Watford vs QPR | Monday 1st February 2021, 19:45 | Sky Sports
February 2021 is now upon us and there are certainly very few others way I would like to celebrate that than with some Championship action, specifically in the form of Watford against Queens Park Rangers.
The Hornets look to have turned a corner as following back-to-back defeats they’re now unbeaten in five, including three victories. Mark Warburton’s men would see their two-match winning run ended by Derby last weekend, and are therefore looking to bounce back at Vicarage Road.
Xisco Munoz was relatively unheard of on these shores upon his appointment in December, but the 40-year-old Spaniard we can say is now settled into his new role having now enjoyed seven games at the helm.
As mentioned, they are four without defeat, and perhaps most notably of all they have shipped only one goal in that period, which came in their previous televised encounter away at Stoke, when triumphing 2-1. QPR themselves have conceded only once in three, so it could be that this derby encounter is settled by fine margins.
Whilst the league table may suggest that QPR have little hope of gaining any positive outcome on Monday evening, it is worth noting that The R’s have back-to-back away wins to their name in league action, those coming against Cardiff, when managed by Neil Harris, and also Luton, when the returning Charlie Austin opened the scoring. Warburton have overseen a five-match unbeaten away run in the Championship, something the club last achieved in this league back in 2016.
It will surprise many to see they’re earned one point more on the road compared to at home, with Loftus Road so often see as their main source of points given its surroundings. They’ve haven’t won at home since November, so they’ll probably be glad to be on the road once more.
For all that QPR have impressed away from home turf, Watford have been mightily impressive on their own hallowed surface. Other than a narrow setback to Cardiff in early December, that is their only home loss since suffering defeat to Manchester City when still a Premier League club in July. They’ve only lost three at home in all competitions since the start of 2020.
Of their last four three-point hauls here, they did so without conceding. Going into this round of fixtures, only Swansea have more clean sheets in the Championship this season, and maintaining that will give them a great chance of returning to winning ways, after a midweek away draw at rivals Millwall, given they possess the likes of Troy Deeney and Ismaïla Sarr.
Watford are rightly favourites for this one, but it is noticeably that both teams haven’t been involved in too many high-scoring affairs of late. In fact, 20 of Watford’s 26 league encounters this season finished under the 2.5 goal mark, whilst the same can be said of QPR’s previous 11 in all competitions. That type of runs do end eventually, and normally in emphatic style, and I personally don’t like betting on this line.
3.5 offers a bit more security, especially as only eight of Watford’s and QPR’s combined 51 league contests this season finished with four or more goals. I do like the look of a Watford Win and Under 3.5 Goals at 7/5 (Betway).
Finally, I will also take an interest in QPR Under 0.5 Goals at 11/8 (Sporting Index) as I have been impressed with Watford’s game management in recent times. They now have a settled defensive shape, as well as maintaining a regularly line-up in this area, something which Munoz’s predecessor Vladimir Ivić wasn’t always consistent with.
Only three times this season have QPR failed to score on the road, but Watford are starting to find their stride, especially defensively, so the likes of Austin, Lyndon Dykes and Ilias Chair will need to be at their best to penetrate this back line.
Watford v QPR – Watford Win and Under 3.5 Goals (7/5 Betway)
Watford v QPR – QPR Under 0.5 Goals (11/8 Sporting Index)