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Shot shy QPR and Cardiff decent value to draw Championship clash

Since their Premier League campaign ended in relegation, QPR have failed to score in two outings this term. Next opponents Cardiff City, meanwhile, have relied solely on winger Craig Noone to find the target so far.

This makes a 0-0 result at Loftus Road an awesome 8/1 shout with Coral and, given the lack of goals in both sides, begs the question why Sky Sports have opted to make this their televised Saturday teatime kick-off?

History narrowly favours the Hoops, who have 26 wins in league fixtures to the Bluebirds’ 24 and 11 draws (9/4 for the spoils to be shared again). Chris Ramsey needs victory as much as someone to score, and is 11/10 to get it against the Welsh capital club.

Russell Slade, whose management of Cardiff leaves a lot to be desired so far, is an 11/4 outsider to secure three points in west London. His defence, which contains former Hoops player Matthew Connolly, will have to contain Charlie Austin, provided the £15m-rated striker can prove his fitness. Being doubtful through niggles only strengthens the shout of a no score draw.

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Should Austin pass a fitness test, then a matchday special wincast of 3/1 (max stake £20) looks worthy of consideration, and there is an air of inevitability about a Premier League club coming in for the England call-up. Cynics may have a point, though, when they say QPR will take no chances with their prized asset.

Jamie Mackie’s absence through a groin problem leaves the Hoops scoring burden squarely on the shoulders of ex-Arsenal forward Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and winger Matt Phillips, twice capped by Scotland.

Emmanuel-Thomas returns to the Championship after helping Bristol City win League One last term, but is not alone among those recruited by Ramsey after eye-catching displays in the third tier. Odds of 21/10 say Emmanuel-Thomas will net anytime. Phillips, meanwhile, has two in four career appearances against the Bluebirds, so is definitely worth a punt at a better price of 9/4 in that market.

Highly-rated Dutch midfielder Tjaronn Chery could follow up an impressive debut with a goal here at 13/5, and looks set to return after a midweek rest alongside Australia anchorman Massimo Luongo as well as veteran defenders Paul Koncheskey and Clint Hill.

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In Cardiff colours, Noone is a long shot at 11/2 to score for the third match running. Fellow winger Anthony Pilkington has a goal against QPR on his CV, so is shorter in the anytime market at 7/2.

Trinidad and Tobago target man Kenwyne Jones had a long summer as his nation featured at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but may step up his return from a calf problem by coming off the Bluebirds bench again. Odds of 7/1 say he shall score last.

With so many ifs, buts and maybes, this game may not be much to look at, but there is still money to be made!

Coral’s top tip: Back a 0-0 stalemate between QPR and Cardiff at 8/1.