The R's suffered a torrid time at Hillsborough in midweek, having a man sent off before losing 3-0 to Sheffield Wednesday, a result that manager Harry Redknapp admitted ruled them out of finishing in the top two.
That defeat kept them fourth in the Championship table, 10 points behind second-placed Burnley and resigned to the fact that their only likely route back into the Premier League is now via the playoffs.
Their position in the top six is certainly not yet guaranteed, however, with a hungry chasing pack looking to feed off any scraps given to them by the teams above.
QPR are just seven points clear of Reading and Brighton & Hove Albion in seventh and eighth respectively, while the Seagulls could cut that gap to four should they win their game in hand.
There are other teams more vulnerable than the Hoops at the moment, but Redknapp will know that the most important thing is to secure their playoff place as soon as possible. With such a financial burden on the club, failure to finish in the top six could be catastrophic.
Their form has been shaky in recent weeks, however, with just two victories from their nine matches since the start of February - a run that has also yielded five defeats.
Only Brighton have scored fewer in the top 17 of the table, while the Seagulls are also the only side who can boast a better defensive record than QPR this season.
At the other end, the strikeforce will look to improve on QPR's record of not having scored in seven of their last nine away games in all competitions, but they will have to do it without the injured Charlie Austin and Matthew Phillips.
Middlesbrough, meanwhile, are comfortably hovering in midtable and will be looking to begin their building phase for next season now.
Sitting 12 points off the playoffs and 13 above the relegation zone, Boro will have no aspirations or fears of being dragged into either battle, meaning that they can play with a certain freedom that may have been lacking earlier in the season.
One thing that certainly has been lacking of late is a goalscoring touch - Aitor Karanka's side have found the back of the net in just two of their last 10 matches, managing only three goals and one win in that time.
On the other hand, they have established themselves as a tough team to break down and a formidable defensive unit having kept six clean sheets and conceded just four goals in that 10-game spell.
They are particularly hard to get past at the Riverside, where they have been beaten just twice all season in the league, although four of their last five home outings have resulted in draws.
Possible starting lineups
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos; Varga, Omeruo, Gibson, Friend; Leadbitter, Chalobah, Adomah, Tomlin, Ledesma; Graham
QPR: Green; Onuoha, Hughes, Hull, Yun; Barton, Jenas; Hoilett, Morrison, Kranjcar; Zamora
Sports Mole says: 0-0