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

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

Norwich City will aim to take a step towards the Championship title when they travel to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

The Canaries have lost both of their games since their promotion was confirmed and will be out to prove that they are not on the beaches of Norfolk just yet.

Match preview

Norwich City's Jordan Hugill celebrates scoring their seventh goal against Huddersfield Town in the Championship on April 6, 2021© Reuters

Norwich would have secured top spot in the Championship had they beaten Watford on Tuesday evening, but a second-half goal from Dan Gosling gave the second-placed Hornets a 1-0 victory.

It followed a 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth last Saturday, the same day their return to the Premier League was confirmed by Brentford and Swansea City dropping points.

Norwich have not lost three Championship matches in a row since November 2017, but they are threatening to end a stellar season in disappointing fashion.

Daniel Farke's side still have a five point lead over Watford and will be confirmed as title winners if they claim victory at Loftus Road and the Hertfordshire side drop points against Millwall.

The leaders have won six of their last seven away matches and have not lost on the road since the beginning of February at Swansea.

However, they come up against a QPR side ending the season in good form; Mark Warburton's side have won four of their last six games and beat Swansea 1-0 on Tuesday night thanks to an 89th-minute Lyndon Dykes goal.

Queens Park Rangers QPR manager Mark Warburton pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Warburton says that he is not content with "mid-table mediocrity" and wants his team to finish as high as possible; they moved up to eighth in midweek – the highest they have been all season apart from after the opening round of fixtures.

That is conceivably as high as they could finish with Reading six points ahead in seventh, but it would represent a superb second half of the season after the first half of the campaign was clouded by relegation fears.

Indeed, only Watford (48) and Norwich (46) have picked up more points in the Championship in 2021 than the White City side (41).

QPR have won their last two home games by three-goal margins against Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday, but they have only beaten Norwich twice in their last 14 meetings with the Canaries.

This season's reverse fixture finished 1-1 at Carrow Road in December, as Teemu Pukki and then Bright Osayi-Samuel both scored penalties in the final 15 minutes.

Queens Park Rangers Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Norwich City Championship form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Queens Park Rangers' Lyndon Dykes in action with Brentford's Winston Reid in the Championship on February 17, 2021© Reuters

QPR will have Seny Dieng back available after the goalkeeper was suspended for the trip to Swansea.

Lee Wallace missed the game in south Wales with a minor knock but should be back in contention at Loftus Road, while Warburton will also hope to have Geoff Cameron and Jordy de Wijs in the squad after recent injuries.

Dykes is on his hottest scoring streak of the season – with six goals in his last seven matches – and will hope to find the back of the net again.

In contrast to Dykes, Pukki has gone three games without a goal; if he draws a blank on Saturday, it will be his joint-longest drought of the season.

Dimitris Giannoulis remains suspended so Xavi Quintilla should deputise again at left-back, although Jacob Sorensen is also an option.

Despite two consecutive losses, Farke is unlikely to make drastic changes to the team that has performed so well for most of the season.

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Kakay, Dickie, Barbet; Adomah, Johansen, Field, Wallace; Chair; Dykes, Willock

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Omobamidele, Hanley, Quintilla; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Dowell, Cantwell; Pukki

SM words green background

We say: Queens Park Rangers 0-1 Norwich City

Norwich's last two defeats have come against the two in-form sides in the Championship, but we expect them to get back to winning ways on Saturday. QPR are ending the season in great form themselves and will be full of confidence after beating Swansea, though, so it will certainly be a tight game at Loftus Road.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Norwich City manager Daniel Farke pictured in February 2021
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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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