R's seek maiden away day win
QPR face an important game in the Sky Bet Championship against Birmingham City at St. Andrews on Saturday.
Both teams have been struggling for form with both sides having only won one of their last seven games.
The poor results have seen both teams drop towards the bottom of the table, although the Hoops will know that a first away league victory of the season will see us go nine points ahead of the Blues.
The incentive for Birmingham will be that a win will give them a good chance of climbing out of the relegation zone. They will also be looking for some revenge over the R’s after Holloway’s side put four past them in February this year, QPR's last away victory.
After securing their place in the Championship on the final day of last season, Birmingham lost six of their opening eight games this season – a run which saw former Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp dismissed mid-way through September.
Birmingham turned to Steve Cotterill in a bid to help improve their results but he’s managed just two league wins in 13 games with City having only scored ten goals this term – the lowest of any team in the division.
The Midlands outfit have undergone some difficult seasons of late – they’ve narrowly escaped the drop in two of the last four campaigns. However, they also enjoyed multiple years in the Premier League during the noughties and in 2011 got their hands on the League Cup, defeating Arsenal 2-1 at Wembley.
But consistency is something they’ve struggled with in recent years – Birmingham’s player turnover is high and they’ve also had seven different manager’s take charge during the last 36 months.
Maikel Kieftenbeld was another of their players that almost left during the summer but stayed and remains a crucial part of their midfield whilst forward Lukas Jutkiewicz will likely lead the line for the Blues and has in the past caused QPR plenty of problems.
This will be the 55th meeting between the two sides with Birmingham winning 22 of the previous games and QPR victorious in 19.
When and where?
Saturday 16th December 2017 - kick-off 3pm - St. Andrews
Last Time Out
Birmingham 1-4 QPR 18th February 2017
Goals from Matt Smith, Conor Washington, Idrissa Sylla and a fabulous free-kick from Yeni Ngbakoto sealed an emphatic 4-1 victory over Birmingham City at St. Andrews with the home side grabbing a consolation late on.
- QPR yet to keep a clean sheet away from home this season
- Birmingham have failed to score in half of their home league matches
- Only one draw between the clubs in the last nine fixtures at St. Andrews
Ian Holloway: "It’s a horrible feeling when you’re going through a run like we are. We don’t feel we’re getting what we deserve, but there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to get ourselves going again and going on a positive run, which can make all the difference in this league. The first goal will be key, as it was last year. We won there quite comfortably last season, 4-1, and given that was the last time we won away from home, it’s a really important game for us."
Steve Cotterill: "If you get the three points then that pulls them (QPR) closer to us. We understand that. I am sure Ian (Holloway) will have the same thought and theory about whether they can get three points. They had a good win here last year. I don’t know quite how they will feel about the game. But for us, we always go out and get the three points, it’s just we have to take it in measures how we get our three points at the moment.”
QPR: The R’s welcome Alex Baptiste back to the squad following suspension. Grant Hall and Nedum Onuoha are both fit after long term injuries but Jamie Mackie and James Perch miss out.
Birmingham City: Blues will be without Marc Roberts and Che Adams, who have fallen foul of the hamstring curse. Maxime Colin is not expected to be back from his strain just yet. However former Brentford defender, Harlee Dean has completed his suspension and will be available for selection.
Mike Jones: Has taken charge of seven Premier League games this season.