QPR’s focus will be firmly set on bouncing back into form as they welcome Preston North End to Loftus Road for Saturday’s 3pm encounter.
Their six-match unbeaten run came to an end in a narrow defeat to Sheffield United last weekend with boss Steve McClaren showing his pride at the R’s ‘going toe-to-toe’ with the Championship high-flyers in their 1-0 loss.
Sheffield United currently lie second in the table, gunning for automatic promotion and although McClaren expressed his disappointment, he described the match as ‘a hell of a battle’ with a certain element of pride the Blades were restricted to just two shots on target.
The defeat can’t be seen as too disheartening for QPR and there is a strong belief the side can get right back on track against PNE this weekend.
Sitting in ninth, just four points away from the play-offs and with the absence of key personnel, QPR face a Preston side who haven’t managed to win in their last six games and are currently seven points above the drop zone.
On the subject of notable absentees, Angel Rangel should be back in contention within a fortnight – surely killing any speculation about a possible deal for Brighton & Hove Albion’s Ezequiel Schelotto as the side continue to look for bargains within the parameters of their current transfer embargo.
Geoff Cameron and Tomer Hemed are also both expected back in February while Australia’s progression in the Asian Cup has extended Massimo Luongo’s time away with the Socceroos last 16 match scheduled for Monday.
All-in-all the Hoops have coped remarkably well considering these absences and they will be hoping when these players return, it will be with momentum behind them.
Prediction: 2-1 QPR