Apr 5, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Dean Court
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Elphick (45'), Grabban (60')
Harte (78')
Arter (68')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Traore (46')
Morrison (84'), Dunne (90')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. Queens Park Rangers

Sports Mole previews the Championship encounter between in-form Bournemouth and Queens Park Rangers at the Goldsands Stadium.

Queens Park Rangers' hopes of automatic promotion to the Premier League look to be all but over going into Saturday's Championship meeting with Bournemouth.

The Hoops were handed a lifeline when league leaders Leicester City beat Burnley in a battle between the top two last Saturday, but Harry Redknapp's side could not take full advantage, only managing a draw against Blackpool.

That result leaves QPR nine points adrift of the Clarets with just seven games remaining, and anything other than a victory against Bournemouth would surely consign them to the playoffs once and for all.

They have showed an improvement in form recently, however, recovering from a winless February and poor start to March to win three and lose just one of their last five games.

With Derby County hot on their heels in the race for third place, QPR need to maintain that form and ideally improve their goal difference, which is comfortably the worst in the top four.

They do have the joint-best defensive record in the division this season, conceding just 33 goals in their 39 outings, but only Brighton & Hove Albion have scored fewer outside the bottom seven.

Away form will be a slight concern for Redknapp going into a run-in that sees them on the road four more times, with his side losing four of their last six games on their travels.

Another worry will be his side's ever-growing injury list, with Alejandro Faurlin, Charlie Austin and Matthew Phillips definitely out and Nedum Onuoha, Joey Barton and Aaron Hughes doubtful.

Kevin Doyle has returned to Wolverhampton Wanderers after injury brought a premature end to his loan spell, but Yossi Benayoun could return from suspension.

Bournemouth will now be dreaming of joining QPR in the playoffs at the end of the season, with a remarkable run of form seeing them make a late push for the top six.

A run of three consecutive wins and 19 points from the last 24 available has seen the Cherries race up to 10th in the table, now just five points off sixth-placed Reading.

They remain rank outsiders to reach the playoffs, largely due to their poor goal difference, but with the likes of Reading, Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest still to come this season they have plenty of opportunities to take points off the teams around them.

Only Leicester have managed to beat Bournemouth at the Goldsands since the turn of the year, while they have treated their fans to nine goals scored and just one conceded in their last three home outings.

The hosts will be buoyed by the teams above them stuttering in form in recent weeks, but Eddie Howe will know that his side cannot afford many slip-ups if their playoff dream is to become a reality. He could name an unchanged side for Saturday's match, with no new injury concerns to worry about.

Recent form

Bournemouth: WDLWWW


Possible starting lineups

Bournemouth: Camp; Francis, Elphick, Cook, Harte; Pugh, O'Kane, Arter, Ritchie; Kermorgant; Grabban

QPR: Green; Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto; Henry, Carroll; Hoilett, Morrison, Benayoun; Zamora

Sports Mole says: 1-1

QPR manager Harry Redknapp on the touchline during his team's match against Burnley on October 26, 2013
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Preview: QPR vs. Blackpool
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