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QPR v Huddersfield
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The phrase “relegation six-pointer” was invented for matches just like this. It almost seems to take on added importance as so many of their rivals aren’t taking to the field this weekend and both QPR and Huddersfield could really do with dragging a few of the pack just above them into this relegation battle.
As it stands, a win for QPR at Loftus Road will lift them out of the relegation zone for the first time this season and, simultaneously, drop Huddersfield below the dotted line.
Marti Cifuentes has come in and made QPR a pretty difficult team to beat. Their xG against has improved massively under his stewardship but he has continued to struggle to match that with effective goal threat.
What has probably made life more difficult for QPR, and also Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham, is that Huddersfield, by far the most likely team to drop into the bottom three, have received great backing from their owners this winter, which has coalesced around a whole new strike force in Rhys Healey and Bojan Radulovic.
When a team is able to spend that amount of money in comparison to the teams around them it can make a big difference over the season, as long as the recruitment is right in the first place. Whether it make a big difference in a one-off match such as this one, especially with it being so close to the time of the signings is another matter.
QPR v Huddersfield Cheat Sheet
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⚽ Match stats: QPR the more impressive of the teams by a long way
Darren Moore was appointed as Huddersfield manager on the 21st September 2023. Taking that point in time until now, Huddersfield sit 23rd for expected points, 20th for xG created, and 19th for xG against.
Having said that, their points return has kept them out of the relegation zone, they have picked up some good results in that time and there does seem to be a strong mentality and competitive spirit amongst the group, and that can be more important than data at times.
By contrast, the Catalan coach Marti Cifuentes took the head coach reins on the 30th October and there is a very contrasting set of data to take in.
The Super Hoops are, by many models, the very best defence in the league. They have conceded the least xG against, 10.4xGA in 14 matches. The big problem is that their xG creation is still one of the worst in the league, only 13.5xG from 14 matches, less than a goal per game in terms of chances created.
From the data, and also the potential lack of quality on show, there isn’t a great deal of support for goals here, but the data does point towards Rangers as being our most likely victors.
⚽ QPR to win @ 2.0
🎯 Shooting stats: Low shot volume across the board, could there be some set piece glory?
We know that neither side is particularly impressive from a goalscoring, or general attacking perspective from the data discussed above.
However, there are a couple of players who look overpriced and the common theme is set pieces.
There is only so long one can ignore the season that Michal Helik is having for Huddersfield. The centre-back is Huddersfield’s top scorer with 8, but not only that he actually tops Huddersfield’s xG numbers. This is pretty incredible, but Helik is a massive threat from set pieces and the delivery of the set pieces has been excellent. He is a pretty massive price in comparison to all of the Huddersfield players who all have fewer goals and a lower xG total than him.
It is not known yet whether Bojan Radulovic will get a start for Huddersfield, most likely he will emerge from the bench at some stage, but if he does start, he could be worth a bet as well with his goalscoring record.
For QPR, their primary free-kick taker, Ilias Chair, is a decent bet. He is priced behind three other QPR players and that seems a little wrong. There is no doubt that if QPR are to escape this situation that Chair will have a big part to play. The Moroccan international will know as well as anyone how important this match is and will surely pull out all the stops to help Rangers.
⚽ Michal Helik to score anytime @ 8.5
⚽ Bojan Radulovic to score anytime @ 4.33
⚽ Ilias Chair to score anytime @ 4.50
⛳ Corner stats: Huddersfield corners likely to be restricted
Having discussed the importance of set pieces it is interesting to note that Queens Park Rangers basically concede and create the same number of corners in their home matches. Their average is 5 per match, and they concede 4.93 per match. This would initially suggest that Huddersfield could be worth backing at 2/1 for the most corners in the game.
However, Huddersfield definitely concede more than they earn when going away from home in the Championship, over 2 corners more per match on average.
The recommended single bet would be the draw in terms of match corners at 7/1, but this isn’t necessarily recommended for the bet builder. The preferred angle might be for the Huddersfield total to be a touch higher than it is given.
⚽ Over 3.5 Huddersfield corners @ 1.44
⚽ Over 4.5 Huddersfield corners @ 2.0
🟨 Card stats: New signing Matos looks up for the Championship battle
Alex Matos, the 19-year-old loan signing from Chelsea, has already committed six fouls in 1.5 matches, as well as being fouled six times too. He certainly looks to be up for the battle that will be required to keep Huddersfield in the league, so he could be an astute pick up for the Yorkshire club.
Jaheim Headley is probably due a card as well. The full-back has committed 19 fouls in 13 matches and has only 1 caution, most players around him with that number of fouls have anywhere from 2 to 6.
Lyndon Dykes has been asked to play a slightly more withdrawn role in recent weeks which gets him more involved in the action. The big target man still has to compete aerially which gets him a lot of fouls, but he has extra midfield responsibilities as well in terms of winning the ball back for the team.
⚽ Alex Matos to be shown a card @ 4.50
⚽ Lyndon Dykes to be shown a card @ 5.0
⚽ Jaheim Headley to be shown a card @ 4.0
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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