VINCE BLISSETT (@Vince_RFC) takes a look at Friday night's live Championship encounter between Derby and QPR.
Derby v QPR | Friday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
The Championship returns after a week off for the final push towards the end of the season. Two teams without much to play for except pride and getting in early groundwork for next season meet on Friday night as Derby host QPR.
Derby, now under Gary Rowett, came close to claiming all three points against near rivals Nottingham Forest in his first game in charge before the international break, surrendering to a 94th minute equaliser. Now with a few weeks on the training ground the former Birmingham manager gets ready for a home debut at Pride Park.
You’d suspect Rowett would have been very happy with the timing of his appointment and the international break. Only a handful of his squad were called up for international duty so the two weeks of work on the training ground could prove very beneficial for both him and Derby.
Goals more regular for Derby
Derby have been renowned this season for their low goal tally, both for and against although goals have become slightly more frequent as the season has progressed. Three of their last four games have gone over the 2.5 goals mark and they’ve conceded in each of the last six outings.
QPR have quietly gone under the radar in mid-table this season. Ian Holloway returned in November and was a questionable choice at the time but he’s done a pretty good job up to this point.
Inconsistent would probably be a good word to use and the reason they’re sitting down in 15th position. In recent weeks Holloway's men have been doing well though with five wins from the last seven, although four of those have been at Loftus Road.
Key goals stats
One thing the Super Hoops (a ridiculous nickname) have done well all season is score goals. They don’t score a bucket load but they have been finding the net with regularity, scoring in 27 of 38 including 12 of 18 away from home.
Holloway has overseen 23 league games in this latest tenure of which 16 have gone over 2.5 goals and 15 have seen both teams to score. As an added goal based stat, eight of QPR’s last 10 have seen over 2.5 and BTTS land.
Derby are around evens to pick up the three points which seems about right, although QPR’s recent good form and goal scoring ability makes it difficult to fully get behind them in this one.
With QPR’s recent run of games involving goals along with Derby also being involved in games involving goals recently it seems the obvious route to go down bet wise.
Add in the element of the first home game in charge for Rowett and I think we could be in line for a few goals. There are both safer (O2.5) and riskier (Derby and BTTS) ways to go but both teams to score and o2.5 goals is 8/5 with Coral and that looks like good value to me.
Derby v QPR – Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals (8/5 Coral)