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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Queens Park Rangers and Middlesbrough, including team news and predicted lineups.

Middlesbrough's search for their first Championship victory of the 2020-21 campaign will continue on Saturday afternoon when they head to Loftus Road to take on Queens Park Rangers.

Boro have only picked up a point from their first two league games of the season to sit 17th in the table, while QPR have collected three points from their two fixtures thus far courtesy of one win and one defeat.


Match preview

Queens Park Rangers players celebrate scoring against Nottingham Forest on September 12, 2020© Reuters

QPR's season began with a 3-2 loss to Plymouth Argyle in the EFL Cup at the start of September, but the R's opened their Championship campaign with a 2-0 home success over Nottingham Forest.

The capital side would have been looking to build on the victory away to Coventry City last weekend, but a late goal from Kyle McFadzean handed the home side all three points in a 3-2 win.

Mark Warburton's side finished 13th in the Championship last season, 12 points outside of the playoffs, and it is going to be difficult for the team to push for the top six positions in 2020-21.

The fact that QPR have scored twice in each of their three competitive games this season but conceded three times on two occasions suggests that they are going to be a good watch this term.

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured in the EFl Cup on September 4, 2020© Reuters

Boro, meanwhile, shared the points with Bournemouth at the Riverside Stadium in their last game on September 19, with Marcus Browne coming off the bench to net a late leveller for the home side.

Neil Warnock was absent from the touchline against the Cherries after testing positive for coronavirus and that will again be the case this weekend, with assistant manager Kevin Blackwell and first-team coach Ronnie Jepson set to remain in charge of first-team affairs.

The former Premier League club finished 17th in the Championship last season, but the supporters will be looking for a big improvement this term.

It has been a tough start to the campaign, though, losing 1-0 at Watford on September 11 in the Championship before suffering a 2-0 home defeat to Barnsley in the EFL Cup four days later.

Queens Park Rangers Championship form: WL
Queens Park Rangers form (all competitions): LWL

Middlesbrough Championship form: LD
Middlesbrough form (all competitions): LLD


Team News

Queens Park Rangers and Scotland forward Lyndon Dykes pictured in August 2020© Reuters

QPR's squad is in good shape at the moment in terms of injuries, and it would not be a surprise to see Warbuton keep with the XI that started against Coventry last weekend.

Lyndon Dykes has scored twice in two Championship appearances this season and should keep his spot at the tip of the attack, with Luke Amos and Ilias Chair also set to feature.

Bright Osayi-Samuel's future remains the subject of much speculation, but the 22-year-old was in the team against Coventry and should again make the XI for this match.

As for Boro, Browne's late leveller against Bournemouth last time out means that the attacker is in contention to start, although it seems likely that Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga will continue as the front two.

Warnock has no fresh injury concerns to contend with, meaning that a five-man midfield should again include George Saville, Jonny Howson and Marcus Tavernier in central positions.

There should also be a spot in the squad for new signing Chuba Akpom, who has moved to the Riverside Stadium from Greek outfit PAOK.

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Lumley; Kakay, Barbet, Dickie, Wallace; Cameron, Carroll; Chair, Amos, Osayi-Samuel; Dykes

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Hall, Fry, McNair; Spence, Morsy, Tavernier, Saville, Johnson; Fletcher, Assombalonga


SM words green background

We say: Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Middlesbrough

The two teams shared the points in the corresponding match during the 2019-20 Championship season, and we fancy another draw here. Boro will be keen to put their first victory on the board as soon as possible, but QPR have more than enough to pick up a point at Loftus Road.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:curl

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Boro boss Neil Warnock on September 11, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Fulham20134349163343
2Bournemouth20126236162042
3Queens Park RangersQPR2010553325835
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2097427161134
5Blackburn RoversBlackburn209653427733
6Coventry CityCoventry209652723433
7Stoke CityStoke209472421331
8Huddersfield TownHuddersfield208482323028
9Swansea CitySwansea207672526-127
10Millwall206952021-127
11Blackpool207672022-227
12Middlesbrough207582323026
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd207582526-126
14Birmingham CityBirmingham207581921-226
15Luton TownLuton206772726125
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest206772423125
17Preston North EndPreston206772226-425
18Bristol City206592130-923
19Hull City2063111623-721
20Cardiff CityCardiff2063112134-1321
21Reading2082102632-620
22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough2044121738-2116
23Barnsley2026121331-1812
24Derby CountyDerby2041061720-31

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