MARK Warburton’s QPR will host Teessiders Middlesbrough on Saturday, as they look to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat at Coventry City by recording a positive result against Neil Warnock’s men (3pm kick-off).
Last time out in W12, the R’s opened their 2020/21 league campaign with a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest and Warburton’s men will be aiming to repeat this feat against Warnock’s Reds.
Opponents Middlesbrough will be looking to claim their first victory of the campaign, after suffering a disappointing opening-day defeat at Watford and then contesting a respectable draw at home with AFC Bournemouth.
The match will take place behind closed doors in W12 but supporters all over the world will be able to watch every kick live on QPR+.
Head to head
QPR wins: 19
Middlesbrough wins: 18
QPR: R’s manager Mark Warburton revealed on Thursday afternoon that he once again has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Middlesbrough: Striker Ashley Fletcher is a doubt with a hamstring injury, so new signing Chuba Akpom could make his first Boro start.
QPR manager Mark Warburton: “If you look at Middlesbrough's squad it is filled with quality, experience and pace. They also have a lot physicality at the back. They have a talented side but we travelled to the Riverside at the end of last season, performed really well and got the victory. We know what we have to do and we will look to produce a good performance on Saturday.”
QPR 4-2 Middlesbrough - 10th April 1976
Division One title chasers QPR extended their undefeated run to 12 games following a 4-2 victory over Middlesbrough in W12, as the race with Liverpool for the Championship title intensified.
Ian Gillard quickly went close for the R’s, with his long-range effort being well saved by Jim Platt in the Boro goal. Rangers continued to show why they were at the top of the league with Gerry Francis and Stan Bowles linking up well, but again Platt was on hand to deny the England captain.
But, to the shock of the R’s faithful, Boro then took the lead when an uncharacteristic mistake from Phil Parkes allowed Phil Boersma to tap home from close range.
Rangers weren’t behind for long, though, and when Clement was brought down in the box the referee didn’t hesitate to point to the spot. Midfielder Francis stepped up and converted to make it all square.
After drawing level, Dave Sexton’s men were quickly ahead when Don Givens' effort was deflected past Platt.
Rangers soon made it three when, after some good work from Bowles, the ball fell kindly to Francis, who was able to smash home for his second of the game.
With the game starting to peter out, QPR’s number 10 Bowles sparked it back into life, with the maverick getting on the scoresheet. After cutting in from the left-hand side, his right-footed shot went under Platt and sealed all the points for the hosts.
With only minutes left, Peter Brine managed to convert a bouncing ball from close range to add an element of respect to the score-line for the visitors.
It was to be QPR’s afternoon, as the hunt for the First Division title continued.
QPR Starting XI: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Hollins, McLintock, Webb, Thomas, Francis, Masson, Bowles, Givens.
Man in the middle
Dean Whitestone will take charge of this weekend’s Sky Bet Championship clash between QPR and Middlesbrough.
This will be Whitestone’s first Rangers games since the tail-end of last season when he officiated our 3-1 win away at Preston North End.
He will be assisted by Mark Pottage and Carl Fitch-Jackson, whilst Nigel Lugg will take up the fourth official duties.
Season ticket holders can watch Saturday’s game against Middlesbrough for FREE.
All fans who renewed or purchased their 2020/21 season ticket before 5pm on Wednesday 23rd September and have up-to-date contact details registered with the club have been sent a QPR+ voucher. Please see above links for information on how to update them.
Non-season ticket holders can also watch the game live on QPR+. Match passes are priced at £10 for UK and Ireland-based fans and £7 for overseas fans.
To purchase a match pass, please CLICK HERE.