoping to seek some revenge on Villa who were victorious the last time the sides met at Loftus Road back in December when Jonathan Kodija’s late effort saw the visitors deservedly take all three points.
It’s been a strange season for the Midlands club whose slow start to the campaign has ultimately cost them a realistic chance of making the play-offs
They won just one of their first ten league matches and their form only improved when Steve Bruce replaced Roberto Di Matteo. Towards Christmas they were certainly heading in the right direction before an unexpected five defeats in a row.
However, things have once again picked up and the Villains are now enjoying their best spell of the season winning six of their last seven and impressively only conceding one goal which was to third place Huddersfield Town. Bruce’s side find themselves in 11th place, ten points behind Fulham in 6th but with only seven games left they will need some turnaround to reach the top six.
When considering the size of the club and big money transfers made this season on the likes of Scott Hogan, Mile Jedinak and Conor Hourihane, Villa would have hoped for more from this season but it highlights the relative strength of the Championship.
In their previous game they comfortably swept aside Norwich with the in-form Kodija grabbing a brace.
Holloway will be hoping his side can respond following Friday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at Derby. The R’s never got going in the game and didn’t show the pre international form that had led them to five wins in seven matches.
QPR: Ian Holloway confirmed that an unnamed player has been ruled out with illness whilst also suggesting that he will make a few changes to freshen things up due to having three games in a week.
Predicted line up: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester, Baker, Taylor, Adomah, Lansbury, Jedinak, Hourihane, Amavi, Kodjia
Key Player: Jonathan Kodija – The powerful Ivorian forward showed what a good player he is when the two teams met at Loftus Road and he has scored 17 league goals this season.
PRE MATCH TALK
Ian Holloway: “They were really annoyed at themselves and their performances on Friday so I’m hoping to see some improvement on Tuesday. I think the break stopped our momentum a little and we lost eight or nine of our players from training and we looked a bit jaded on. Steve’s the best manager at getting teams out of this division and into the next one. It’s a huge challenge for him being the ex-Birmingham manager but he’s getting where he wants to be now.”
QPR win: 4/1
Aston Villa: 4/5
QPR first goal scorer: Idrissa Sylla 15/2
Aston Villa first goal scorer: Jonathan Kodjia 10/3
LAST TIME OUT
QPR 0 - 1 Aston Villa - Championship, Wednesday 18th December 2016
Villa goal-scorer: Jonathan Kodjia
HEAD TO HEAD
(In all competitions)
QPR wins: 23
Aston Villa wins: 19
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistant Referees: Paul Hodskinson and Daniel Leach
Fourth official: Darren Drysdale
Cloud will gradually start to break up through the morning with some sunny spells by the afternoon. It'll be mostly dry, although some patchy light rain is possible at first. 4% chance of rain.
TUESDAY’S OTHER LEAGUE FIXTURES
All kick-offs 7:45pm unless otherwise stated
Barnsley v Cardiff City
Brentford v Leeds United
Brighton & Hove Albion v Birmingham City
Derby County v Fulham
Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic
Preston North End v Bristol City
Rotherham United v Sheffield Wednesday
Wolves v Nottingham Forest
Reading v Blackburn Rovers (8pm)