QPR vs Watford, FA Cup Fifth Round Preview

2 min

QPR face Premier League opposition as they host Watford in the FA Cup Fifth Round tomorrow evening (kick-off 7:45pm).

The R’s haven’t reached this stage of the competition for 22 years but will look to cause an upset under the Loftus Road floodlights.

The competition has become a welcome distraction for Steve McClaren’s side over the past six weeks having suffered five consecutive Championship defeats.

Since the 2-0 win over Portsmouth in their Fourth Round replay earlier this month, the Hoops have gone on to lose 4-3 at home to Birmingham and 2-1 away to Bristol City. 

It has seen any potential play-off aspirations slowly fade and the onus now is very much on a good result against the Hornets to kick-start the final part of the season.

Performance-wise, other than the thumping defeat at home to Preston North End, their effort has been second to none and highlighted by the inspired second-half fightback against Birmingham last Saturday.

A point McClaren was keen to stress coming into this game, “Forget the results, the performances have been spot-on. I’ve been in these situations before – we just have to stick together and it will come.’

The QPR manager also alluded to the absence of experienced individuals over the past few weeks, highlighting the impact they made on their arrival in W12 after the initial poor run of results at the start of the season.

“We’ve really missed the experience of Tomer [Hemed], Nahki [Wells], Angel [Rangel] and Geoff [Cameron] in the past few weeks.”

His comments certainly have validity; their contributions are missed amongst the starting line-up meaning an over-reliance on youth at such a crucial stage of the campaign.

Nevertheless, Matt Smith’s four goals in his last three games has been one bright note, along with his constant persistence to make an impression on opposition backlines and willpower to never give up.

Overall QPR are sure to have the motivation and ambition for this one as they attempt to not only overcome a tough test to progress but also get back to winning ways.

And with the tie set to be decided on the night, it may just go their way.

Prediction: QPR 2-1 Watford (AET)

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