West Brom v QPR
Football: English Premier League
Saturday 14 April 2012 - Kick Off 3pm
West Brom manager Roy Hodgson made a number of changes to his side on Wednesday evening and they were duly punished by a rampant Manchester City side 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium. Last weekend, they effectively sealed their place in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, but I think Hodgson will demand they get over the 40 point mark in this game.
In all honesty, the Baggies look safe already as their 39 points leaves them in 13th in the Premier League and with a 10 point gap between themselves and 18th placed Bolton Wanderers. The possibility of finishing in the top half of the table is just slipping from their grasp so the three points will be vital if they want to achieve that. West Brom are 5-2-9 at the Hawthornes this season, scoring 18 goals and conceding 19.
The team have now lost 3 of their last 4 games in the Premier League and have secured just 1 win in their last 6 games, although that did come in their last home game against Blackburn. West Brom have won 3 of their last 4 home games in the League after losing 3 consecutive games here in all competitions.
Roy Hodgson does have some injuries to contend with in this game, with Liam Ridgewell and Chris Brunt needing late fitness tests after missing the game at City. Gabriel Tamas and Jerome Thomas could also both return to the squad.
Mark Hughes set his side the target of winning all of their remaining home games if they are to have a chance of staying up in the Premier League and Wednesday night saw them win their third game at Loftus Road. The bottom of the League remains tight, but QPR will feel they have given themselves a real chance of survival following a 3-0 win over Swansea last time out.
QPR moved up to 16th in the Premier League table with their win over Swansea, but Wigan Athletic's win over Manchester United means the team is only 2 points clear of Bolton Wanderers in the final relegation spot with the latter having a game in hand. They have a 3-2-11 away record, scoring 16 goals but conceding 31.
While Rangers have picked up 10 points from their last 12 available at Loftus Road, they have lost all 4 away games played in that same stretch, including at Blackburn Rovers and Bolton. QPR have now conceded at least 2 goals in each of their last 5 away games in the Premier League and they will be looking to finish this game with a full complement of players having had one sent off in their last 2 away from home.
Shaun Derry returns to the squad following his suspension last time out. Heidar Helguson may return to the squad for this game, while Fitz Hall and Armand Traore could return to the squad.
Head to Head
QPR and West Brom drew 1-1 at Loftus Road earlier this season as a late Shane Long goal secured a point for the away side.
They last met here in the 2009/10 season with the game ending 2-2.
West Brom are unbeaten in their last 4 home games against QPR, winning 2 of those while the other 2 were high scoring draws.
I think we may see a few goals in this game as QPR are very likely to come here in search of another three points with this being a 'winnable' game left on their fixture list, while West Brom won't sit back in a game where they will be expected to attack and in a game they would think they can win.
West Brom do have a few injuries to contend with in the squad, but I think they rested players on Wednesday night as they had this game coming up, one that Roy Hodgson must have targeted to get the three points from and get over the 40 point mark in the League.
They will feel confident that they can do so considering they have won 3 of their last 4 games in front of their own fans, while QPR have been a little porous on their travels having conceded at least 2 goals in each of their last 5 away games in the League.
QPR have also scored 6 goals in their last 5 away games, with the only game they failed to score in during that stretch coming at Manchester United last week.
Games between the teams here in recent seasons have also been high scoring, with the last 4 games seeing at least 3 goals scored between the teams.
As I said when West Brom met Blackburn Rovers last week, I am a little surprised the layers have priced the Overs at such a reasonable price and that is the way I will be playing this game. Both sides are likely to attack and I can see both scoring at least one goal here, with the defences offering chances as the game develops.
The Statistics :
| WBA LAST SIX HOME FORM
|| H v Blackburn
|| H v Newcastle
|| H v Chelsea
|| H v Sunderland
|| H v Swansea
|| H v Norwich
| QPR LAST SIX AWAY FORM
|| A v Man_Utd
|| A v Sunderland
|| A v Bolton
|| A v Blackburn
|| A v Aston_Villa
|| A v Newcastle
| HEAD TO HEAD WBA v QPR
The Pick :
West Brom 2-2 QPR
FIXED ODDS BETTING :
I'll back Over 2.75 Goals
@ 2.20 (188Bet)