Starting the 2021-22 season with a fine run of six matches unbeaten, QPR were among the early front-runners in the Championship. However, their form during September slumped significantly to leave them without a league win since August 28 before they met Birmingham City on Tuesday.
They managed to come out on top after a relatively even affair in terms of possession and shots on target, as a goal in each half from midfielder Ilias Chair put them in the driving seat and they saw out the game to seal a long-awaited three points.
As Mark Warburton’s side had previously fallen to three successive 2-1 defeats, that leaves them just outside the playoff places and poised to kickstart their season with another success on Saturday.
The Rs have conceded 14 league goals so far, which underlines why they have failed to push further up the standings, but they at least managed to post a clean sheet in midweek, which satisfied Warburton, who commended his side’s efforts after the game.
With their next task being to beat a team without a win for weeks, the West London outfit are certainly favourites for another victory, but they could not overturn Preston across their two encounters last term, when the Lancastrians won in the capital and held their visitors to a draw at home.
After losing their opening three games of the season, Preston have since gone on to be unbeaten in their last seven Championship fixtures, following a mid-August loss at Huddersfield. Unfortunately for the Lilywhites though, only two of those seven outings have resulted in victories – and none of the last five.
Following a goalless draw with Birmingham City last weekend, on Tuesday night Frankie McAvoy’s men met Stoke City at Deepdale, where they fell behind to a sixth-minute strike from the visitors.
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Though they replied later in the first half with a Ben Whiteman free-kick equaliser, Preston were prevented from claiming maximum points, and they ultimately shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
In fact, goalkeeper Daniel Iversen was called upon several times to keep the scores level and help his side pick up the point which now puts them 15th in the table.
While McAvoy has made his side tough to beat, he is acutely aware that they must pose more of a threat going forward if they are to rise above such mid-table mediocrity this season – ideally starting on Saturday