Sunday, January 23
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Dec 5, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
QPRQueens Park Rangers
StokeStoke City
FT(HT: 0-1)
Campbell (14'), Vrancic (78')
Fox (53')

Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Championship clash between Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Queens Park Rangers play host to Stoke City on Sunday afternoon knowing that victory will see them reduce the gap on the runaway top-two in the Championship standings.

While four positions separate third-placed QPR and their opponents, Stoke will move to within one point of the London outfit with a win at the Kiyan Price Foundation Stadium.

Match preview

Although QPR are no longer the free-scoring team from earlier in the campaign, Mark Warburton's side now look the complete package as they bid to secure promotion to the Premier League.

Chasing down Fulham and Bournemouth remains a dream over an expectation right now, the top two currently seven and eight points clear, but the fact that those two teams square off in the latest batch of fixtures leaves the door ajar for QPR.

Warburton will be keen for his players to focus on their own performances having collected 14 points from their last six matches, the current winning streak standing at three games.

QPR needed to come from behind to see off Derby County on Monday night, Andre Gray netting a sublime last-gasp winner for just his fourth strike of the season.

Warburton will be taking greater pride from his improving backline, the Hoops conceding just four times in eight league fixtures since their 4-1 capitulation at Fulham on October 16.

Stoke have spent much of the campaign ahead of their next opponents, but the tables have recently turned after six defeats in 10 second-tier outings.

The Potters recorded 10 points from four games during the middle of that run, increasing the sense of frustration with manager Michael O'Neill as he attempts to keep the club in the playoff mix.

While they currently sit in seventh and just two points adrift of Coventry City above them, a poor return from three important fixtures would have Stoke back in the mid-table positions.

Despite back-to-back 1-0 losses to Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers, O'Neill will be delighted that Tyrese Campbell came through 90 minutes last time out, the first time since suffering a serious knee injury 12 months ago.

Queens Park Rangers Championship form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Stoke City Championship form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

QPR are likely to be without Lee Wallace after the left wing-back sustained a hamstring injury at Pride Park.

Moses Odubajo could be drafted into the starting lineup in his place, but Lyndon Dykes is not expected to return until later in the month.

Gray is pushing for a start ahead of Chris Willock or Charlie Austin after his goal in the East Midlands.

Stoke will have to make do with defender Ben Wilmot, who collected his fifth yellow card of the season versus Blackburn.

Joe Allen is available again after serving a ban of his own, a return which will allow Josh Tymon to revert to left wing-back.

Steven Fletcher may earn a recall ahead of Jacob Brown or Campbell.

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Dickie, Dunne, Barbet; Adomah, Johansen, Dozzell, Odubajo; Chair; Gray, Willock

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Davies; Ostigard, Batth, Chester; Smith, Sawyers, Allen, Tymon; Vrancic; Brown, Fletcher

We say: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Stoke City

Having suffered two defeats in succession, O'Neill will be wary of his team lacking confidence at both ends of the pitch. Nevertheless, regardless of the Potters' approach, we expect QPR to have too much quality for their opponents at the weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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