QPR v Wigan – Betting Preview & Tips
QPR host Wigan in the second leg of the Play Off semi-finals after a 0-0 stalemate at the DW in the first leg. Ciaran Bonass previews the big game.
Friday’s draw in the opening leg made it four games without defeat for QPR, who long assured of a playoff spot but well off the top two places in the Championship which would have assured Harry Redknapp’s side of an automatic promotion place. The scoreless draw in Wigan was only the fourth game in the last eleven away from Loftus Road that the R’s have avoided defeat. A fourth place finish in the Championship on 80 points looks like a perfectly acceptable performance overall but was scant reward for a team who were hotly fancied to top the table at the start of the season. They were rarely outside the top two spots before the turn of the year yet finished well behind champions Leicester City, second-placed Burnley and playoff favourites Derby County in the final reckoning.
Ex-Burnley striker Charlie Austin failed to score for the first time in four games in the first leg but was comfortably the top scorer in the Championship for QPR with 17 goals in 26 games. Ravel Morrison was next on their list of scorers with six despite only arriving on loan from West Ham in January, but was replaced after a disappointing showing in the first leg.
Uwe Rosler’s Wigan have now won only three in their last eleven games after failing to break down the visitors resistance in the first leg of the playoff semi-final on Friday. The German has overseen a remarkable turnaround for last season’s FA Cup winners since taking over last November and a run of nine wins and a draw from ten saw the Latics move into contention for an automatic promotion spot and reach the cup semi-final for a second season in a row before their penalty shootout loss to Arsenal triggered a downturn in their fortunes. They now look as though the 61 games they have played this season has taken its toll on a squad which was never equipped for such longevity.
Spanish midfielder Jordi Gomez was Wigan’s top scorer in the regular season and came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first leg but his tally of seven league goals this season illustrates the biggest problem his side have had in an otherwise impressive season.
Croatian international midfielder Niko Kranjcar could return to the starting XI after replacing Morrison in the first leg but Redknapp has no new injury concerns ahead of this crucial tie.
Ben Watson is a long term absentee for the visitors with a broken leg but Rosler has no new injury concerns although he may well opt to change his attacking options on Monday as he has often rotated his frontline over the course of the season James McLean a likely beneficiary.
Following Friday’s scoreless encounter there has now been three games between these teams this season with only one goal netted. Former Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun remains the only player to get on the scoresheet between the teams this season in a 1-0 win for QPR at Loftus Road in March. Wigan have now failed to win any of the last five games against the R’s.
The clever money has to go with the home side after they got what they came for in the first leg so 11/10 looks worth backing on a QPR win on Monday night.
Austin is easily the most dangerous player on the park and is the only standout pick in the goalscorers market, back him at 9/2 to score first or 5/4 anytime.