There’s an important game down at the bottom in the Sky Bet Championship at Loftus Road on Tuesday night, as Wigan Athletic travel down to the Capital to face QPR.
The R’s will be hoping to build on Saturday’s thrashing of Birmingham City at St Andrews. Goals from Matt Smith and Conor Washington put Rangers in cruise control, with late goals from Sylla and Ngbakoto completing the rout, however, Nsue got a conciliation goal for Birmingham. The 4-1 victory took QPR within three points of Birmingham as a direct result.
Rangers lie 16th in the table and know a win could take them up to 14th place, 10 points clear of the relegation places, seemingly ending any relegation troubles.
As for Wigan, they played out a 0-0 draw in the Lancashire Derby against Preston North End at the DW Stadium. However, the game was far from drab, former Blackpool ‘keeper Matt Gilks made his first start for Latics and produced a fantastic double save from a penalty to deny Jordan Hugill his 11th goal of the season. Wigan had shouts for a penalty turned down as Omar Bogle charged into the box but the referee adjudged the tackle to be fair. Bogle also could’ve got the winner with just a quarter of an hour to go but for a fantastic block from Greg Cunningham. There was also stand out performances from Dan Burn, Shaun MacDonald and Ryan Tunnicliffe.
The draw saw Wigan move onto 30 points, just two points behind Bristol City in 21st. A win for The Tics on Tuesday night would see them climb out of the bottom three and would put them within four points of the opposition, Queens Park Rangers.
The clubs have met seven times at Loftus Road in total, with Rangers having a great record against Wigan on home turf. The R’s have won four of the meetings, with Wigan winning just once, in 2003, with a goal from Nathan Ellington. The last time these sides met at Loftus Road was back in May 2014, in the Championship Playoff semi-final, where Rangers advanced to Wembley and went on to win promotion to the Premier League after coming from behind and winning in extra-time thanks to a brace from Charlie Austin.
The sides have also met back in August this season at The DW Stadium, where a goal just after the break for Nedum Onuoha ensured QPR left the North-West with a 1-0 victory.
Ian Holloway is expected to name an unchanged side following Saturday’s win. Ravel Morrison, the man Rangers signed on Deadline Day, despite him training with Wigan in January, is expected to be named as a substitute, whereas Jack Robinson is expected to be named on the bench too, following his recovery from a hamstring injury. However, Holloway is going to be without centre-back Steven Caulker who has a hip injury.
Warren Joyce confirmed Michael Jacobs isn’t expected to travel down to the capital as he recovers from a hamstring injury sustained against his former employers, Wolves, this time last week. Ryan Tunnicliffe could keep his place in the starting 11, following an impressive performance in the stalemate against Preston on Saturday.
QPR (Expected): Smithies; Onuoha, Hall, Lynch; Furlong, Manning, Freeman, Bidwell; Wszolek, Smith, Washington.
Wigan (Expected): Gilks; Connolly, Buxton, Burn, Warnock; Power, MacDonald, Morsy; Tunnicliffe; Grigg, Bogle.