WILL Mark O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) beloved QPR get the job done against Nottingham Forest on Saturday lunchtime?
QPR v Nottingham Forest | Saturday 12.30 | Sky Sports 1
This is kinda odd. Since the start of the new season, I’ve been inundated with questions and queries regarding QPR’s chances against Team A, B and C. Every time, I’ve pleaded caution. ‘We can’t defend for toffee’, ‘We’re undercooked after a poor pre-season’, ‘Don’t do it’ – yeah, I’ve trotted them all out, on numerous occasions.
However, for Saturday’s live Sky Sports showdown with Nottingham Forest on Saturday lunchtime, I’m telling you to get involved. Rangers are available at 10/11 with Bet365 and it’s just a price that’s too good to ignore. You see, the R’s enjoyed the best transfer window of all Championship clubs.
You can stick your big-spending Derby, £9m Andre Gray and Stewart Downing’s, the Super Hoops keeping hold of Charlie Austin and Matty Phillips was like signing two of the Premier League’s best performing players for nothing. Throw in three successive league wins and suddenly the mood around Loftus Road is chipper once more.
We’ve also managed to snap up Italian centre-half Gabriele Angella on a season-long loan from Watford to aid that faltering backline that leaked at least twice in our first four outings. If Chris Ramsey can keep the defence focussed on the job for 90 minutes, we’ve an attack to trouble any side in the second tier.
As well as Austin, who’s already topping the goalscoring charts with four goals, QPR can call upon impressive Dutch playmaker Tjarron Chery, Phillips and Massimo Luongo in a fairly formidable front four, even if I do say so myself.
Although Forest and Dougie Freedman pride themselves on being tough to break down and organisation, I’m just not sure they’ve the tools to stop Rangers scoring on Saturday whilst their offensive output has been dealt a major blow following he deadline day departure of Michail Antonio.
The Tricky Trees brought in exciting midfielder Jonny Williams from Crystal Palace on a temporary deal along with Chris O’Grady, Lille winger Ryan Mendes and Benfica forward Nelson Oliveira. The latter duo are exotic additions but unlikely to make an impact from the off whilst O’Grady’s move is far from inspiring.
Forest opened their season with an underwhelming loss at Brighton and things haven’t really improved since. Freedman’s men scraped a 2-1 victory at home to Rotherham – their sole success in 2015/16 – and have now recorded just one win in 14. The visitors are winless in eight on their travels and succeeded in only three of their most recent 17 away from the City Ground.
Clearly, the loss of injured striker Britt Assombalonga, club captain Chris Cohen and playmaker Andy Reid have hit the Tricky Trees badly and so with a blunt attack and an in-form R’s side on show, I can only see one winner.
QPR at 10/11 is the bet but I’m going to add Charlie Austin scoring to the mix too for a hunky 11/5 (Ladbrokes) selection – it’s been a LONG time since I felt so bullish about the Super Hoops from a betting perspective.
QPR v Nottingham Forest – QPR to win and Charlie Austin to score (11/5 Ladbrokes)
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