Draw looks distinct possibility for out of form Hoops and Forest
Nottingham Forest have earned a point on their last two trips to Loftus Road. Coral offer odds of 9/4 on the Reds coming away from QPR with a similar result here, as both clubs’ seasons have almost ground to a halt.
A winless Forest run under caretaker Gary Brazil, coupled with just four Hoops victories for Harry Redknapp in the last 14, has hampered promotion prospects in the East Midlands and west London. QPR, nonetheless, are 11/10 favourites for three points.
Solely supporting this price is the return of Hoops top-scorer Charlie Austin, who missed a dozen of the last 15 Championship matches, from a shoulder problem. He is set to return to attack, and can be backed to score the first goal at 3/1.
Ravel Morrison’s arrival, on loan from cross-capital club West Ham, has helped to offset that three-month layoff for Austin. The attacking midfielder has five in 11 QPR outings, so is due a goal to keep up his ratio of netting in every other game. Odds of 7/4 say England Under-21 maverick Morrison will score anytime.
There is also a former club presence for both sides. Jermaine Jenas began his career at Forest, and is fit to face the Hoops here. He is a 4/1 shot to score against them from a deeper-lying midfield berth.
Hard-working Reds forward Jamie Mackie, meanwhile, left Loftus Road for the City Ground last summer. Four goals from 40 Championship outings is hardly impressive, but this is one game he will desperate to perform in. He is 7/2 to be on target anytime.
Forest winger Jamie Paterson is the same price, and a far safer bet after coming into his own in 2014. He set the tone right by hitting a hat-trick against West Ham in the FA Cup. Eight goals in 15 Championship starts – and two in his last two – followed, so that 7/2 price really is worth considering.
Republic of Ireland attacker Simon Cox, meanwhile, has two in three against QPR, but has never been on the winning side when scoring. He is cut from similar cloth to Mackie, but is 11/4 to net anytime.
A first Reds win for Brazil is 5/2, but all signs really do point to a draw here. Both sides scoring looks likely, especially as defender Danny Collins is suspended and Forest’s David Vaughan will not last 90 minutes on his return to the defensive midfield role. Take 11/2 on 1-1, and punters will receive their own share of the spoils.