Mundane Match Expected At Loftus RoadStats
QPR v Stoke
Goals are unlikely as Mark Hughes returns to Loftus Road with his inconsistent Stoke side on Saturday lunchtime.
QPR’s season has begun dismally. It kicked off with a 1-0 loss to Hull then got worse in a 4-0 defeat to Tottenham and 1-0 loss at Burton in the Capital One Cup. There was a glimmer of light in a 1-0 win against Sunderland, but that increased optimism was short lived as Harry Redknapp’s men folded rather timidly against Manchester Untied last weekend.
Although losing at Old Trafford is far from a travesty; as many other sides have shown over the past 12 months there is, these days, an opportunity to go to the Theatre Of Dreams and put up a good fight. After Rangers failed to capitalise on a few early opportunities, however, they didn’t have any answers to United’s pace and power.
So far The R’s have conceded 10 goals and scored just once in five games this season and have won only one of their last 13 Premier League fixtures in a run dating back to the end of the 2013/13 season.
Stoke’s results to date this season present a bit of a conundrum. Home defeats to Aston Villa and Leicester are offset by a win at the Etihad and a draw against Hull on Humberside. Mark Hughes’s side are unbeaten on their travels this season but are yet to pick up a point on their home patch.
No team has scored more than one goal in any Premier League fixture involving Stoke this season, with Mame Biram Diouf and Ryan Shawcross scoring The Potters’ only goals of the campaign.
Joey Barton missed the game against Manchester United with a hamstring injury, while Alejandro Faurlin is ruled out for the majority of the season with a third anterior cruciate ligament in as many seasons.
Stoke will be hoping to recall Stephen Ireland to their squad with the midfielder back in full training following a rib injury. Peter Odemwingie has been ruled out for the “foreseeable future” with a knee injury sustained in the game against Manchester City, while Erik Pieters is a doubt due to a knock which forced him off during last week’s defeat to Leicester.
Stoke won both meetings when the two teams met in the 2012/13 season with goals from Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters giving the Potters a 2-0 win in the game at Loftus Road. Previously QPR had gone three games without losing to Stoke on their home patch.
Stoke are made slight favourites at odds of 13/8 and look good value to pick up all three points against a struggling Rangers side. A home win is available to back at odds of 9/5 and the Draw is 21/10.
However, the value bets come in the goals markets where Under 1.5 goals is priced at odds of 17/10.
Neither team have scored many this season – just three Premier League goals between them – and Stoke have been particularly frugal at the back.
A goalless draw wouldn’t be a total shock and can be backed at odds of 6/1, while the 1-0 and 0-1 scorelines are available to back at odds of 13/2 and 6/1 respectively.