The televised game on Tuesday in the first midweek gameweek in the Championship sees Blackpool travel to QPR. Both teams have only one win in their first three games but QPR are favourites in this clash.
QPR come into this game on the back of a quite phenomenal comeback at Sunderland where they were 2-0 down going into the 87th minute and managed to salvage a point. What is even more amazing is that the equaliser was scored by their keeper, Seny Dieng, from a corner. This result was on the back of an impressive 3-2 win when hosting Middlesbrough, and new manager Mick Beale will be hoping to continue this form here.
The Hoops have recruited well over the summer – bringing in Jake Clarke-Salter on a free as well as Tyler Roberts and Ethan Laird on loan. The latter is in line to make a first start for the club having impressed at Swansea and Bournemouth last season. However, QPR tend to play with 4 defenders and he may be more limited as a full back rather than a wing back. In terms of key players, they have not lost any and will hope for a decent season, building on Mark Warburton’s work over the last few years.
Blackpool have also appointed a new manager – Michael Appleton – on the back of Neil Critchley making the surprise move to be a part of the backroom staff at Aston Villa. Whilst Appleton’s reign started well with a home win over Reading, they have since lost two in the league without scoring as well as losing on penalties to Barrow in the EFL Cup. They have also amassed less than one nPxG in each of their games and have lost on nPxG all three league games. The Tangerines have recruited plenty of young players, signing Charlie Patino, Rhys Williams, Lewis Fiorini and Theo Corbeanu on loan from Premier League clubs and it remains to be seen how successful this will be in their bid for survival.
QPR v Blackpool Bet Builder Tips
QPR to Win
QPR are the favourites for this game and in my opinion, rightly so. They are looking to open the season with two home wins and optimism is high around the club. There is a sense that they might be building something, and this has been boosted with a new right back – Ethan Laird – as well as Tyler Roberts – who impressed when he turned the game round at Sunderland when he came off the bench.
They were poor in their first game at Blackburn but were perhaps unlucky to lose to a stunner of a goal from Lewis Travis. However, since then, they have moved to four at the back rather than a system using wing backs, and so far, it has worked – scoring five goals in two games. This would not be unexpected using expected goals, and they have had 3.72 xG in these two games. Their main reason for concern is the defence, where they have conceded 4 goals in these two games. However, Middlesbrough will be towards the top of the division at the end of the season and the Stadium of Light is never an easy place to go. I believe that Blackpool will struggle to cause them many problems and QPR should be able to score a few – particularly with Tyler Roberts finally able to start.
Blackpool may have been optimistic for this season when they recorded their highest league finish in 9 years last year, but all this optimism was soon sucked out when Critchley left to go to Aston Villa and they are now looking at avoiding relegation back to League One.
They have been poor in all three games so far. Despite beating Reading, they were fortunate to do so and on a different day could easily have lost, losing on xG 0.58-1.20. They were also lucky that Stoke only scored two against them as Aden Flint and Dwight Gayle both missed good opportunities to score. Whilst they beat Swansea on xG and Appleton thought they were unlucky to lose, they had an underserved penalty in this game and the underlying stats would look much worse without Kenny Dougall’s dive. Blackpool were poor away from home last season, only winning 5 games, and given that Stoke were extremely comfortable when hosting the Seasiders, I feel confident that the Hoops can deliver a similar performance.
QPR to have 4+ Shots on Target
QPR have looked good going forward in the last two games and Blackpool haven’t looked comfortable at the back – conceding 12 shots or more in each of their 3 first games. Since switching to their four at the back system, QPR have also managed to reach 12 shots, and amassed a massive 20 shots at Sunderland on Saturday.
There is a similar story in the shots on target. QPR have had five and four in the two games since changing system, whilst Blackpool have conceded 15 across their first three games – including seven in their only other away game of this season.
A man I think will have a big impact in the QPR attack is Tyler Roberts (below). He transformed the QPR attack at Sunderland after coming off the bench on Saturday and will be able to play from the start on Tuesday. In the first half, QPR had 37% possession and only one shot on target, however in the second, they bossed the ball with 59% possession and had three shots on target. Roberts himself managed to have three shots in those 45 minutes alone. If Laird starts tomorrow, he’ll be another problem for Blackpool to deal with and I don’t think they’ll be able to stop QPR.
Tyler Roberts to have 3+ Shots
As mentioned several times above, Tyler Roberts transformed the QPR attack on Saturday. In just 45 minutes of action, he managed 3 shots. He also played 30 minutes in the EFL cup against Charlton, managing three shots in that game too, as well as managing to score the equaliser. In his first start and home debut, I have no doubt he will want to impress both the manager and the fans and the best way to do this would be by scoring a goal or two. In his home league debut for Leeds, Roberts had 4 shots against Preston and even managed to score two.
On Saturday, Swansea’s striker Michael Obafemi managed 3 shots, as did “second striker” Joel Piroe and number 10 Olivier Ntcham managed two in just 29 minutes. Both of Stoke’s strikers – Jacob Brown and Dwight Gayle – managed 3 shots apiece in their game against Blackpool and Yakou Meite had two shots for Reading. All of this would suggest that Roberts should be able to find some space and will be able to get some shots off to impress the fans at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Josh Bowler to have 2+ Shots
Josh Bowler is Blackpool’s main man on the right wing. In just three games, he’s managed 13 shots, as well as five on two different occasions at home to Reading and Swansea. Whilst the 4.38 shots per 90 he’s averaging this season is drastically above his average generally, he does tend to average 2 shots per 90 every season. Last season, he averaged 2.26 shots per 90, and he seems to have been given more license to express himself by Appleton this season and I can see that carrying on here. As well as this, in a dire Hull City side that finished bottom of the Championship he managed 1.98 shots per 90 at the age of just 19. He also managed to score at QPR last season.
Sam Gallagher, who plays on the right for Blackburn managed to get two shots away on the opening day of the season. Strikers Marcus Forss and Chuba Akpom also achieved this feat as did Ellis Simms and Ross Stewart for Middlesbrough and Sunderland respectively. All this would suggest that Blackpool’s main man – Josh Bowler will be given a few opportunities and given his lack of fear to get a shot away in the first three games, he should manage to pull the trigger twice on Tuesday.
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How to watch QPR v Blackpool in the Championship?
📅 When is QPR v Blackpool? / Tuesday, 16th August 2022, 20:00
🏟 Where is QPR v Blackpool? / Loftus Road (London)
📺 What TV channel is QPR v Blackpool on? / Sky Sports Main Event
🟨 …And who is the referee for QPR v Blackpool? / A. Davies 🏴