14th host 5th on a Tuesday night at Loftus Road, as Bristol City visit QPR in the Sky Bet Championship.
Despite the nine places that separate the two sides, there is only four points between the Rs and the Robins, and a win for the home side could, if other results go their way, propel the Shepherds Bush outfit to just one point outside of the play-offs, such is the congested nature of the mid-table of the English second division.
These two sides last met on the final day of the 2015/16 season, again at Loftus Road, and on that May afternoon it was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men who were victorious by a goal to nil, thanks to a Karl Henry effort on 63 minutes.
The home side enter this match up with 24 hours less recovery time than their West Country couterparts, as QPR hosted Reading on Saturday and drew 1-1. This time it is a side with further to travel along the M4 as Bristol City will hope to bounce back from a poor 2-1 Severnside derby defeat to Cardiff City, in Neil Warnock’s first game in charge of the Welsh side.
Queen’s Park Rangers have won only one of their last seven league games, that coming in a 2-1 victory over London rivals Fulham at the start of this month. However, the Rs are undefeated in their last four Championship games, as three separate 1-1 draws surround that success against Fulham.
Bristol City’s loss to Cardiff City on Friday night aside; the Robins are in reasonable form in the league, winning their previous three and securing a point against Derby County before that. A lot has been made about Tammy Abraham’s electric start to life in a Bristol City shirt, but make no mistake, there are other young talented players at Lee Johnson’s disposal, who will all be looking to prove a point after a disappointing defeat on television in their last appearance.
Grant Hall picked up a knock last time out against Reading, and may not feature for the Hoops. The most likely candidate for his place is Steven Caulker, formerly a loan player at Bristol City. Otherwise, expect a similar team to the one that Hasselbaink fielded on Saturday.
QPR predicted starting XI:
Lee Johnson may be forced into some changes as Abraham is rated doubtful with illness. However, if fit, it is likely Johnson will start the 19 year old.
Bristol City predicted starting XI:
Grant Hall is the only fresh concern for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Lee Johnson has confirmed that Tammy Abraham has been suffering with a sickness bug and is a doubt for this one. Adam Matthews and Korey Smith edge ever closer to full fitness and may feature for City, albeit off of the bench.
This is a tough one to call. Bristol City have a historically poor record at Loftus Road, but will be keen to put the record straight after a poor showing in front of the Sky Cameras on Friday night. QPR, on the other hand, whilst not in danger of the drop zone at this moment in time, will be desperate to record a victory in the league at home for the first time since the opening day of the season. If the Robins are without a fit and fully firing Tammy Abraham, goals may be at a premium. Prediction 1-1.
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