Mar 29, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Loftus Road
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Hoilett (78')
FT(HT: 0-1)

Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Blackpool

QPR manager Harry Redknapp on the touchline during his team's match against Burnley on October 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship battle between promotion-chasing QPR and relegation-threatened Blackpool at Loftus Road.

The return to form of Queens Park Rangers has come just in time for them to consolidate their place in the playoff positions, but seemingly too late for them to reignite their challenge for automatic promotion.

A victory over Blackpool at Loftus Road on Saturday would make it three wins in the space of a week for the Hoops, who have already beaten Middlesbrough and fellow promotion contenders Wigan Athletic in the last seven days.

With the top two facing each other at Turf Moor, QPR have a chance to feed off any scraps that may be given to them, although the likelihood of them closing the 10-point gap in the eight remaining games is slim.

Instead, Harry Redknapp's side look like they will attempt to get back into the top flight at the first time of asking via the playoffs, and their most realistic goal now will be to hold on to third place in order to get the kindest draw.

Their home advantage could well prove to be an important factor having won 13 times and lost just twice at Loftus Road all season, the last two wins of which have come without conceding a goal.

A lack of goals at the other end has been a problem for Redknapp all season and he is once again without top scorer Charlie Austin through injury, while Matthew Phillips, Alejandro Faurlin and Kevin Doyle join him in the treatment room.

Yossi Benayoun, meanwhile, is suspended having received a late red card against Wigan on Tuesday in a match that also saw him score the only goal.

Blackpool have halted - or at least slowed - their relentless slide down the table just in time to keep them clear of the relegation zone with a small amount of breathing space.

Manager Barry Ferguson has insisted that his side are not safe from the drop yet, however, with just nine points separating them from the bottom three.

Following a run of 18 matches without a win, two victories in their last four games is certainly an improvement for the Seasiders, but they are still in need of a couple more wins to secure their Championship status.

A team needs to score goals if they are to win, however, and that is something that Blackpool have found difficult this season. Only Charlton Athletic have found the back of the net fewer times, and the Addicks still have three games to make up on Ferguson's side.

It is away from home where Blackpool's troubles really lie, with no wins in their last 13 matches on the road, a run that stretches all the way back to the start of November. They have picked up just two points from a possible 36 in that time, scoring a measly five league goals in the process.

Andrew Halliday is the only injury doubt for the visitors, who could welcome Andy Keogh back into the side.

Recent form


Blackpool: LLWLWL

Possible starting lineups

QPR: Green; Hughes, Dunne, Onuoha, Hill; Barton, Carroll; Hoilett, Morrison, Kranjcar; Zamora

Blackpool: Gilks; McMahon, Mackenzie, Cathcart, Robinson; Basham, Foley; Grandin, Keogh, Perkins; Fuller

Sports Mole says: 2-0

QPR manager Harry Redknapp on the touchline during his team's match against Burnley on October 26, 2013
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