Sheffield United will be looking to move one step closer to securing a Championship playoff spot when they travel to West London to face Queens Park Rangers on Friday night.
The Blades beat the R’s 1-0 at Bramall Lane in the reverse fixture at the beginning of this month, with Oliver Norwood scoring the only goal of the game.
QPR’s playoff hopes are now all but over after they suffered their 17th league defeat of the season at the hands of Stoke City last weekend.
Jacob Brown’s strike in first-half stoppage time was enough to secure a slender 1-0 win for the Potters on home soil, a result which has seen Mark Warburton’s side slip to 10th in the table.
The R’s can still mathematically make the playoffs, but at the time of writing, they currently sit six points behind Friday’s opponents Sheffield United in sixth place with as many points to play for in their final two league games, so an eighth successive season in the second tier is on the cards.
Since the start of February, QPR have lost more games across all competitions than any other Championship side, losing 10 league matches and one in the FA Cup.
Their form in 2022 has left little to be desired but they do head into Friday’s game seeking back-to-back home victories, following their narrow 1-0 success over Derby County just over a week ago.
QPR have lost five of their last six encounters with Sheffield United, with their only win during this run back in October 2017 when they secured a 1-0 home victory.
Sheffield United ended a three-game winless league run with a slender 1-0 victory at home against Cardiff City last weekend.
A 47th-minute strike from Iliman Ndiaye – his second goal in successive matches at Bramall Lane – was enough to help the Blades secure three crucial points and remain in the driving seat to claim the final playoff spot.
Paul Heckingbottom will have been relieved to have seen his side return to winning ways, but there is still work to be done as Sheffield United come up against QPR and league leaders Fulham in their final two games this season.
While the Blades currently boast the joint-third best home record in the Championship this season, they head to West London on Friday having failed to win any of their last six league matches on the road, drawing a blank in front of goal on four of those occasions.
Sheffield United have, however, won each of their last four encounters against QPR, all by a one-goal margin, so they will be confident of success on Friday.
Queens Park Rangers Championship form:
Sheffield United Championship form:
We say: Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Sheffield United
With a clash on the final day against Fulham still to come, Sheffield United cannot afford to slip up on Friday if they are to secure a place in the playoffs.
QPR will be keen to end the campaign on a high, following a poor run of form, but we can see the Blades claiming a narrow away victory.