Can QPR bounce back through the play-offs?
At the beginning of this 2013/14 Championship season, the bookies were backing Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers for automatic promotion, even to be champions. Now, with three games to go, and Leicester promoted – QPR’s only path to the Premiership is via the Playoffs.
After a disappointing 1-0 loss to leaders Leicester City, Rangers sit in fourth place, five points behind third place Derby, and thirteen off second place Burnley – meaning automatic promotion is now mathematically impossible. Unfortunately, QPR hit bad form as Burnley and Leicester picked up their momentum, around February. Slowly, week by week, Redknapp’s side slipped further and further away from the front runners.
This season has also been struck by injuries for the side, with top scorer Charlie Austin picking up a shoulder injury in January that kept him out for two months, and still isn’t fully fit. The West London outfit also picked up long term injuries to Argentine midfielder Alejandro Faurlin and winger Matty Philips.
Goals had been hard to come by even before injuries to key attacking players, so there is no surprise that Rangers have only scored 53 goals all season, compared to Leicester’s 79. But with strikers Kevin Doyle and Charlie Austin both returning from injuries and being supplied by West Ham wonderkid Ravel Morrison, this trend could soon change.
With arguably the best and most experienced squads in the playoffs, when fully fit, Queens Park Rangers have no reason not to be aiming for triumph at Wembley, come May.
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