Loftus Road - FA Cup
Premier League high flyers Watford head to Loftus Road to face Championship side Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup on Friday night. The lights will be on and the cameras rolling, so can the hosts spring a shock against the Hornets?
It’s been nearly five years since these teams last met, which was during the 2013/14 Championship campaign. QPR won 2-1 at Loftus Road after a goalless draw in the first meeting of the season. The Rs have won three of the last five meetings between the sides, with Watford winning once.
Geoff Cameron, on loan from Stoke, is a doubt for this game for QPR due to an ankle injury. Steve McClaren would appreciate his experience in this game, especially as another old hand, Angel Rangel, is also a doubt.
Javi Gracia is expected to make some changes for this game, although Watford supporters will hope there aren’t too many. Andre Gray should get a chance after his winner at the weekend, while Roberto Pereyra, Isaac Success and Sebastian Prodl are injured and Jose Holebas is suspended.
Queens Park Rangers v Watford Preview and Predictions
Watford are having a blast this season, riding high in eighth place in the Premier League table. The Hornets saw off former manager Marco Silva with a 1-0 victory over Everton on Saturday, and are hot on the heels of seventh-placed Wolves. QPR meanwhile are floating around in Championship mid-table obscurity.
The Hoops are 11 points off the play-offs and 13 points clear of the bottom three, with little threat of relegation. Unless they keep up their current run of form, that is. McClaren’s side are without a win in their last six Championship games, losing their last four.
However, the Rs did beat Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup, before needing a replay to see off League One outfit Portsmouth in the last round. QPR are 17/5 for the win on Friday, so they start as the underdogs with Watford priced at 9/10 with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
The Hornets have only tasted defeat against Chelsea and Tottenham in their last 13 fixtures in all competitions, winning 2-0 away at Newcastle in the last round of the cup. They also beat Woking by the same scoreline in the round before. Watford boss Gracia won’t want a draw and the replay that comes with it, but it’s 5/2 in the betting.
Watford to win and BTTS at 3/1
QPR lost a seven-goal thriller against Birmingham at the weekend, and conceded four in their previous Championship home game. Despite their poor run of form, they’ve only failed to score in one of their last eight games in all competitions, away at Sheffield United.
Over 4.5 goals at 7/1
This bet would’ve paid out in each of QPR’s last two home games in the league, while Watford are certainly capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.