MX23RW : Friday, February 22 19:32:46
Sep 16, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at ​Loftus Road
QPRQueens Park Rangers
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
Austin (46'), Onuoha (79')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Duffy (14'), Rhodes (60')

Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Blackburn Rovers

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rovers at Loftus Road.

Blackburn Rovers' bid to record their first win of the new Championship season will continue when they travel to Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday.

The former Premier League champions are without a win in six league games this term, but will be up against a QPR team that will also be looking to recover from a defeat at the weekend.


Charlie Austin in action for QPR on December 20, 2014© Getty Images

It has been a steady rather than spectacular start to the Championship season for Chris Ramsey's QPR side, who currently sit ninth in the table on 10 points. That said, victory in this one could move them as high as fourth, depending on goal difference.

There was much optimism surrounding the club ahead of the new campaign, but a 2-0 loss to Charlton Athletic in their opener suggested that it would not be plain sailing once again. They could then only draw at home to Cardiff City, but three wins from their last four has moved them up the table. Ramsey's side won away at Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 19, before beating Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town in their next two.

The London outfit were eliminated by Carlisle United in the second round of the League Cup, however, and also lost 2-1 at home to Nottingham Forest in the league at the weekend. Three straight wins have occurred on their travels, but they have only won once at home in all competitions this season.

While the last few results have been disappointing, there is still excitement about the season ahead, with Ramsey able to keep the likes of Charlie Austin and Matt Phillips away from interested clubs in the summer. Austin has scored five goals in six league games this season, but with his contract expiring next June, losing their top marksmen in January is a real possibility.

In terms of what is to come for QPR, following this game, they will travel to in-form Hull City, before facing Fulham at Craven Cottage before the end of the month. Those fixtures make the clash with Blackburn even more important, but the R's have only one won of their last 13 league meetings with Blackburn, drawing five and losing seven.

Recent form: LDWWWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWWLWL


Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes scores from the penalty spot against Fulham on September 13, 2015© Getty Images

Blackburn finished ninth in the Championship last season - 11 points off the playoffs. It was always going to be a tough ask to bridge that gap this season, but the way they have started suggests that they might be facing a battle at the other end of the division.

A total of just three points from their six games thus far has left them in 23rd position in the table - just one point off the bottom. They have drawn three and lost three in the league this term and only managed to find the back of the net on four occasions. It seems unlikely that the Blue and Whites will be in for a relegation struggle, but the start to the new campaign has been very disappointing indeed.

They were beaten 2-1 by Wolves in their league opener on August 8, before going out of the League Cup to Shrewsbury Town three days later. Next came back-to-back 1-1 draws against Huddersfield Town and Hull City, before losing at high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion on August 22.

A goalless draw at home to Bolton Wanderers followed and there was more disappointment at the weekend as they lost 2-1 at Fulham. The fixtures do not get any easier for Blackburn, meanwhile, with games against Charlton Athletic, Hull City and Ipswich Town to come in their next three after this one. Losing Rudy Gestede in the summer was a big blow and there is now a lot of pressure on Jordan Rhodes to score the goals.

That said, as mentioned above, Blackburn have a good record against QPR in the league. What's more, they have kept four clean sheets in their last six league games at Loftus Road, conceding just twice during that run. They have also only conceded seven times in their six Championship games this season, which is comfortably the best defensive record in the bottom three.

Recent form: LDDLDL
Recent form (all competitions): LDDLDL

Team News

Rob Green in action for QPR on December 26, 2014© Getty Images

QPR will be without the services of first-choice goalkeeper Rob Green, who was sent off in the clash with Forest at the weekend. As a result, Alex Smithies, who played the final 15 minutes at Loftus Road, will start between the sticks.

Ramsey has no fresh injury concerns from Saturday, but Junior Hoilett is pushing for a spot in attack.

Austin is expected to keep his position at the head of the attack, while Phillips and Tjarron Chery, who has scored three league goals already following his summer move from Groningen, should also feature from the outset.

As for Blackburn, head coach Gary Bowyer has no injury concerns from the clash at Fulham, where Rhodes scored his first league goal of the new campaign from the penalty spot.

Central defender Shane Duffy is now just one yellow card away from a one-game suspension, but is expected to start in a team that could remain unchanged.

Hope Akpan, however, could come into the midfield at the expense of Nathan Delfouneso, who has netted once for his new club this season.

QPR possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Konchesky, Onuoha, Angella, Perch; Tozser, Henry; Chery, Phillips, Hoilett; Austin

Blackburn possible starting lineup:
Steele; Henley, Hanley, Duffy, Spurr; Marshall, Guthrie, Akpan, Evans, Conway; Rhodes

Head To Head

In total, these two teams have met on 42 occasions. It has been a fixture shaded by Blackburn, who have recorded 19 wins to QPR's 14, while the further nine matches have ended level.

The last time that the pair met was in the 2013-14 Championship season. The points were shared in a goalless draw at Loftus Road, but Blackburn were 2-0 winners at Ewood Park in the reverse match.

The first documented meeting between the two clubs occurred in the 1912 Charity Shield, when Blackburn lifted the trophy with a 2-1 win. They did not meet again until the 1948-49 season, however, when each won their home game in the old English Second Division.

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We say: QPR 1-0 Blackburn

Blackburn might be struggling this season, but they are not exactly getting blown away in terms of goals. On the other hand, only two teams (Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town) have scored more league goals than QPR thus far this season.

The hosts will enter as the favourites to claim all three points and we can see a 1-0 QPR win in the English capital, leaving Blackburn in the bottom three.

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Who will win Wednesday's Championship fixture?

Queens Park Rangers
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Queens Park Rangers
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Moussa Dembele scores for Fulham against Blackburn on September 13, 2015
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