QPR head to Hillsborough
QPR will head north to take on Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday knowing a win will take them above their opponents and potentially into the play-off positions.
Following a hard fought mid-week win against Bristol City, the R’s now find themselves 9th in the Championship and are on a run of five games without a defeat.
Wednesday are so far proving that finishing in the play-offs last campaign was no fluke. Despite a difficult start, which saw them win just one of their first five matches, the Owls have gone on to find some consistency – winning five of their last eight games and are currently occupying 6th position.
The Yorkshire club were the surprise package of last season under Carlos Carvalhal by not only making the play-offs but defeating much fancied Brighton in the semi-finals only to be beaten in the final by 1-0 by Hull City.
It was seen by many as quite as surprise when Carlos Carvalhal took over at Sheffield Wednesday. Many felt that the previous boss Stuart Gray did a decent job in guiding the club to a 13th place position and were unsure about Carvalhal’s inexperience in this division.
But his appointment has been a great success, with the Portuguese manager bringing a swagger and style to Wednesday, which has the Hillsborough faithful once again optimistic that good times are ahead for this one time established Premier League outfit.
During the transfer window they brought in 12 players including Steven Fletcher from Sunderland, Almen Abdi from Watford and Adam Reach from Middlesbrough – a signing made just a few hours before the transfer deadline.
QPR: Jake Bidwell, Grant Hall, Jamie Mackie are all missing whilst Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will have to check on Joel Lynch and Jordan Cousins ahead of the trip.
Sheffield Wednesday: Steven Fletcher and Barry Bannan are available for the home side. The Owls will check on the fitness of goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.
Predicted line up: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Hutchinson, Pudil, Wallace, Abdi, Jones, Lee, Hooper, Forestieri
Key Player: Fernando Forestieri – One of the Championship’s most skilful forwards, the diminutive Argentine is a real crowd pleaser and more than capable of finding the net.
PRE MATCH TALK
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: "We must respect them. But we can respect them by attacking them. That is how you show them respect – by attacking them and trying to take the game to them. We must look to work on their weaknesses."
Carlos Carvalhal: "It will be a game with goals I think, they like to score goals, we like to score goals. It will be a very interesting game. It will be fantastic to be back at Hillsborough. We are all focused but like I said, the fans will be very important to us."
QPR win: 19/5
Sheffield Wednesday: 4/5
QPR first goal scorer: Idrissa Sylla 15/2
Sheffield Wednesday first goal scorer: Fernando Forestieri 9/2
LAST TIME OUT
QPR 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday – Championship, Hillsborough, Tuesday 23rd February 2016
QPR goal-scorer: Daniel Tozser
Sheffield Wednesday goal-scorer: Atdhe Nuhiu
HEAD TO HEAD
(In all competitions)
QPR wins: 20
Bristol City wins: 28
Referee: Christopher Kavanagh
Assistant Referees: Billy Smallwood and Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth official: David Coote
SATURDAY'S OTHER LEAGUE FIXTURES
Aston Villa v Fulham
Brentford v Barnsley
Bristol City v Blackburn
Huddersfield v Derby
Newcastle v Ipswich
Norwich v Preston
Rotherham v Reading
Wigan v Brighton
Wolves v Leeds
Nottm Forest v Cardiff