QPR take on high-flying Bristol City at Loftus Road this weekend with the visitor’s having won four of their last five league games. We take a closer look at just how the Robins have got themselves near the top of the table and how we can stop them on Saturday.
Bobby Reid v Nedum Onuoha
Perhaps one of the surprise stars of Bristol City’s season is Bobby Reid. The 24-year-old, who came through City's Academy, has been playing slightly further forward this year and has rewarded the faith shown in him by Lee Johnson - finding the net on ten occasions in the league.
His game is mainly about subtle movement and clever link-up play, which lends itself to a deeper role but his positioning and late runs into the box have caused many defenders problems this term.
Whilst his goals have been crucial to the Robins this season, just as importantly he is always looking for players around him to link up with and has been pivotal to a free flowing Bristol attack that has scored 36 goals this campaign.
Reid will be coming up against the R’s skipper Nedum Onuoha. The Chief has missed much of this season with injury but was back to his best on Saturday against Birmingham playing alongside Alex Baptiste and Jack Robinson in a back three. Rangers will need another strong performance from Ned on Saturday.
Aden Flint v Matt Smith
A battle between two of the Championship's tallest players and two ex- teammates, Smith will be looking to get some revenge over Flint after the latter came out on top when the two team’s last met.
Smith hardly had a kick at Ashton Gate last March and was taken off after 66 minutes with Flint winning all the aerial battles in a 2-1 victory for the home side.
The defender has been in sublime form for City this season both defensively but also offensively – scoring six goals and he certainly provides a massive threat on set pieces.
His aerial ability in both boxes is probably his main strength but Smith is the one player who could at least match him in this area. Four of the forward’s five goals this year have been in the air and if the R’s choose to put crosses in then we might be more successful at it than other clubs in the division.
Marlon Pack v Luke Freeman
A crucial contest in the middle of the park which could determine what way the game goes.
Pack is likely to position himself firmly in the defensive third for this game although he does have the ball playing skills to play further up the field.
The midfielder is confident on the ball, recycling possession calmly and reading the game well - although eight yellow cards to his name suggests he can at times lack discipline.
He’ll be coming up against the division’s king of assists with Freeman currently topping the charts with eight.
This time last year Freeman was a Bristol City player but his game has gone up a notch since signing for the R’s where he’s been given the freedom to get on the ball and express himself. The visitors will be aware of his quality and would expect Pack to pay him some close attention in W12.