QPR and Millwall are both touted for solid seasons by experts and pundits alike, as Mark Warburton and Gary Rowett prepare their sides for what's set to be a fiercely contested London derby in front of a full capacity crowd.
Both teams produced fine results during their pre-season campaigns and will be optimistic looking towards the new season, daring to dream of a drive towards promotion after years of stalling at mid-table.
QPR have been busy in the transfer market this summer and many of Mark Warburton's new signings may feature, as fresh face Moses Odubajo looks likely to start as well as Charlie Austin, Jordy De Wijs and Stefan Johansen, who all made their initial loan moves permanent over the summer.
As for Millwall, Gary Rowett will be missing striker Mason Bennett through injury, so EFL veteran and former QPR striker Matt Smith may be called upon. The Lions are likely to deploy a back five system, with new additions George Saville and Scott Malone set for inclusion after successful loan spells last season.
QPR: Dieng, Odubajo, De Wijs, Dickie, Barbet, Wallace, Ball, Chair, Johansen, Austin, Dykes.
Millwall: Bialkowski, McNamara, Ballard, Hutchinson, Cooper, Malone, Pearce, Evans, Saville, Wallace, Afobe.
Ones to watch
One of the main talking points ahead of this fixture is the signing of Charlie Austin, who reunited with the R's in June after a successful loan spell last season which yielded seven goals from 21 games. Austin will play a pivotal role in QPR's season, as Mark Warburton aims to get his team competing at the right end of the league. Fans are back in stadiums for a tasty London encounter and Austin is the type of player to thrive in this given environment, looking to pounce at any given moment to secure a positive result on the opening day.
An ever present figure going forward for Millwall, Jed Wallace always proves to be a formidable opponent in any bout, with his explosive pace and close control proving a nightmare to defend against. Wallace may partner Benik Afobe up front on Saturday, and the two compliment each other well with different skill sets which could cause real problems for QPR.
Ahead of Saturday's league opener, QPR boss Mark Warburton said:
“The optimism and the expectation ahead of this season is one they’ve got to feed off. That optimism comes from the fact they worked so hard last season, finished strongly, delivered good performances and excited the fans.
“The end result of that is quite naturally optimism and we have to make sure we respond from that''. We’ve got a responsibility and I hope very much that the players will relish it and hopefully respond to it.”
Millwall manager Gary Rowett said:
“I’m really, really excited for this season and think we’ve got the best squad I’ve had so far.
''I think it’s going to be an extreme season. Fans have been away, so I think they’ll be elated when we’re winning but we might get more negativity when we’re losing. I think that’s the nature of people being away for 18 months and coming back to something they love. That passion is waiting to explode.''
The last meeting between these two sides produced a five goal thriller at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, with QPR coming from two goals down to secure victory with goals from Charlie Austin, Stefan Johansen and Jordy De Wijs.
How to watch
The game will not be available to stream via iFollow in the UK this Saturday, as live streams for 15:00 kick-offs are no longer permitted. Tickets remain available for home and away fans whilst fans outside of the UK can watch via iFollow.