The Saturday lunchtime kick off sees QPR, propping up the foot of the table but showing remarkable resolve and character in 2013, face Norwich, one of the over performing sides of 2012, but stuttering recently as they slowly descend down the table.
QPR are the favourites at a best price of 21/10 with BetVictor, whereas Norwich can be backed at 31/10 with Pinnacle. A draw, both teams speciality of late, is available at 13/5 with Stan James.
Of course, the first problem we have with predicting games immediately after the Jim-White-and-Harry-Redknapp Transfer Deadline Day Bonanza (c) is that we have very little idea when writing these previews about whom is exactly going to play. QPR could be fielding any from Samba, Rolando, Capoue, Bently, Livermore, Townsend, Jenas, Odemwingwie or Crouch, and that’s just from the top of my head.
Say what you want about Redknapp (although whatever you do, don’t call him a wheeler dealer…) he has turned around QPR’s fortunes from a side heading into The Championship at speed into a side heading into The Championship at a much more leisurely pace. They are now much more solid defensively, keeping clean sheets again Spurs, Chelsea and Man City in recent weeks, and the signing of Chris Samba will offset the departure of player of the season elect for QPR, Ryan Nelsen. Add to that the form of Julio Cesar, back to his Inter best where he was routinely lauded as the best keeper in the World, and all of a sudden QPR look like a much more useful outfit. Scoring goals has been their problem of late, although the signing of Loic Remy (plus whomever rolls through the door Thursday at 10:55pm…) will address that.
Norwich went 10 games unbeaten earlier on in the season, but since that purple patch they have only won two of their last 11 games, a run that has seen them drop from X to Y in the table. Keeping clean sheets has been Norwich’s problem, keeping only one in their last eleven games.
I generally hate backing my team for the win, but QPR can, and should win this game. If they play with half of the intensity of the midweek game against Man City they will climb the table with no problems whatsoever. The trouble is that QPR appear to do better against the big teams, where they are expected to concede position and sit deep. It’s the games that QPR are expected to dominate, and have to dictate the play as opposed to react to it they usually fall down. Regardless, I’m backing QPR for the win at better than evens 21/10 with BetVictor. QPR’s new found resilience in front of goal means that QPR to win to nil @ 9/4 with Bet365 also appeals.
In terms of who is going to score the goals in this one, the obvious suspects for QPR are Taarabt and Loic Remy (of the players QPR have at the time of writing!) but it might be worth putting a punt on Chris Samba to score anytime at 13/2 with Labrokes. QPR haven’t had a decent threat from set pieces since Danny Shittu left them first time round, but with the Congolese giant going up for corners he must be worth a punt.
Short Odds: QPR to win @ 21/20 (Bet Victor – open an account get £25 free)
Medium Odds: QPR to win to nil @ 9/4 (Bet365 – open an account get up to £200 free)
Long Odds: Samba to score anytime @ 13/2 (Ladbrokes – open an account get a free £50 bet)
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