Queens Park Rangers host Derby County in the Championship on Tuesday night, they will be hoping to get back to winning ways against the out of form Rams.
QPR currently sit 16th in the league, and while a win wouldn’t improve their league position, it would close the gap to 15th to just one point.
The Rams have been in a poor run of form recently, with no wins in five games, a run which has seen them fall away from the automatic promotion places and down to 5th in the league.
A disappointing 2-1 defeat against Fulham in their last game meant that Fulham moved ahead of Derby in the table. The Rams are now seven points away from Cardiff, who currently occupy second place.
Holloway and QPR looking for revenge against the Rams
When the two sides met earlier in the season, Derby secured a comfortable 2-0 win at Pride Park in November. Goals from Matěj Vydra and Tom Lawrence ensured all three points for the Rams, and after the game, Ian Holloway described his side's performance as “bitterly disappointing”.
Therefore, he will be expecting an improved performance from his team this time out, especially as Derby seem to be stuck in a poor run of form.
QPR will also be hoping to improve on their disappointing performance in their last game which saw them suffer a heavy 5-2 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest. Forest, who sit one place above QPR in the league, have since beaten Birmingham City 2-1, which now means they are four points ahead of QPR.
Could Derby make a late push for automatic promotion?
No wins in five games has meant that Derby are now seven points away from the top two, they are also just five points above Middlesbrough, who are in 7th place. However, with eleven games still left to play, there is still a chance that
Gary Rowett’s side could make a push for the automatic promotion places. In their remaining games, the Rams will play Cardiff, Aston Villa and Wolves, so there are opportunities for them to make up some ground on those teams.
However, to do that, the Rams will need to improve their form, their poor results in February have left fans wondering if it will be another season of disappointment, and they would expect their side to at least finish in the play-off positions.
The strong defensive performances that the Rams showed earlier in the season seem to have stopped, as they have conceded 10 goals in their last five games. Rowett also recognised this during pre-match press conference as he stated: “At the moment, we’re getting punished for mistakes. We have to keep working on the defensive side of the game.”
QPR could still be without Idrissa Sylla and Grant Hall. Jamie Mackie and David Wheeler remain long-term absentees.
Derby will be missing George Thorne for the next 2-3 weeks as he suffered a calf injury in his last game.
The Rams will also be without Chris Baird, who is currently serving a three-game ban after receiving a red card against Reading.
Queens Park Rangers (3-5-1-1): Smithies; Onuoha, Robinson, Lynch; Wszolek, Luongo, Scowen, Freeman, Bidwell; Smyth; Smith.
Derby County (4-2-3-1): Carson; Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth; Huddlestone, Ledley; Lawrence, Vydra, Weimann; Nugent.