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Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Bromwich Albion will look to extend their unbeaten record in the Championship to nine matches when they play host to Queens Park Rangers on Friday night.

While the Baggies can return to the top of the standings with victory at The Hawthorns, QPR will move to within one point of their hosts if they can prevail in the West Midlands.


Match preview

West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael pictured on September 14, 2021© Reuters

For a team looking to earn an immediate return to the Premier League, three successive draws have not exactly benefitted West Brom in the short term.

Nevertheless, the Baggies remain unbeaten, in third place and just two points off top spot, a scenario that Valerien Ismael would have almost certainly taken after eight matches.

The goals have dried up for this talented squad, just five strikes coming in as many games since they dismantled Sheffield United in August.

Matt Phillips has arguably emerged as West Brom's key player with the winger contributing two goals and two assists during that period.

Despite the frustration of only recording a 1-1 draw at Preston North End last weekend, Ismael will be pleased that the club have conceded just seven times in the second tier.

Queens Park Rangers' Charlie Austin celebrates scoring their first goal against Everton in the EFL Cup on September 21, 2021© Reuters

From QPR's perspective, a trip to one of their promotion rivals has not come at the right time given their efforts against Everton on Tuesday night.

The Hoops, who started with a number of first-team players in the EFL Cup, battled their way to a 2-2 draw before eventually prevailing in a high-class penalty shootout.

However, regardless of their exertions, Mark Warburton will take the positives from his players rising to the occasion against opponents who had ambitions to win that competition.

Former Baggies forward Charlie Austin proved his worth to this QPR squad with a double, a timely boost for the 32-year-old after spending a period on the sidelines through injury.

While Warburton will be delighted with the outcome on Tuesday night, his team have now conceded nine goals during their last four fixtures in all competitions.

West Bromwich Albion Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

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

Queens Park Rangers form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D



Team News

Callum Robinson celebrates scoring for West Bromwich Albion against Bournemouth in the Championship on August 6, 2021© Reuters

Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant are both pushing for a recall to the West Brom XI as a replacement for Jordan Hugill.

Grady Diangana's place in the team is also under threat, but Ismael is unlikely to tinker in defensive and midfield areas.

Warburton must decide whether to use a back three, which would match up against West Brom, or stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation which worked against Everton.

The former looks more likely with Jordy de Wijs, Stefan Johansen, Andre Gray and Lyndon Dykes all returning to the starting lineup.

Having played 90 minutes earlier this week, Chris Willock and Austin could drop down to the substitutes bench.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend; Furlong, Livermore, Mowatt, Reach; Phillips, Diangana; Robinson

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Dickie, De Wijs, Barbet; Odubajo, Johansen, Ball, McCallum; Chair; Gray, Dykes


SM words green background

We say: West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Queens Park Rangers

Having toppled Everton in the EFL Cup, QPR can only be full of confidence ahead of this contest. However, two difficult fixtures in three days may take its toll, leading us to predict a relatively comfortable win for the well-rested hosts.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: West Brom vs QPR

West Bromwich Albion
67.5%
Draw
16.9%
Queens Park Rangers
15.6%
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West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael pictured on September 14, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom127412191225
2Bournemouth117401881025
3Coventry CityCoventry117131612422
4Stoke CityStoke116321511421
5Fulham1162323131020
6Queens Park RangersQPR115332216618
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield115241614217
8Blackburn RoversBlackburn114431914516
9Bristol City114431413116
10Reading115151719-216
11Millwall113621111015
12Blackpool114341114-315
13Luton TownLuton113531816214
14Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd113351416-212
15Middlesbrough113351113-212
16Birmingham CityBirmingham123361016-612
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest113261414011
18Preston North EndPreston112541215-311
19Swansea CitySwansea11254914-511
20Cardiff CityCardiff113261219-711
21Hull City11236815-79
22Barnsley11155714-78
23Peterborough UnitedPeterborough112271223-118
24Derby CountyDerby1135378-12

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