Key Battles: QPR v Leeds United

QPR v Leeds has been an intriguing contest in recent years with the R’s coming out on top.

We’ve beaten the Whites in three of the last six meetings and only lost once in the last seven games. Since our last match, a 0-0 draw at Elland Road, Leeds have made plenty of changes to their playing staff.

Below is some of the key players to look out for when Thomas Christiansen’s side come to W12.

Samuel Saiz v Josh Scowen

The Spaniard is the heartbeat of the Leeds team and the man who they will look to try and influence the game. When the Yorkshire outfit get him on the ball in good areas, Saiz will always threaten to cause problems such is his appreciation of what’s around him and his ability to execute passes in tight areas. The number 10 has also contributed with four assists and five goals this league campaign.

The man who will be looking to keep Saiz as quiet as possible will be Josh Scowen. The tenacious midfielder has hardly missed a game this season for Holloway’s side and is crucial at snuffing out the opposition’s most dangerous players. In recent games he’s also gotten forward a little more but his main role on Saturday afternoon will be to stay tight to Saiz.

Ronaldo Vieira v Massimo Luongo

Another important battle in the middle of the park between two players with contrasting styles but both playing a crucial fog in the midfield for their teams.

You could argue that you’re destined for great things with a name like Ronaldo Vieira and the teenager has not disappointed for Leeds this season. An aggressive player, who likes to snap into tackles and drive his team forward. The England Under-20 international has fully established himself in the side in recent matches and should enjoy getting around the tight Loftus Road pitch.

With Rangers’ currently struggling for form, much will be expected of the stand in skipper to put in another dominating performance in midfield. So many of QPR’s best performances this year have come through vintage displays from the Australian with his passing and awareness setting the tone of the match. With Luke Freeman returning from suspension, Luongo will likely revert back to his usual deeper midfield role and hope to get the better of Vieira.

Pontus Jansson v Conor Washington

The Swedish international was pivotal to Leeds’ successful campaign last year and despite some mixed displays this season Christiansen’s backline looks a lot more solid with the 6’ 5" defender.

Capable of match-winning displays due to his heroic defending, usually through clearances and blocks Jansson is also a leader of the backline and will likely play alongside Liam Cooper.

But coming up against Conor Washington could be a tough test for the defender. Washington’s direct and quick running style is something he can now and again struggle against and therefore it’s important that QPR get the Northern Irishman one on one against him as much as possible throughout the game.