Two of The Championship’s more mercurial sides are in action this weekend in a west London derby that could sparkle under the Friday night lights. QPR make the short trip down the road to take on Brentford with both sides still trying to work out exactly what they are and where their season is going.
Both have played 13 games and Brentford are 9th with 20 points from five wins, five draws and three defeats. The R’s are four places lower with three points fewer as a result of their four wins, five draws and four losses. With fairly similar records this season, this is a big chance for Brentford to make the gap between them to six points and potentially move into a playoff spot. For QPR, a win could see them shoot up the table and go level on points with Brentford.
Friday 7.45pm: Brentford v QPR
Sky Sports Football
Since these two were reunited in The Championship in 2015/16, Brentford have clearly had the upper hand over their near rivals. The pair have met 10 times in the last five years with Brentford winning seven, QPR have triumphed twice and one game ended level.
Brentford are still struggling to reassert themselves after the disappointment of last season’s playoff final loss to Fulham, as well as the departures of Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma to Aston Villa and West Ham respectively. However, they have shown their dominance over Mark Warburton’s side who have taken some time to recover from their tremulous dalliance with the top flight which ended in 2015.
While The Bees have been somewhat unpredictable this season, they do seem to be steadying the ship and have formed an air-tight defence that has conceded just one goal in their last five games. For all their defensive solidarity, Thomas Frank’s men have been slightly stodgy going forward of late and have struggled to break down some of the second tier’s more defensive sides, scoring five in their last five, firing a blank in two of those games.
The 1-0 win over Barnsley on Tuesday was much needed after 0-0 draws with Wycombe and Middlesbrough, which were proceeded by a 1-1 result at home to Swansea and a 3-0 destruction of Luton. In QPR they will not be facing a side who can rely on their defence with any real confidence but are starting to find form.
Warburton’s team have shipped eight in their last five, with their clean sheet against lowly Derby sticking out like a sore thumb. They have won three of their last five, though, with a draw and a defeat also in there. While Brentford have had the upper hand over QPR in the last five seasons, their new found defensive outlook has come at the expense of their attacking threat and The Rs, who have scored nine in their last five, should have enough about them going forward to earn a Draw.
Which all leads us nicely on to our second selection. Under 2.5 Goals has landed in five of Brentford’s last six games. QPR have been slightly scattier and have had two high-scoring wins and a heavy defeat recently, with Unders landing twice in their last five.
But you just can’t get away from that Brentford defence and their recent safety-first approach which has seen an average of just 1.2 goals in their last five. For QPR, the figure is much higher at 3.4 with 17 flying in over the last five, though most of those goals have come at Loftus Road with 12 goals in three games at home over that period. They do play it safer on the road, and at a decent price, it’s worth siding with Under 2.5 Goals in this one.
If we’re expecting Brentford’s defensive solidarity and QPR’s more conservative tactics on the road to lead to a tight game then there’s only one way to go in the goal-scoring markets and it makes sense to go for a first goal scorer rather than anytime. Ivan Toney has taken to life at Brentford like a duck to water as Watkins’ replacement, arriving from Peterborough for a handsome fee over the summer.
He’s already fired 11 goals in 13 games, with the most recent coming last time out against Barnsley. He’s on spot kicks, is averaging just shy of a goal a game, and the obvious, and most sensible play is Ivan Toney to Score First on Friday night.
Tips for Brentford v QPR
These three selections in a Same Game Multi will give you odds of around 38/1 with Paddy Power.
*All odds in copy correct at time of publication and they’re always bang on with our clever betting banners.
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