AS the international break reaches its conclusion, Mark Warburton’s QPR can finally switch their attentions to this weekend’s clash with promotion hopefuls Watford.
Despite suffering defeat last time out to Blackburn Rovers, Rangers should head into this one relatively confident following their back-to-back victories prior to the trip to Ewood Park.
Whilst a few have been away on international duty, the break has given the rest of Warburton’s players a chance to re-charge their batteries ahead of what will be another hectic fixture schedule over the coming weeks.
The R’s start their run of nine games in four weeks this weekend and Rangers historically have fared pretty well against the Hornets, recording three victories from the last six league clashes.
As we take a closer look at this weekend’s opponents, Watford, it is easy to see that they have made a very positive start to the 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship campaign, as they aim to seal an instant return to the Premier League, following last season’s final-day relegation.
Successive wins over Stoke City and Coventry City ensured the Hornets headed into the international window full of confidence and only a point off top spot.
Saturday’s match will be contested behind closed doors, with Rangers fans all over the world able to watch every kick live on QPR+.
Supporters all over the world will be able to watch QPR’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Watford live on QPR+
Rangers welcome the Hornets to W12 on Saturday (3pm kick-off GMT) and the live stream is available worldwide.
2020/21 season ticket holders will be able to watch the match as normal.
All non-season ticket holders – and fans who requested a refund on their 2020/21 season tickets – will need to purchase a match pass in order to watch the game.
Match passes are priced at £10 for UK and Ireland-based fans and £7 for overseas fans, with all pricing set by the EFL.
To purchase your match pass, CLICK HERE.
Head to head
QPR wins: 50
Watford wins: 33
QPR: Luke Amos remains out with his long-term knee injury but George Thomas, Lee Wallace and Bright Osayi-Samuel could all return.
Watford: Full-back Adam Masina is not quite ready to return for the Hornets and the same applies to striker Stipe Perica, who is still nursing a shoulder problem. Ben Foster should return after a thigh injury and Will Hughes is also likely to be back. Francisco Sierralta will be touch-and-go as he does not return from international duty until Friday. Tom Dele-Bashiru and Isaac Success are long-term absentees.
QPR manager Mark Warburton: “As I always say, we are a good team and we have to respect Watford, know how to negate their strengths and most importantly know how to impose ourselves on the game. It’s important that we go into the game with the right mindset, full of belief and deliver a good performance.”
QPR 2-1 Watford - 21st April 2014
The last league meeting between the two sides came back in 2014, when a 2-1 victory for Rangers in west London secured the R’s place in the play-offs.
Twelfth-placed Watford travelled to the capital six points adrift of the final play-off position and knew that they had to start an impressive run of form if they were to have a chance of sneaking into sixth place.
The Hertfordshire side started brightly with Troy Deeney and Lewis McGugan forcing R’s number one Rob Green into action, and going into the break Harry Redknapp’s side were relieved to still be level.
Minutes into the second half, Swedish striker Mathias Ranegie struck to give Watford a somewhat deserved lead in W12.
But, the never-say-die attitude Rangers possessed eventually shone through and, when Joey Barton’s free-kick pulled the home side level, a winning goal was more a matter of when, rather than if, for the R’s.
Despite leaving it late, frontman Charlie Austin struck from the edge of box on his return from injury, for his 15th league goal of the season, to seal Rangers’ place in the play-offs and end the Hornets hopes of promotion for another season.
QPR Starting XI: Green, Simpson, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill, Barton, Morrison, Carroll, Traore, Doyle, Austin.
Man in the middle
Michael Salisbury will take charge of this weekend’s Sky Bet Championship clash between QPR and Watford.
This will be Salisbury’s second Rangers fixture of the season, with his first coming in the R's dramatic last-minute draw away to Sheffield Wednesday in early October.
He will be assisted by Richard Wild and Carl Fitch-Jackson, whilst George Byrne will take up the fourth official duties.