BURTON Albion travel to W12 this weekend having never lost to QPR in a competitive fixture. However the R’s will want to maintain their excellent home form that has been on show this campaign and go into this clash as favourites. In what is expected to be a tight game at Loftus Road we take a closer look at some of the players who could influence proceedings for both teams.
Stephen Warnock v Pawel Wszolek
The experienced full-back Stephen Warnock has settled into life at the Pirelli Stadium fairly quickly following a summer switch from Wigan. The 35-year-old has overcome an injury that kept him out for a few weeks at the start of the season and has now made three consecutive league appearances in the left-wing back role.
Last Saturday he notched his first goal in 110 appearances but it will be defensively where he is expected to do most of his work on Saturday.
Pawel Wszolek has been in fine form especially at Loftus Road where has consistently provided an attacking outlet for the R’s and will be hoping to get the better of his man on Saturday.
Jamie Mackie v Ben Turner
Since signing for the Brewers in June 2016 Turner has been one of their most reliable performers. A somewhat old school defender, Turner is key to Clough’s side in the way he organises their defence and leads from the back.
The centre half also stands at 6' 4" meaning he very rarely loses an aerial battle but it’s a different type of challenge that he may struggle with on Saturday if he is to come up against Jamie Mackie who has found the net on three occasions this season.
The Scotsman’s latest strike perhaps showed just what he’s about – the forward simply won’t stop harassing defenders and this could make life uncomfortable for Turner with Mackie also in an unforgiving mood when he’s been in front of goal this year.
Jamie Allen v Massimo Luongo
With both teams likely to play a 3-5-2 formation, Allen and Luongo are set to play a key role as the two best passers in each side.
Allen, a summer recruit from Rochdale, has adjusted to life in the Championship well after starring for Dale all of last season in League One. The central midfielder is excellent at distributing the ball and is very composed in the middle of the park. The 22-year-old also captained his old club at times last season showing that even at a young age, he is a mature player who others look up to.
But Allen will know he won’t have it all his own way with Luongo playing some of the best football we’ve seen from him in his time at Loftus Road. The Australian midfielder has arguably been the best player on the park in all of QPR’s hope games this campaign and could once again find himself wearing the captain’s armband following the injury to usual skipper Nedum Onuoha.