Friday night sees Queen’s Park Rangers travel to St Andrews to face Birmingham City in the opening match of the Championship for this round of fixtures. The home side sit steadily in 15th and are coming into this one on the back of a 2−1 loss at Blackburn. The visitors for this one are flying so far this season under new manager Mick Beale and are sitting in second, two points behind Burnley but with a game in hand.
There were many people that predicted Birmingham to go down this season, and questions were asked when John Eustace was appointed in his first senior job in professional football, having been an assistant at QPR for four years prior to this. However, he has done an excellent job and last weekend’s result was only the second loss in nine, which has included very creditable points against Burnley and Sheffield United. In addition, they were very unfortunate not to pick up at least a point at Blackburn, a side who are sat in third going into this one. They may have George Friend back for this one, who has only played two minutes of senior football this season, and he could be a welcome return as an experienced head at the back for the Blues. They managed to rest Hannibal Mejbri in their last game, but he should come back in here. Marc Roberts, Gary Gardener and Przemyslaw Placheta remain injured. QPR are another team that have shocked most Championship fans this season with a new manager. They will be buoyed with the confidence that manager Mick Beale has decided to stick with them and trust the process rather than move to a Wolves team in the Premier League, and they backed up this news with a 2−1 win against Wigan last time out. They have won five of their last six and have only lost two of their last twelve. They have shown incredible character in recent weeks, winning when not at their best, and without star man Chris Willock who has missed the last four with an injury picked up at Bramall Lane. The good news for Rangers is that they may have him back for this one, although he won’t be risked if a doubt, but will also be without striker Tyler Roberts as well as Stefan Johansen, who went off injured at half time against Wigan.
Birmingham City v QPR Bet Builder Tips
Both Teams to Score
Birmingham have seen both teams score in 57% of home league games so far this season, scoring in five of their seven games. They have managed to score in each of their last four games and have found the back of the net seven times in that run of fixtures. Both teams have scored in all four of their games against top eight opposition, and whilst their defence has only conceded fifteen goals – the second-best record in the Championship – they have struggled more against top quality opposition. However, one thing that Eustace’s side has shown is that they are more than capable of fighting against this calibre of opposition. They have been unlucky not to beat several of these sides and they will hope for a better result here.
QPR have also been defensively solid. They too have conceded just seventeen goals and have scored more frequently – with 25 – but have looked unstable in recent weeks. They were very fortunate to come away with all three points against Wigan and have conceded in two of the three before that as well, only keeping a clean sheet against Cardiff, who were a man down for most of the game. They may be without Johansen at the back and that may prove to be a big loss against a tough Birmingham side that are better than Wigan, particularly with home advantage. Three of their four losses have come on the road, and they have conceded ten on their travels.
Hannibal Mejbri to be Shown a Card
Hannibal Mejbri is probably most well known by Premier League fans for his cameo for Manchester United against Liverpool last season where he showed some sort of fight which saw him booked in the seven minutes he was on the pitch and perhaps fortunate not to be sent off. He also saw another yellow in the 61 minutes he played against Crystal Palace. It is therefore no shock that he has continued that so far this season. He was rested last week but started three consecutive games before that, picking up two cards. It has also seen him pick up four career senior yellow cards in just four professional domestic starts. There is a trend in his form as seen by his youth games, where he was booked in five of his 10 Premier League 2 matches, as well as a further seven yellows and two sending offs in 20 appearances the season before.
Over 3.5 Cards
Birmingham games have seen plenty of yellow cards this season, averaging 4.14 cards per game at home and 4.11 away. They themselves have picked up at least three cards in almost half of their games so far and have drawn an average of 2.57 cards per game at St Andrews. QPR’s averages are slightly lower at 3.75 cards per game but this has increased to 4.20 in their last five games. A Friday night game, where both teams will be desperate for three points for different reasons, could see plenty of bookings shown.
The referee for this one is Tim Robinson who averages 4.05 cards per game across his career and 4.60 in the Championship this season. He has already given out two red cards in the second division, both on the opening day in a scrappy game in South Wales as Norwich travelled to Cardiff. Each of his last four games have seen this line land, including a massive seven in the Huddersfield vs Hull game and another seven at Vicarage Road when Swansea travelled to face Watford.
Over 4.5 Birmingham Corners
Birmingham games have seen plenty of corners this season, averaging 11 at home, where the home crowd have seen at least ten corners in all but one game so far this season. They have racked up a massive 42 across their seven home games, averaging six per game and this line has landed in six of the seven. The home side have shown they aren’t afraid to attack the Championship’s big boys under John Eustace and they will try and so again here.
QPR have also conceded an average of six corners per game on the road so far. In six of their eight away league games, this has landed, including in each of the last five. They aren’t afraid to attack teams, even when not at their best, and this has ended up with plenty of open games with opportunities at both ends. This should be a good game between two teams who will want to attack from minute one.
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How to watch Birmingham City v QPR in the Championship?
📅 When is Birmingham City v QPR? / Friday, 28th October 2022, 8:00PM
🏟 Where is Birmingham City v QPR? / St. Andrew’s Stadium (Birmingham)
📺 What TV channel is Birmingham City v QPR on? / Sky Sports Main Event
🟨 …And who is the referee for Birmingham City v QPR? / T. Robinson 🏴