Luton v QPR
Sunday March 13, 12:00
Luton move into the top-six
Luton's first team coach Alan Sheehan hailed the togetherness shown by the Hatters after Town moved back into the top-six of the Championship with a crucial 1-0 win at fellow play-off rivals Coventry on Tuesday night. Elijah Adebayo's 14th goal of the season settled matters as the Bedfordshire boys bagged a sixth league success in their last eight outings.
Speaking post-match, Sheehan said: "You can't play unbelievable football every week, tonight was a night for the basics. We stayed in the game, defended our box really well and we probably had the better chances over the 90 minutes. The way the lads work hard for each other, that togetherness is worth an extra few points at the end of the season."
Luton boss Nathan Jones reenergised his squad by making five changes from the disappointing 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough last weekend, with Jordan Clark, Luke Berry and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu all starting after missing the last few weeks, whilst defender Dan Potts also came back into the starting XI in place of the injured Kal Naismith.
Warburton unhappy with QPR loss
QPR boss Mark Warburton accused his players of complacency after their 2-1 defeat at home to Cardiff last weekend. Rangers, now with just one win in seven Championship matches (W1-D2-L4) went ahead through Andre Gray's first-half opener. But the Bluebirds scored twice in the space of four second-half minutes to turn the match on its head.
Speaking post-match, a furious Warburton said: "We lost it by dropping the tempo and playing at a testimonial pace. We were thinking it was almost too easy to move the ball and giving a good opponent too much time and not enough respect, and we paid the price for that. Plain and simple. I don't lose my rag often but that was not us in the second half."
Veteran goalkeeper David Marshall will continue between the sticks despite his mistake in the Cardiff defeat. Regular first-choice stopper Seny Dieng has been ruled out for at least a month but Warburton is hoping to have Scottish international striker Lyndon Dykes available for the trip to Kenilworth Road after missing four successive fixtures.
Luton have found the going tough in historic head-to-head meetings with QPR. The Hatters have secured a solitary success in 21 league fixtures with Rangers dating back to 1989 (W1-D8-L12) with Town losing six of their most recent seven such showdowns with the R's. At Kenilworth Road, Luton have W1-D5-L4 in match-ups with QPR over the past 30 years.
Only runaway league leaders Fulham boast a better points per-game return than Luton 2.226/5 since the start of December. The Hatters have claimed W10-D2-L3 in their last 15 Championship fixtures, whilst recording seven clean sheets. Town have W9-D5-L3 at Kenilworth Road this term, and are unbeaten when welcoming top-half rivals.
QPR 3.1085/40 are in the midst of their worst run of results this season. Rangers have tasted top honours just twice in nine recent Championship outings (W2-D3-L4) since mid-January, with the visitors having lost and failed to score in each of their most recent three road trips. Nevertheless, the Hoops have W7-D2-L4 when travelling to teams outside the top-four.
Luton tend to keep things tight when taking on the leading lights at Kenilworth Road. The Hatters have silenced five of their eight visitors in 13th and above, with four of the five goals conceded in that sample arriving against the top-two in the division. Five of the eight fixtures featured Under 2.5 Goals yet a repeat is too short to support here at 1.608/13.
With QPR wobbling, and averaging just 0.79 Expected Goals (xG) per-game over their last 12 league games, instead the 3.505/2 available on Luton to Win To Nil might be worth an interest.
Rangers have been beaten without scoring in each of their last three road trips, whilst 11 of Luton's 16 Championship victories have arrived alongside clean sheets.