MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 23:17:57| >> :600:441297:441297:
Jun 20, 2020 at 3pm UK at Loftus Road Stadium
QPRQueens Park Rangers
FT(HT: 0-1)
Simoes (7')
Chaplin (90+1')

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

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

Queens Park Rangers head into their Championship encounter with Barnsley sitting in 13th position, just six points adrift of a spot in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, bottom-placed Barnsley are seven points adrift of safety with nine games remaining, leaving Gerhard Struber's team to push for victory at Loftus Road.

Match preview

QPR boss Mark Warburton on February 1, 2020© Reuters

With his team on a six-match unbeaten run, QPR boss Mark Warburton would have been frustrated with the suspension of football due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, that run of results has left the Hoops 11 points above the relegation zone, allowing club officials to start to put plans together ahead of next season.

From Warburton's perspective, he will view the final nine fixtures as an opportunity to go under the radar with regards to promotion to the Premier League.

Although they are placed in mid-table, everyone associated with QPR will be optimistic that positive results over the next few games will leave them on the brink of the top six.

While achieving their current position has taken a team effort, there will inevitably be responsibility on the shoulders of Eberechi Eze to add to his 12 goals and eight assists before his probable move to the Premier League.

As far as Barnsley are concerned, there will already be tentative plans in place for a return to League One with the club sitting at the bottom of the table.

With just three of their direct rivals to come in the remaining nine games, it leaves the Tykes realistically needing to achieve a number of surprise results against teams chasing promotion.

Losing to Reading and Cardiff City without troubling the scoresheet will not fill Struber with a great deal of confidence, but there is a feeling that Barnsley could relish being the clear underdogs to avoiding dropping down to the third tier.

Nevertheless, Struber needs bigger contributions from the rest of his squad, who have been left reliant on Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin chipping in with 24 goals and Alex Mowatt and Jacob Brown contributing 15 assists.

Queens Park Rangers Championship form: DWDWDW

Barnsley Championship form: LWWWLL

Team News

Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber pictured on January 11, 2020© Reuters

Struber has been handed a boost after goalkeeper Samuel Sahin-Radlinger agreed to play until the end of the month, when his contract is due to expire.

The Yorkshire outfit have a fully-fit squad, although Toby Sibbick will not be able to feature after returning from his loan period with Hearts.

QPR will be without United States international Geoff Cameron, who is serving a ban after his red card before lockdown.

Jordan Hugill is expected to lead the line after West Ham United gave the green light for the forward to see out the season at Loftus Road.

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Kelly; Rangel, Barbet, Hall, Manning; Amos, Ball; Samuel, Eze, Chair; Hugill

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Sahin-Radlinger; Ludewig, Sollbauer, Halme, Williams; Thomas, Ritzmaier, Mowatt; Woodrow; Brown, Chaplin

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Barnsley

We expect an open game at Loftus Road with both teams realistically needing to push for maximum points. Although that throws up the possibility of a surprise result, we are backing QPR to pick up where they left off in March.

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Leeds United's players celebrate Tyler Roberts' goal against Hull City on February 29, 2020
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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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