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Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Queens Park Rangers and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Queens Park Rangers play host to Derby County on Saturday afternoon having recorded back-to-back wins in the Championship.

While the home side have moved into 17th position, the visitors have progressed outside of the relegation zone courtesy of a narrow victory over Bournemouth in midweek.

Match preview

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney pictured on January 16, 2021© Reuters

On the back of two successive defeats in the Championship, Wayne Rooney was aware that he was under pressure to justify being handed a two-and-a-half-year contract by the Derby board.

However, the gritty, committed performance produced by his players against promotion-chasing Bournemouth on Tuesday night would have been enough to convince any doubters that the England legend is the right man for the job.

The Rams have failed to build on their ruthless 4-0 win away at Birmingham City, but points will continue to be collected as long as the East Midlands outfit can maintain their outstanding defensive record since Rooney's initial appointment on an interim basis.

Derby have not conceded more than one goal in a Championship fixture in 11 matches, keeping six clean sheets in the process.

They will regard themselves as favourites to further improve that streak on Saturday, despite their opponents also being on an upward trajectory.

After 10 matches without success in all competitions, QPR have recorded successive away victories and clean sheets at Luton Town and Cardiff City.

Having now only lost twice in seven games, Mark Warburton will be confident that the Hoops are playing well enough to stay away from the bottom three.

The return of Charlie Austin could make all the difference, and the forward's presence in the final third has been key in the club's recent successes.

Nevertheless, with just five points separating these two clubs in the standings, QPR are aware that defeat on Saturday will leave them in close proximity to the relegation zone.

Queens Park Rangers Championship form: DDLDWW
Queens Park Rangers form (all competitions): DLDLWW

Derby County Championship form: WLWLLW
Derby County form (all competitions): LWLLLW

Team News

Queens Park Rangers QPR manager Mark Warburton pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Barring any late fitness issues, QPR boss Warburton could stick with the same players who started the game at Cardiff.

Macauley Bonne is an alternative to Lyndon Dykes in attack if the Hoops make a change in the final third.

The extra day's break should be enough to convince Rooney to name the same Derby XI for this contest.

Krystian Bielik is in line to feature for the Rams after shaking off a head knock to complete the game against Bournemouth.

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Kane, Dickie, Cameron, Barbet, Hamalainen; Ball, Chair, Willock; Dykes, Austin

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Roos; Evans, Wisdom, Clarke; Byrne, Shinnie, Bielik, Buchanan; Jozwiak, Kazim-Richards, Knight

SM words green background

We say: Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Derby County

With both clubs having improved in recent weeks, we expect a competitive encounter at Loftus Road. However, goals are likely to be few and far between, and their respective records suggest that a low-scoring draw could be on the cards.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


How you voted: QPR vs Derby

Queens Park Rangers
Derby County
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Derby County manager Wayne Rooney pictured on January 16, 2021
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Wayne Rooney hails Derby's "desire" after Bournemouth win
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