QPR v Nottingham Forest: Goals appeal in capital clash

Mark Warburton - QPR
QPR have scored in every Championship game this season
  • Queens Park Rangers vs Nottingham Forest
  • Fri 29 Oct, 20:45

Friday night football arrives from the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as QPR entertain Nottingham Forest. Mark O'Haire previews the televised Championship encounter.

"Goals tend to follow QPR and it’s surprising to see Both Teams To Score offered at 1.75 on the Exchange"

QPR bemoan cup exit

QPR manager Mark Warburton said he was "shocked" by an "appalling decision" to disallow a goal for his side in their League Cup defeat to Sunderland on Tuesday night at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. Rangers' hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time in 32 years were crushed when they lost on penalties.

But the R's were denied what seemed a perfectly good goal when Charlie Austin, on as a substitute, netted from close range. It was ruled out for an offside with Warburton saying, "It's staggering to be that wrong on a major decision in a game of that importance. You're not talking about an inch or a marginal decision. You're talking about feet."

QPR now return to league action just 72 hours later, with Warburton keen to keep his squad as rested and rotated as possible during a heavy schedule. Albert Adomah, Dominic Ball, Stefan Johansen and Austin are all likely to return for Friday night's fixture. However, the game is still a week too early for injured pair Lee Wallace and Sam Field.

Forest fall to clinical Fulham

Nottingham Forest suffered their first setback since Steve Cooper became manager as the Tricky Trees were turned over 4-0 by Fulham at the City Ground. An own goal by Djed Spence gave the visitors a half-time lead. Lewis Grabban wasted a chance to equalise after the break before Fulham ran away with the game, scoring three goals in nine minutes.

Cooper was philosophical post-match, saying, "I'm not saying we deserved to win the game, by any stretch of the imagination, because we didn't. But we certainly didn't deserve to lose 4-0. In saying that, some of it was self-inflicted." A calamitous mix-up at the back allowed Fulham their second strike, whilst the fourth and final goal came from the penalty spot.

The Forest chief made one change to his starting line-up against the Cottagers, bringing in Jack Colback for James Garner in midfield. Meanwhile, summer signing Braian Ojeda was included on the bench, in a sign of the competition for places in the centre of the pitch. The Paraguayan isn't yet ready for a starting role, but could play a part in the capital contest.

Don't discount improving Reds

QPR haven't relished recent meetings with Nottingham Forest in league action, picking up top honours in just two of their past eight Championship head-to-heads across all venues (W2-D1-L5). Rangers have also been turned over in four of their last six match-ups with the Tricky Trees on home soil (W2-D0-L4), including three defeats in the most recent four here.

Underlying data metrics suggest QPR 2.1011/10 are overperforming. The R's sit outside of the top-six on goal difference, although Expected Points (xP) rankings place Mark Warburton's men down in mid-table. However, the Hoops boast a reasonable home record (W4-D2-L1), firing in more on-target efforts than their opponents in six of those seven games.

Nottingham Forest 3.6013/5 have amassed 16 of their 17-point tally since Chris Hughton's departure (W5-D1-L1). The Reds have seen their Expected Goals (xG) output increase from 0.64 xG per-game to 1.48 xG per-game with attempts from inside the penalty area also showing a significant improvement. Exclude the top-six and Forest have W5-D2-L3.

Goals on the agenda

Goals tend to follow QPR and it's surprising to see Both Teams To Score offered at 1.758/11 on the Exchange. Rangers are the only Championship side to score in all 14 of their league encounters thus far, and the hosts also have a full plethora of forwards available to make an impact on Friday night. BTTS has banked in 10 (71% of those 14 assignments).

Last weekend's Fulham fixture was the first time Nottingham Forest had failed to notch since Christ Hughton's exit, with the seven matches in that sequence averaging a chunky 2.74 Expected Goals (xG). Steve Cooper does prefer an element of control and defensive stability, although the Reds are enjoying playing with the shackles off for the time being.

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