CHAMPIONSHIP

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Fri: QPR v Reading

Both QPR and Reading are flying this season, sitting fourth and third in the Championship, and come head-to-head on Friday night at Loftus Road.

Under the stewardship of Mick Beale, who left his role as Steven Gerrard’s number two at Aston Villa to join the club in the summer, QPR have made an excellent start to their Championship season; winning six, drawing three and losing three of their first 12 league matches.

Their most recent outing produced possibly their most impressive result of the season so far; a gritty, hard-fought 1-0 victory away at table-topping Sheffield United with Chris Willock grabbing the crucial goal six minutes into the second-half.

And it is unquestionable that Willock has been the pivotal man in QPR’s promising start to the campaign with six goals in nine games and the former Arsenal man simply looking a cut above with his performances.

Sadly, though, Willock is unlikely to be involved in this table-topping clash with Reading on Friday night with the winger sustaining a hamstring issue in that win agains the Blades earlier in the week.

Scotland international Lyndon Dykes might be the man to benefit with Beale forced to re-jig his side as a result of Willock’s absence.

Queens Park Rangers v Reading
Championship
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HDR

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
JAN 2022 CHAMPIONSHIP QPR 4-0 Reading
SEP 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 3-3 QPR
MAR 2021 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 1-1 QPR
DEC 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP QPR 0-1 Reading
DEC 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 1-0 QPR
OCT 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP QPR 2-2 Reading
DEC 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP QPR 0-0 Reading
OCT 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 0-1 QPR
MAR 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 1-0 QPR
AUG 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP QPR 2-0 Reading

They were many people’s favourites to go down but, under the guidance of former Manchester United and England legend Paul Ince, Reading have made a surprisingly good start to the Championship season.

The Royals sit third in the Championship; collating 22 points from their opening 12 fixtures in a start to the campaign that absolutely no one saw coming considering the question marks hovering over Ince’s head and a pretty chaotic and difficult summer in terms of recruitment.

How long they will be able to keep it up is really anyone’s guess, especially considering Reading’s recent history of second-half-of-the-season collapses, but they will certainly be enjoying the ride whilst it lasts.

Star man Lucas Joao is set to return to the side after a spell on the sidelines which will either see him slot in alongside Andy Carroll in attack or take his place up-front with the former Liverpool striker dropping to the bench.

Reading have a strong record at home so far this season but that has not translated to life on the road and I am expecting QPR to come away with the three points on Friday night.

I am also expecting this to be a tight and close affair, though, that will be decided by a single goal with QPR and under 2.5 goals and a correct scoreline of 1-0 to QPR being backed.

JOE CITRONE


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