Win at Villa Park set’s QPR up for West London derby on Saturday

QPR’s eccentric manager Ian Holloway described his sides 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Tuesday night as a “coupon buster”, as QPR make it back-to-back wins for the first time since October.

Eyebrows were raised ahead of the game as Holloway opted to bench talisman Luke Freeman, but he entered the game in the second half and added to goals from Ryan Manning and Jake Bidwell to secure QPR’s third away win of the season.

Speaking to BBC West London after the game, Holloway said: “Am I shocked? A little bit. It was, as our lads said in the dressing room a coupon buster. But, when our game here was called off the other day, we’d still made the journey and our coach broke down. We spent eight hours on the side of the motorway so maybe this was payback time.

“I had a plan and everything worked for us. We were clinical, bright and tidy. And my back lads were awesome against a good Villa side. You don’t do what they did to Wolves without being a really good team.

“After losing 5-2 at home to Nottingham Forest, that’s seven points out of nine now. I’m really excited about this crop of lads. Take young Eze, he’s only 19 and I’m so proud of a performance like that. ”

Up next for QPR is a trip to London rivals Fulham in the day’s early kick off. This is has been one of the Hoops regularly televised fixtures of the last few seasons, but every time I turn on the TV to watch them I seem to be disappointed.

QPR are definitely not a ‘TV’ team, and of the last 6 televised fixtures against Fulham, we have won just 1, with the pinnacle of these being the 4-0 defeat at Craven Cottage in September 2015.

Fulham sit in 4th place of the table just 1 point behind Villa. They are currently enjoying a good vein of form, remaining unbeaten in 2018 and with wins against Wolves, Sheffield United and Derby Count in their last 4 games.

The one-to-watch for Saturday’s game will be their on-loan striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has netted 7 in 8 since joining on loan from Newcastle, that’s a goal every 84 minutes.

QPR though are arguably playing as well as they have been all season, the prolific form of Luke Freeman and former Fulham striker Matt Smith has been a key factor to this, as well as the new-found energy from youngsters Ryan Manning and Eberechi Eze.

So Saturday’s fixture will be a competitive one, and a win for either side could see them leapfrog a place up in the table, and QPR a step closer to that mid-table spot.