Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Queens Park Rangers

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Queens Park Rangers

West Bromwich Albion will look to extend their unbeaten record in the Championship to nine matches when they play host to Queens Park Rangers on Friday night.

While the Baggies can return to the top of the standings with victory at The Hawthorns, QPR will move to within one point of their hosts if they can prevail in the West Midlands.

For a team looking to earn an immediate return to the Premier League, three successive draws have not exactly benefitted West Brom in the short term.

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Nevertheless, the Baggies remain unbeaten, in third place and just two points off top spot, a scenario that Valerien Ismael would have almost certainly taken after eight matches.

The goals have dried up for this talented squad, just five strikes coming in as many games since they dismantled Sheffield United in August.

Matt Phillips has arguably emerged as West Brom’s key player with the winger contributing two goals and two assists during that period.

Despite the frustration of only recording a 1-1 draw at Preston North End last weekend, Ismael will be pleased that the club have conceded just seven times in the second tier.

From QPR’s perspective, a trip to one of their promotion rivals has not come at the right time given their efforts against Everton on Tuesday night.

The Hoops, who started with a number of first-team players in the EFL Cup, battled their way to a 2-2 draw before eventually prevailing in a high-class penalty shootout.

However, regardless of their exertions, Mark Warburton will take the positives from his players rising to the occasion against opponents who had ambitions to win that competition.

Former Baggies forward Charlie Austin proved his worth to this QPR squad with a double, a timely boost for the 32-year-old after spending a period on the sidelines through injury.

While Warburton will be delighted with the outcome on Tuesday night, his team have now conceded nine goals during their last four fixtures in all competitions.

West Bromwich Albion Championship form:
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West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions):
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Queens Park Rangers Championship form:
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Queens Park Rangers form (all competitions):
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We say: West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Queens Park Rangers
Having toppled Everton in the EFL Cup, QPR can only be full of confidence ahead of this contest. However, two difficult fixtures in three days may take its toll, leading us to predict a relatively comfortable win for the well-rested hosts.

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