Feb 1, 2014 at 12.15pm UK at ​Loftus Road
QPRQueens Park Rangers
3-3
Burnley
Doyle (7'), Dunne (34'), Maiga (79')
Doyle (41'), Dunne (47')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Ings (25'), Vokes (54', 62')
Kightly (15')

Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Burnley

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 crucial Championship clash between two automatic promotion chasing sides as QPR host Burnley at Loftus Road.

Two of the Championship's top three teams go head to head in a vital clash on Saturday as second-placed Queens Park Rangers host third-placed Burnley at Loftus Road.

QPR are currently winning the race to join leaders Leicester City in the automatic promotion spots at the end of the season, overtaking Burnley a fortnight ago before extending their lead with a 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.

The gap between the two sides is now three points, and that would be doubled if QPR manage a fourth consecutive home win in Saturday's early kickoff.

Harry Redknapp's side have a 100% record in the league in 2014, with Premier League high flyers Everton the only side to beat them in all competitions.

No Championship side have picked up more points in front of their own fans than QPR this season, with their only home league defeat coming at the hands of Leicester over the festive period.

They also have the best defensive record both at home and overall, conceding just six times at Loftus Road in 14 league games.

However, their goals for tally is significantly lower than those around them in the table, with 33 goals from their 27 games marking the worst record in the top seven.

To further exacerbate their scoring problems, Charlie Austin is a doubt after being forced off during the win over Bolton on Tuesday, although Redknapp is hopeful of bringing in a couple of new faces before Friday's transfer deadline.

Both Danny Simpson and Joey Barton are doubtful for the match through injury, while Alejandro Faurlin and Julio Cesar are definitely out.

Burnley are in danger of being cut adrift from the top two if they lose this match having been held to draws by Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton & Hove Albion in their last two outings.

Failure to win again on Saturday could see them drop down to fourth depending on Derby County's result against Birmingham City, but their playoff spot for this season looks all but guaranteed already.

That should allow Sean Dyche's men to go all out for this game and, while their last two matches have ended in disappointing results, he will be reminding his side that they have only lost once in their last 10 league outings.

The Clarets have the third-best away record in the Championship this season, but their 2-1 victory over Yeovil Town earlier this month was the first time that they had picked up maximum points on their travels since October.

Victory would see the visitors move back into the top two due to their superior goal difference, but they may have to do it without Ben Mee and Ross Wallace, who are both doubts for the game.

Recent form

QPR: DWLWWW

Burnley: DWLWDD

Possible starting lineups

QPR: Green; Traore, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto; Henry, Carroll; Phillips, O'Neil, Kranjcar; Austin

Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Lafferty; Jones, Marney; Arfield, Ings, Kightly; Vokes

Sports Mole says: 2-1

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