The Championship kicks off on Friday night as Reading travel to the Kiyan Prince Foundation stadium to face QPR. Both teams have been something of a surprise this season and find themselves in the playoffs entering the 13th round of fixtures. QPR have picked up ten points from their last four games, including an impressive win at Bramall Lane in midweek against a Sheffield United team that had only lost at home once since November before that. Reading were many people’s favourites to go down at the start of the season but have only lost four games so far this season with seven wins. In midweek, they picked up a very useful point against a strong Norwich team in their first draw of the season.
The home side have looked very strong in recent weeks with only one loss in their last eight, winning five. Their midweek victory at Sheffield United was a significant one and sent out a message to other Championship clubs that they are serious this season. Manager Mark Beale, who was assistant to Steven Gerrard at Rangers and Aston Villa, has made a name for himself in the short amount of time that he has had the top job having been seen as more tactical than Gerrard in his previous jobs. They will be pleased to be playing back at home having had four away games in their last five.
The visitors were predicted to go down by bookies, pundits, and fans alike at the start of the season. However, Paul Ince’s side have been phenomenal. They have only lost one of their last five games and have looked strong. Remarkably, they sit in third with a negative goal difference with their losses coming by score lines of 1-0, 4-0, 4-0 and 3-0. Their home record is the best in the league with 16 points from their seven games, but their away form is cause for concern. They have two wins in their five away games but have scored just two goals and conceded nine in the five games. Ince will be looking to improve this record here.
QPR v Reading Bet Builder Tips
QPR to Win
QPR have started to find real form under Michael Beale. They only picked up five points in his first five games in charge but since then have only lost once and have started to perform how he’d like. They have won five of the seven games since then, only failing to do so against Stoke who they beat 1.80-0.53 on xG and at Swansea who have been the form team in the Championship over the last five games. Remarkably, they have only had two home games in this time, but they have won these on expected goals by a score of 3.87-1.56 and will be hoping to back that up here.
Reading have blown hot and cold on the road so far this season. They have won 1-0 twice but have also lost heavily at Sheffield United and Rotherham. They are yet to show the consistency away from home and will be hoping to change that here. However, I am not sure the Kiyan Prince Foundation stadium, where they will face a strong QPR side, is where the Royals’ fortunes will change.
Under 2.5 Goals
One of the things that Michael Beale has done for QPR is make them much more solid at the back, even if they aren’t the highest scoring team in the league. In their 12 games so far this season, there have been an average of 2.42 goals per game, falling to 2.4 in their home games. In their last five, there have been under three goals four times. They are also going to be missing Chris Willock here which is a massive loss for them given he has scored six goals in his nine games so far this season.
Reading games have seen slightly more goals on average this season. They have seen an average of 2.5 goals per game but away from home, this falls to 2.2. Away from home, they have seen under 2.5 goals four times in their six games and both teams have scored in none of these six. Given QPR’s strong defence I expect Reading to struggle to find the back of the net here.
Tyler Roberts to have 3+ Shots
Tyler Roberts had fallen out of favour at Leeds in recent years and found himself needing to leave if he wanted any chance of going to Qatar with Wales over the winter. He dropped down to the Championship with QPR to have more minutes. He has had 23 shots in the 10 games and 600 minutes that he’s played and whilst his minutes haven’t been guaranteed, they should be more nailed on here given Willock’s injury. Despite his limited minutes sometimes, he has still managed plenty of shots. This line has landed in five of ten games this season but has only completed more than 70 minutes in three games. He was also brought off early in midweek and had an extra 25 minutes rest so should be able to impose himself upon this game early.
Reading have conceded at least three shots to a member of the opposition’s front three in nine of their last ten games, and Tyler Roberts looks the most likely to do so here.
Under 3.5 Cards
Both teams have low card averages, with 3.50 per game in QPR games and 3.17 in Reading games. Under 3.5 cards has landed in 58% of both teams’ games and in their respective home and away fixtures, this falls further. QPR have seen over 3.5 cards in their home games only twice, and Reading have only seen 4 or more cards once on their travels so far this season. Chris Willock draws a lot of fouls for QPR and given that he is out, Reading may find it easier to deal with Lyndon Dykes, suggesting that they may pick up fewer cards.
The referee for this game is Thomas Bramall who doesn’t tend to show many cards. Across his career, he has seen an average of 2.99 cards per game and has given out over 3.5 cards in just 21.6% of his games. This season, he’s taken charge of two Premier League fixtures, both of which saw exactly three cards, and four Championship games. Only one of these Championship fixtures have been over 3.5 cards, with the other three of them only seeing two.
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QPR predicted XI (4-3-3): Dieng; Laird, Balogun, Dunne, Paal; Amos, Field, Dozzell; Roberts, Dykes, Chair
Reading predicted XI (3-5-2): Lumley; Hutchinson, Holmes, McIntyre; Hoilett, Hendrick, Loum, Fornah, Guinness-Walker; Ince, Joao
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *
How to watch QPR v Reading in the Championship?
📅 When is QPR v Reading? / Friday, 7th October 2022, 8:00PM
🏟 Where is QPR v Reading? / Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium (London)
📺 What TV channel is QPR v Reading on? / Sky Sports Main Event
🟨 …And who is the referee for QPR v Reading? / T. Bramall 🏴