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Monday's Key Battles: QPR v Brentford

QPR take on Brentford on Monday night live in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

They say form goes out of the window in derbies so with that in mind we look at the key individual battles that could decide where the bragging rights go.

Romaine Sawyers v Josh Scowen

It will more than likely be the job of Josh Scowen to stop Brentford’s elegant midfielder Romaine Sawyers at Loftus Road on Monday.

After a difficult first season with the club following his move from Walsall, Sawyers has shown his undoubted quality this campaign with some fine displays in the centre of the park. The 26-year-old has great vision and rarely loses the ball in crucial areas making him a difficult opponent for anyone in this division.

But if there’s one player that won’t be fazed by a player with that kind of reputation then its Josh Scowen. His pressing and winning of the ball make him an important player in any derby as he helps set the tone of the match. If Scowen can keep Sawyers quiet and get the ball to some of Rangers’ more creative players then that could be pivotal in terms of who comes out on top.

Nico Yennaris v Massimo Luongo

Another crucial midfield battle is likely to come in the form of Nico Yennaris and Massimo Luongo – two players who have hardly missed a minute for their teams this season.

Yennaris is an extremely busy player who is capable of making a difference in both boxes of the pitch. Someone who can drive the team forward with strong runs from midfield as well as crisp passing and enough defensive nous to read game situations.

Luongo, arguably Rangers outstanding player in 2017, is fully recovered from illness and will undoubtedly regain his place in midfield such is his influence on Holloway’s side. Many teams have so far struggled to restrict the authority that Luongo has on games at Loftus Road and will no doubt be viewed as someone the visitors need to keep a close eye on.

Ollie Watkins v Alex Baptiste

The final key battle is between two players who may not have expected to feature as much as they have this season but who have excelled when given a chance.

Watkins, a signing from Exeter and former teammate of David Wheeler, has acclimatised quickly to life in the Championship with some exciting displays down the left wing. The Brentford number 11 has also supported the lone striker well in the 4-2-3-1 system that Brentford have used this season, chipping in with six goals and likes to play in the lines between midfield and defence.

The positions he takes up on the pitch means he will quite often come up against Alex Baptiste. The R’s defender has been playing as a right centre back most of the season and has done extremely well even against quick opponents like Watkins due to his experience and reading of the game.

This should therefore be an intriguing facet of the game as keeping Watkins quiet can mean Rangers can concentrate more on attacking down the right wing – an area of the field where many goals have been created this season.