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First Team

18/19 Sky Bet Championship Preview: Queens Park Rangers

Part 15 of our preview series covers our local rivals

12 June 2018

Ranger’s 2017/18 season

League Position: 16th

Average league attendance: 13,928

Top league goal-scorer: Matt Smith (11)

Queens Park Rangers spent much of last season looking over their shoulders as relegation threatened to sneak up on them. A squad of players brought in by several different managers, along with a system that suited no particular player, meant The Rs scraped into 16th with two wins from their last six.

Next season, The Hoops are going to need to shake their reputation for trying to sign big name players to get them out of the league and build a team of players willing to fight for promotion. Rangers teams of the past were prided on their ability to attack relentlessly, show strength in numbers and move the ball around with players like Stan Bowles and Gerry Francis. These are traits that the fans are craving return to this side.

The Ground

Loftus Road

Miles from Brentford: 4.9

Capacity: 18,439

Address: S Africa Rd, Shepherd's Bush, London, W12 7PJ

How to get there

The Manager

Steve McClaren was appointed QPR boss last month, replacing the outgoing Ian Holloway. The former England manager and assistant at Manchester United has been in coaching for more than 20 years and brings a wealth of experience to the R's table.

A midfielder in his playing days at Hull City, Bristol City and Oxford United, McClaren has since been tasked with some top jobs in the football world. Not only did he have to endure the pressure that comes with the England job, he also received heavy criticism for his work at Middlesbrough. He came through though, winning the League Cup with Boro in 2004 and the Eredivisie with FC Twente in 2010.

The Key Man

29-year-old Matt Smith is the king of aerial battles of the Sky Bet Championship. Put a ball into the box and he will get on the end of it, and Rangers are using that to full effect. A force to be reckoned with at Fulham and Leeds, QPR snapped him up in January 2017.

The six foot six front man made 41 appearances last term and scored 11 goals, becoming the club's top goalscorer for last season. With the majority of his minutes coming from the bench, Smith's target next season will be to get himself on the pitch from the beginning of games and pump up that overall tally.

Last Time

Head to Head

Brentford wins: 26

Draws: 24

QPR wins: 22

2018/19 Odds with Leo Vegas Sport UK*

Championship Winners: 40/1

Promotion: 14/1

Relegation: 4/1

*Odds correct at time of writing. 


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