There's another round of midweek fixtures in the Championship and Jack Critchley believes that QPR can notch a couple against defensively-suspect Blackburn...
"Despite sitting just outside the play-offs, the West Londoners have struggled at the back and only Peterborough (25) and Cardiff (22) have conceded more times than the Super Hoops (20). With an xGA of 1.37, the hosts always look likely to concede and many fans have called for Warburton's favoured back three to be scrapped"
Two leaky defences clash in West London
QPR will be aiming to bounce back from a 4-1 humbling against neighbours Fulham at the weekend, and Mark Warburton must find a way to plug his side's leaky back-line. Despite sitting just outside the play-offs, the West Londoners have struggled at the back and only Peterborough (25) and Cardiff (22) have conceded more times than the Super Hoops (20).
With an xGA of 1.37, the hosts always look likely to concede and many fans have called for Warburton's favoured back three to be scrapped. Having conceded eight times in their last four Championship matches, Blackburn have also struggled at the back in recent weeks and may not be able to contain the hosts' attacking talents. This could be a fantastic spectacle.
Recommended Bet: Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.814/5
Resurgent Forest to heap yet more misery on Robins
Nigel Pearson is still searching for his first home win since taking over at Ashton Gate at the end of February. The former Leicester boss has overseen a significant culture change at the club, however, he's won just six times since arriving in the south west. Bristol City produced an xG of just 0.8 against Bournemouth at the weekend and they will need to be far more productive in the final third against an upwardly mobile Nottingham Forest.
The Tricky Trees have now scored 11 times in their last five outings and Steve Cooper has managed to successfully turn things around at the City Ground. Their early-season struggles in front of goal have been completely eradicated, and although this is a quick turnaround, they should be able to continue their excellent form on Tuesday night.
Recommended Bet: Back Nottingham Forest to beat Bristol City @ 2.767/4
Classy Hatters to find a way past Derby's obstinate rearguard
Only Swansea have kept more clean sheets than Derby this season, and although they lack penetration in the final third, Wayne Rooney's side are extremely well-organised and exceptionally hard to beat. The East Midlands outfit have been breached just eight times so far this campaign, the same as table-topping Bournemouth and one fewer than high-flying West Brom.
However, Luton have also been in excellent form in recent weeks and the Hatters have now kept three consecutive clean sheets. Nathan Jones' hard-working outfit are away specialists, and they will be buoyed by their recent 2-0 victory at the Den. The Bedfordshire-outfit have a little more cutting edge and the form of Harry Cornick may just tip the balance in their favour.
Recommended Bet: Back Luton Draw No Bet vs Derby @ 1.758/11
Blades to enjoy home advantage against the Lions
Sheffield United have been this season's archtypal 'slow burner', however, the Blades appear to be finally gaining some momentum. They are still plagued by defensive issues and with just one clean sheet in their last seven outings, Slavisa Jokanovic must find a way of tightening up his side's leaky back-line. Having scored 11 times in their last four home games, they have plenty of individual talent to call upon and Jokanovic is renowned for approaching games with an attack-minded philosophy.
Millwall fans have complained about Gary Rowett's lack of adventure in the final third, and the Lions have failed to score more than a single goal in a game since August 28th. The Bermondsey side struggle to create opportunities, and that lack of cutting edge is likely to count against them at Bramall Lane.
Recommended Bet: Back Sheffield United to beat Millwall @ 1.8810/11
Potters and Cherries to cancel one another out
Both Stoke and Bournemouth will be delighted with their respective starts to the season. The Potters occupy a top six spot and although their away form is a little sketchy, Michael O'Neill's men are exceptionally tough to beat in the Potteries. Promotion candidates West Brom found it tough to break down the Staffordshire outfit and Bournemouth may also have to be patient on Tuesday night.
The Cherries eased past Bristol City at the weekend and they haven't conceded on their travels since mid-August. Despite their embarrassment of riches in the final third, Scott Parker's men have found the net just seven times on the road so far, and they could be left frustrated by a combination of Harry Souttar, James Chester and Ben Wilmot.
Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Stoke vs Bournemouth @ 3.259/4
Cottagers to punish Cardiff's woeful defence
Fulham are division's top scorers and they will fancy their chances of adding to their 27-goal haul on Wednesday night. Marco Silva's side have already suffered a couple of minor setbacks so far this season, however, they have an unbelievable amount of firepower within their squad. They are averaging 2.33 goals per game at Craven Cottage and have scored seven times in their last two fixtures here.
At the time of writing, Mick McCarthy remains in charge of Cardiff City despite Sunday's damaging defeat. The Bluebirds have conceded 15 times in their last six matches and have found the net just once during that period. The hosts will be expected to fill their boots here.
Recommended Bet: Back Over 2.5 Fulham team goals @ 3.002/1
Terriers to sneak past out-of-form Birmingham
Huddersfield have been one of the surprise packages of the season. Many pundits and fans expected Carlos Corberan's side to struggle, however, the West Yorkshire side have defied those expectations and deservedly occupy a top half position. They've been helped by their excellent home form which has seen them pick up 12 points from a possible 18. With an average of 1.83 goals per game at this venue, any concerns surrounding a perceived lack of firepower have quickly been assuaged.
Birmingham are enduring a sticky spell and Lee Bowyer must find a way to get his side back on track. The Blues were narrowly beaten by West Brom on Friday night and have now failed to score in each of their last five outings. However, they are creating chances and despite their poor form, they aren't expected to become embroiled in a relegation battle. Misfiring Brum may just fall short here.
Recommended Bet: Back Huddersfield to beat Birmingham @ 2.68/5
Newly-promoted duo to share the points
It's been a thoroughly disappointing start to the campaign for both of these two sides, however, Hull have shown signs of life in recent weeks, particularly at home. The Tigers are unbeaten in their last two matches here and although they were extremely lucky to beat misfiring Middlesbrough at the beginning of the month, they have also picked up points against Blackpool and Bournemouth.
They have a serious lack of cutting edge and a Keane Lewis-Potter free-kick was the sum total of their attacking output on Saturday afternoon. Peterborough just cannot seem to click on the road and have now conceded 18 times on their travels. This is Posh's best chance of ending their away drought, however, they may have to settle for a point. This game is unlikely to live long in the memory.
Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Hull vs Peterborough @ 3.259/4
Boro to secure successive victories at the Riverside
Neil Warnock had selection issues at the weekend, however, the experienced Yorkshireman managed to adapt and still find a way to collect three points. Middlesbrough were indebited to the creativity of Martin Payero, who finally looks to be acclimatising to life in the second tier. The Argentine is a potential match-winner and he could add a touch of class to proceedings on Wednesday night. Barnsley are slowly improving and their xG numbers are roughly heading in the right direction, however, their alarming lack of firepower is holding them back.
Without the injured Carlton Morris and the departed Daryl Dike, they have very few natural finishers in the squad and some fans have questioned the mid-match tactical tweaks of Markus Schopp. The hosts have that little bit of star quality in the final third and that should make the difference.
Recommended Bet: Back Middlesbrough to beat Barnsley @ 1.875/6
Both teams to register at Deepdale
With a 2-3-1 record at Deepdale, Preston have become exceptionally tough to beat under Frankie McAvoy. However, the Lilywhites lack quality in the final third and their hard-working approach to games has failed to win over some sections of the fanbase. The Lancashire outfit have lost just one of their last nine matches, however, they've also failed to take maximum points from any of their last seven Championship outings.
Coventry haven't won on the road since August 17th, however, they've produced an xG of 1.37 on their travels and deservedly left Ewood Park with a point on Saturday. Mark Robins' men remain in the Red Rose county for this midweek contest and having scored six times in their last two matches, they will fancy their chances of finding the back of the net once again.
Recommended Bet: Back BTTS in Preston vs Coventry @ 1.814/5
Low-scoring contest in South Wales
Swansea fans haven't witnessed their side concede a goal at this ground since August 17th, and the supporters will be in a buoyant mood following their team's success in the South Wales derby on Sunday afternoon. Russell Martin has successfully overseen the transition and with an average possession count of 62% so far this season, it's little wonder that so many sides have failed to threaten the hosts.
West Brom have also been excellent at the back so far this campaign with Valerian Ismael's side having conceded just four times in their last eight outings. They may have to be patient in this contest and although there is likely to be plenty of quality and technical ability on show, it may be low on clearcut opportunities.
Recommended Bet: Back Under 2.5 Goals in Swansea vs West Brom @ 1.804/5
Points shared at the Madejski
Injuries have been a hindrance to Reading this season and another quick turnaround is unlikely to benefit the Royals. With ten senior players missing at the weekend, Vejlko Paunovic's men managed to sneak past struggling Barnsley, although they were far from impressive. John Swift has regularly produced moments of magic and the former Chelsea youngster may be called upon to make the difference once again on Wednesday evening.
Blackpool also have fitness issues with the likes of Chris Maxwell and Shayne Lavery likely to miss several weeks. However, the Seasiders are tough to beat and have only lost twice since the end of August. They are likely to be competitive in Berkshire and will look to capitalise on the hosts' lack of bodies.
Recommended Bet: Back Draw in Reading vs Blackpool @ 3.211/5
You can follow Jack Critchley on Twitter @jcritch7
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