Loftus Road is the venue as relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers meet Championship play-off hopefuls Norwich City in a high-stakes Championship fixture on Wednesday.
The wheels are falling off at QPR as a disastrous 3-0 home defeat to Coventry City last weekend left them one point clear of the relegation zone with only four games left.
Under-pressure boss Gareth Ainsworth has failed to stem the bleeding after replacing Neil Critchley in the dugout in February, leading the Hoops to a single win in nine league games in charge (D1, L7).
Norwich’s visit to Loftus Road doesn’t bode well, even though the visitors head into proceedings amid a rough patch, having picked up just one triumph in their last seven Championship outings (D3, L3).
Friday’s embarrassing 5-1 loss at Middlesbrough derailed the Canaries’ play-off hopes, leaving them two points adrift of sixth-placed Blackburn Rovers, who also have a game in hand.
Also Read: Football Today’s interview with Max Aarons, in which the Norwich defender talks about his career so far, getting promoted to the Premier League, transfer interest from Bundesliga and what the future holds for him.
Saturday’s home disappointment against Coventry marked QPR’s fourth scoring blank in five matches, while they’ve now failed to get on the scoresheet in three straight home league games.
Ainsworth’s men look up the creek without a paddle and are unlikely to turn their fortunes around against a Norwich side they’ve failed to beat in their last five encounters (D2, L3).
You’d need to go back to April 2018 for QPR’s last success against the Canaries in the Football League, courtesy of a scintillating 4-1 triumph at Loftus Road.
But there’s a piece of history that may back the home side’s pipe dream of returning to winning ways as they’ve thrived in midweek fixtures this season.
They have gone unbeaten in all three league contests played on Wednesdays this season (W2, D1) without conceding a single goal, while they held Norwich to a goalless draw in the reverse H2H in November.
Before falling to a thumping defeat at Middlesbrough, the Canaries had gone unbeaten in five consecutive away matches in the Championship (W2, D3), racking up three clean sheets in that period.
However, Norwich’s habit of faltering on midweek league travels could throw a spanner in the works as they’ve managed just four wins in their last 28 away league games staged on Wednesdays (D8, L16).
Manager David Wagner could be the catalyst to help the visitors buck that trend after going unbeaten in all three second-tier clashes against QPR as Huddersfield Town manager (W2, D1).
Having scored an average of 1.4 goals per game in their previous five Championship away outings (W2, D2, L1), they have a reasonable chance of earning points against a struggling QPR team.
After winning their last two visits to Loftus Road, Norwich could make history on Wednesday by beating the Hoops in three consecutive away H2Hs for the first time.
But conceding first could land a fatal blow to the visitors’ bid to revive their play-off charge, considering they’ve suffered eight defeats in ten away league matches after falling behind this season (W2).
Queens Park Rangers vs Norwich City Potential Line-ups
Queens Park Rangers (4-3-3): Seny Dieng; Jimmy Dunne, Rob Dickie, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Paal; Andre Dozzell, Stefan Johansen, Sam Field; Chris Willock, Lyndon Dykes, Illias Chair.
Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Gunn; Max Aarons, Andrew Omobamidele, Jacob Sorensen, Dimitris Giannoulis; Gabriel Sara, Marcelino Nunez; Adam Idah, Josh Sargent, Onel Hernandez; Teemu Pukki.
We Say: Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Norwich City
Although Norwich’s form has been inconsistent, the downward spiral of QPR cannot be overlooked, suggesting the visiting side could take home crucial three points and potentially leave the hosts in the drop zone.
Also read: how to watch all Championship games live online, including QPR v Norwich City.
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