QPR face an intriguing clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend.
The Black Country outfit are a completely different proposition to what they were a year ago after spending over £20 million on recruiting players this summer. Their flamboyant and attractive style of play has seen them climb to the top of the league this season meaning Saturday will be a huge test for Ollie’s side but where can the game be won and lost?
Ruben Neves v Luke Freeman
The most expensive player to be brought by a Championship club will be on show at Loftus Road on Saturday. Ruben Neves, who had previously been heavily linked with Chelsea and Manchester United, ended up signing for Wolves in a deal reportedly close to £16 million.
The 20-year-old sits in the middle of the park and usually controls the pace of the game. He has been vital to the way Wolves play and generally sees things a second or two quicker than his opponents.
But he’s coming up against the man who has the most assists in the Championship this season in Luke Freeman. Like Neves, Freeman is also pivotal to the way the R’s go forward and has been extremely influential in the final third having been directly involved in 50% of QPR goals this campaign. Both players will know their individual performances could go a long way to deciding where the three points go.
Diogo Jota v Alex Baptiste
The Championship’s leading goal-scorer and perhaps Wolves’ most impressive performer this season, the R’s defence will undoubtedly know just how big a threat the Portuguese forward is.
His trickery and brisk movement combined with his lighting pace are a nightmare for defenders but Jota is not an out an out number nine and will often come deep and to the wings to try and influence the game.
But in Alex Baptiste Rangers have found themselves a reliable figure at the back. The defender is proving to be a successful purchase and very few strikers have got the better of him since he joined the club. However, he probably faces his biggest test of the season in the right centre back role on Saturday with Jota often operating in these areas.
Conor Coady v Idrissa Sylla
Former Liverpool trainee Conor Coady has come on leaps and bounds this season under Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo after being redeployed from midfield to defence.
Coady has been playing as part of a back three for Wolves this year and has excelled at the role especially when bringing the ball out. He is also capable of stepping into midfield as the spare man. He’s looked so natural in this position that it’s amazing to think he’s only done it for a few months.
Meanwhile, Idrissa Sylla comes into this game in good form having netted in his last two outings and generally looking dangerous throughout the Sunderland and Bolton games. The forward also scored last season against Wolves and may look to exploit the fact that Coady has only recently been playing as a defender.