Derby deny table-toppers
Beleaguered Derby produced a superb result last weekend to come from behind to beat Bournemouth here 3-2 at Pride Park and the rock-bottom Rams upset the odds once again in midweek when holding free-scoring Fulham to a goalless draw at Craven Cottage. The results have moved Wayne Rooney‘s men to one point following their 21-point deduction.
County were excellent in a lively first-half performance in the capital, with Tom Lawrence going close after a great run by Curtis Davies. Lawrence was at the heart of much of what Derby did in the opening 45 minutes, although Rooney’s troops faded thereafter as the table-toppers dominated possession, territory and the match’s key opportunities.
Fulham twice hit the woodwork with goalkeeper Kelle Roos regularly called into action. Nevertheless, Rooney was understandably delighted with his team’s efforts, saying: “It’s a good point. The lads have put a lot of effort in during the past two games and they deserve the four points. The lads can hold their heads high – it was a good battling performance.”
QPR consolidate top-six position
Luke Amos‘ late goal earned QPR an important win over fellow promotion-hopefuls Huddersfield on Wednesday night, a result that consolidates’ Rangers position in the top-six, while also extending their unbeaten Championship run to five fixtures (W3-D2-L0).
It took 80 minutes for the breakthrough to come in an entertaining and open encounter, with Chris Willock dancing his way down the right and swinging in a perfect cross for Amos to head powerfully into the net. Earlier Yoann Barbet struck the bar with the R’s looking the most likely, particularly with skipper Stefan Johansen pulling the strings from midfield.
Huddersfield had their moments, but Rangers will feel the victory was merited after winning the shot count 22-10. Mark Warburton was certainly happy with his team’s display, saying: “To get that goal, the clean sheet and the points, is really pleasing. In the second half I thought we were the better team. We created chances and were gaining momentum.”
Rams underrated on home soil?
QPR and Derby have met 29 times in league action since 2004/05 and there’s been little to choose between the two teams. Rangers have only returned W8-D11-L10 in head-to-head showdowns, although the visitors have relished meetings at Pride Park, posting W4-D4-L5 when taking on the Rams in their own backyard, including a 1-0 success here last season.
Despite enduring a disastrous off-field campaign, Derby 2.982/1 have continued to produce sterling defensive displays that have caused almost every opponent issues. County have lost just five league games in 2021/22 – only once by a margin of two goals or more – and have shipped the fourth-fewest goals. As hosts, the Rams have delivered a solid W3-D5-L1.
QPR 2.506/4 have enjoyed an eye-catching 2021. Only Bournemouth (80) have collected more Championship points this calendar year than the R’s (79) and Mark Warburton’s men have posted W9-D5-L2 this term when excluding the top-three. That includes a W3-D2-L1 sequence on their travels, scoring three goals as guests or more on three occasions.
Both sides can oblige
Goals have been in short supply when Derby have been involved. The Rams’ matches have averaged only 1.79 goals per-game with 13/19 (68%) fixtures featuring Under 2.5 Goals 1.738/11. Only two of County’s opening encounters have produced four goals or more but Both Teams To Score 1.758/11 has banked in six of the hosts’ nine Pride Park showdowns.
QPR remain the only Championship side to score in all 19 of their league encounters thus far, and the away side have been involved in plenty of enjoyable contests. Games have averaged 2.89 goals, with 12/19 (63%) banking for Both Teams To Score bettors. Indeed, seven of nine road trips involving Rangers have produced BTTS profit, and a repeat appeals.