Queens Park Rangers vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Both sides looking to avoid being dragged into relegation battle

Queens Park Rangers will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Championship as they take on Nottingham Forest at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon.

QPR suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to play-off chasing Sheffield United in midweek which still leaves them with work to do in order to avoid being dragged into a relegation scrap this season. 

As for Forest, they drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Reading at The City Ground on Tuesday evening and were perhaps unlucky not to claim all three points after an impressive second-half performance.

How they've fared so far

It has been another disappointing season for QPR as they continue to languish in the bottom half of the Championship under the management of Ian Holloway. Since their relegation from the Premier League, the club have struggled financially and due to Financial Fair Play rules, their spending has been significantly limited which has had an impact on their performance on the pitch. 

Despite this, they do still have the quality within their squad to beat anybody on their day. Matt Smith is one of the best target men in the league and can cause any defence problems with his aerial presence. They also have some very talented midfielders on their books including the likes of Massimo Luongo and Luke Freeman who both have the ability to open defences up with ease when they are in the mood.

QPR's away form has been relatively poor now for a number of years but they have always remained strong at Loftus Road. They have won their last two games at home against Barnsley and Bolton Wanderers and they will be confident of making it three in a row against Forest who have a poor away record themselves.

As for Forest, new manager Aitor Karanka perhaps has not had the sort of impact he was hoping to make since taking over from Mark Warburton. Warburton was often criticised for not sorting out Forest's defensive issues and this is something Karanka seems to slowly be sorting out. 

Forest have suffered some very disappointing defeats to the likes of Hull City and Preston North End in recent weeks but they do seem to have turned a corner. They have drawn against fellow strugglers Burton Albion and Reading in their last two outings which although they may not appear the best results on paper, the character and resilience shown by the Reds in both is something they have lacked in previous games. 

They will be hoping that they can build on an impressive second-half performance against Reading at Loftus Road and potentially come away with three points. They do have the potential to win away from home, shown by the fact they won 2-0 away at league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers in Karanka's second game in charge. 

Last time they met 

QPR last played Forest in a 4-0 defeat in the Championship at The City Ground in November. It was arguably one of Forest's best performances under former manager Warburton. A brace from Tyler Walker as well as goals from Everton loanee Kieran Dowell and Barrie McKay were enough to secure the Reds all three points. 

Team news 

The likes of Grant Hall, Jack Robinson and Idrissa Sylla are all doubts for QPR and all face late fitness tests. They could join the likes of Jamie Mackie and David Wheeler who are also unavailable for selection due to injury. 

As for Forest, Joe Worrall is expected to return following his recent injury but might not go straight back into the starting line-up due to the recent impressive performances of Danny Fox and Tobias Figueiredo. Eric Lichaj will continue to serve out his suspension whilst Daryl Murphy remains on the sidelines.