QPR vs Wigan Athletic preview: Two teams that are hoping to get back to winning ways
Nahki Wells of Queens Park Rangers and Cheyenne Dunkley of Wigan Athletic during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Wigan Athletic at Loftus Road on August 25, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

On Saturday afternoon, Loftus Road will be the venue as Wigan Athletic make the long trip down to London to face Queens Park Rangers.

Both of the teams are heading into this fixture in bad form, Wigan have lost their last four games in a row in all competitions, whilst the home side have lost their previous two games, both in the Championship.

Last time out, QPR were beaten 3-1 by Swansea City, who continued their unbeaten start to the season. Despite a 66th minute equaliser by loanee Jordan Hugill, Rangers went on to concede two goals in the next 14 minutes as they lost at home for the first time in this campaign.

Wigan were beaten by Middlesbrough at the Riverside, who took the lead in the 23rd minute in what was their first real chance of the game after a strong start from the Latics, although the home side were the better team after taking the lead and went on to earn all three points.

Both sides were wasteful, with QPR having 23 shots on target but only hitting the target with four of them. Wigan managed 11 shots on target away from home, although only one of them hit the target.

Team news

QPR

The home side picked up a couple of injuries against Swansea, with manager Mark Warburton admitting he wants to be as careful as possible with his players during a busy Championship schedule.

Luke Amos, who is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, came off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. The R's boss had this to say on the extend of the injury.

“We’ll assess him. He felt some tightening, so we’ll be careful.

"I hope very much (that he’ll be okay). We’ll assess him in the morning and see how he is.”

Geoff Cameron is another one who could be doubtful for this weekends game after coming off in the defeat on Wednesday night.

Warburton admitted that he felt he had to be cautious with him rather than worsening any possible injury, he said this:

“It was just a bit of tightening and again we’ve got to be careful. It’s early in the season and the boys are just getting accustomed to the physical demands.

"Playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday presents demands for the players. I’d rather be cautious than go on 10 minutes too long.”

Olamide Shodipo also remains out for the home side.

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Wigan

Paul Cook has been handed a fitness boost ahead of Saturday's game, with Joe Garner set to return from a rib injury to be part of the matchday squad.

With one striker back from injury, another one is out, as Kieffer Moore picked up a knock in the defeat to Middlesbrough and will be out for around two weeks.

Although, that is not as bad as Cook first feared, he said this:

"It's not as bad as we first thought with Kieffer, it looks like he'll be out for two weeks. He'll probably miss the Barnsley game, but then he'll be back fit which is pleasing because we feared that it might be a lot worse at the time."

Full-back Tom Pearce is unavailable through injury and will be out for around the same time as Moore.

Joe Williams will be available after completing his one match suspension during midweek, whilst defender Danny Fox could make his 400th appearance in the EFL.

'We can't give the opposition soft goals': Warburton hoping to cut out mistakes and be rewarded for positive performances

Speaking to the clubs official website ahead of the game, the QPR boss thanked the fans for their support despite recent results.

“It means a lot to the players and is a huge boost for them.

"The fans have to see the team give 100 per cent effort. They have to see the team trying to play a certain way. They have to see the team create and entertain."

Warburton believes that overall the performances from his team have deserved more than what they have got out of their recent games, he said:

"There is frustration from that and anger, but we have to channel that and recognise what is needed at this level to get the points.

"I have been pleased with the performances. In all four games we have delivered a good level of performance but you have to get your rewards.

"We can’t gift the opposition soft goals. Nobody is gifting us goals so we have to defend with a real passion and attack with purpose.”

The 56-year-old is also aware of the challenge that the Latics will bring.

“They are a good team, I watched the Middlesbrough game and they posed some real problems, particularly towards the end of the game.

"There is no doubt they will come here with a real desire to correct their results. We will have to be ready, prepared and deliver a good performance.”

'I don't want last season's away form levelled at this group of players': Cook determined to stop his sides poor away form

Similar to the feelings from Warburton, the Wigan manager has taken a lot of positives from the performance that his team put in against Middlesbrough despite defeat.

"Our emotions coming out of the Middlesbrough game on Tuesday night were a lot different to the Preston game because the performance we put in at Middlesbrough was very good.

"We didn't do a lot wrong in the game on Tuesday night, but at the key moments when we get our chances we must score goals."

Cook was also complimentary when it came to the travelling fans who have not had much to shout about recently, he said:

"I've got nothing but admiration for the supporters who travelled to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, they deserve great credit.

"Supporting your team is huge for everyone, you only have to look down the road at Bolton and Bury to have great sympathy towards what clubs go through and how much of a part the football club plays in the community."

He was also keen to mention his teams away form, he is desperate to ensure they improve and do not suffer from poor results away from home like they did in the last campaign.

"We're starting a new season and I don't want last season's away form levelled at this group of players.

"It's a new set of players and I think with the first two adverse away results, it's easy to look at last year and see the parallels. These lads need to be given a little bit more time to be able to put that right."

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Predicted line-ups

QPR

Lumley, Kane, Hall, Barbet, Manning, Amos, Scowen, Osayi-Samuel, Smith, Eze, Hugill.

Wigan

Marshall, Byrne, Kipre, Dunkley, Fox, Robinson, Evans, Morsy, Massey, Lowe, Garner

The game will kick-off at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon at Loftus Road.

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