QPR vs Luton Town match preview: Form, h2h and score prediction
A lot has changed since our last meeting in October, which ended as a 3-1 win for the Hatters. Both teams have since changed managers, with Nathan Jones leaving for Southampton with our blessing, after performing so well in his second stint as Luton Town manager. Whereas Michael Beale was poached by Glasgow Rangers after a solid 21 games in charge at Loftus Road and claiming he would not be “the first one to jump ship” from the project.
QPR have held a long hoodoo over Luton Town, with our victory in October being our first over QPR since a pre season friendly in 2011, where we also ran out 3-1 winners, with Matthew Barnes-Homer, Amari Morgan-Smith and Adam Watkins notching our goals. In league football we hadn’t beaten QPR in the league since 2006, with goals from Markus Heikkinen and Steve Howard. It does feel like times are changing now, and the hoodoo and can be laid to rest, with Rob Edwards and Neil Critchley going toe to toe on the 29th December.
Currently QPR are very much out of form, with their last 5 matches, yielding 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses, scoring 2 and conceding 7. Overall this season, they have performed well at home with 5 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses, which mirrors our away form, as us Hatters know, we have travelled well over the last few seasons.
So far QPR have faired similarly in front of goal to us. We have scored 26 goals, averaging 1.1 goals per match (played 23), QPR have scored 27 goals, averaging 1.1 goals per match (played 24). We have kept one more clean sheet (8) than QPR (7). They average 51.7% possession in game, which might prevent Rob Edwards from implementing his see more of the ball gameplan, although we might impose ourselves more in the game, as we did against Norwich.
Players to watch out for The big player to watch out for Ilias Chair, who has returned from Morocco’s fantastic world cup run fresh as a daisy, after playing a gargantuan 72 minutes, across two matches. He may not be a key player for Morocco, but for QPR, he is very much what makes them tick. Having created 64 chances this season, the most in the division, with 9 big chances created. Chair is head and shoulders above the rest of the team when it comes to creative output, shown by his expected assists (xA) of 7.2, being backed up by Chris Willock with an xA of 2.1. Chair has scored 3 with 6 assists so far this season, and if he doesn’t perform, QPR never have a leg to stand on. Chair hasn’t featured yet since the end of the World Cup, but one would imagine he will start tomorrow, with QPRs form being so dire. Chris Willock poses a big attacking threat, is a highly energetic player and is currently joint top goalscorer with Lyndon Dykes (also a threat, especially aerially considering our threadbare backline), both players notching 6 this season. From full back positions, both Kenneth Paal and Ethan Laird are very dangerous when they bomb forward, with Paal providing 4 assists and Laird providing 2, both have scored 1 goal a piece too. Another dangerman in the middle of the park will be Stefan Johansen, he is currently a doubt having not featured since the end of October, but in 16 matches he has scored 2 goals and provided 6 assists.
Prediction I’m hoping for a smash and grab job tomorrow, whereby we can prevent Neil Critchley grabbing his first win for QPR. We could do a back to back double, and add QPRs scalp to the mantle next to Norwich’s. I am predicting a 1-0 Hatters win, with Carlton Morris finding his shooting boots once again. Likely Lineup
Horvath, Bell, Potts, Lockyer, Bree, Doughty, Clark, Pelly, Campbell, Morris, Woodrow
Head to head record (previous 8 matches)
Luton Town 1 win – 1 draw – QPR 5 wins
14th September 2019 QPR 3 – 2 Luton Town Championship
14th July 2019 Luton Town 1 – 1 QPR Championship
12th Jan 2021 Luton Town 0 – 2 QPR Championship
8th May 2021 QPR 3 – 1 QPR Championship
19th Nov 2021 QPR 2 – 0 Luton Town Championship
13th March 2022 Luton Town 1 – 2 QPR Championship
15th Oct 2022 Luton Town 3 – 1 QPR Championship
Featured image: Copyright of Gareth Owen/LTFC