Villans next up at Loftus Road
League action returns this weekend with QPR taking on Aston Villa at Loftus Road in what is expected to be another tricky test in the very competitive Sky Bet Championship.
With the next international break not until March, the domestic season very much takes priority for the foreseeable future and the R’s know how important this part of the campaign is with six games in 30 days.
Before the international break Ollie’s men toppled the table’s top two teams, with victories over Wolves and Sheffield United before falling well below the high standards set this season when we were well beaten by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
We find ourselves in 15th position in the table but just six points behind our visitors who are in the final play-off position – highlighting just how tight the league is.
Aston Villa’s undoubted aim for this season is to gain promotion. Villa have one of the top budgets in the league and the hierarchy at Villa Park have made it clear that promotion is their primary target.
They certainly have the players and manager to perform well in the League. Steve Bruce has got teams promoted from the Championship on four occasions and knows the division extremely well.
The Villans fell short of their target last season, finishing in 13th position and therefore addressed some key positions in the summer.
Former Chelsea and England defender John Terry was signed on a free transfer, Ahmed Elmohamady and Robert Snodgrass were both purchased to play down the right-hand-side and Joshua Onomah came in on loan from Spurs to operate just behind the striker.
After a slow start to the campaign, Villa have really picked up in recent weeks. They have won five of their last eight games but were somewhat surprisingly defeated by Sheffield Wednesday at Villa Park just before the international break.
Villa’s success has been built through mainly having a solid defence. Terry (who will miss this game through injury) has formed a strong partnership with James Chester with only Sheffield United Cardiff and Middlesbrough conceding less goals.
They have scored 22 goals in the League, which is three more than QPR with Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane joint top goal-scorers having found the net five times.
Rangers will be looking for some revenge on the Midlands outfit having narrowly lost both games 1-0 last season.
When and Where?
Saturday 18th November 2017 - 3pm - Loftus Road
Last Time Out
Aston Villa 1-0 QPR - 4th April 2017
QPR were undone by an early Jonathan Kodjia goal in a game that the R’s certainly should have come away with something.
A slick Villa move saw the ball break to Kodjiia who fired in from the edge of the box.
QPR dominated the final thirty minutes of the game but could not force through an equaliser.
- Aston Villa have scored nine goals in their last five away matches
- Only three teams (Cardiff, Wolves and Sheffield United) have picked up more points at home than QPR
- Four of the last ten league games between the two clubs have involved four or more goals
Ian Holloway: “I expect them to be very similar to Nottingham Forest so this week we have had to go over the issues I felt we had at the City Ground. Villa have got a very, very good manager on their hands as well as a very good squad. They should be up there fighting for promotion this time.”
Steve Bruce: "QPR are a good side and have beaten the top two sides. They will be up and at us and will have plenty of heart and desire. Always a tough game."
QPR: A late decision will be made on Massimo Luongo with the midfielder only returning from international duty on Friday. Nedum Onuoha (hamstring), James Perch (knee) and Grant Hall (tendonitis) remain out.
Aston Villa: Scott Hogan (stomach) is unavailable whilst Jonathan Kodjia (ankle) is also out after injuring himself on international duty. Robert Snodgrass faces a late fitness check. John Terry is also sidelined after breaking his metatarsal prior to the international break.
Darren England: Has awarded four penalties in 15 games this season