Middlesbrough welcome QPR to the Riverside Stadium in Wednesday’s stand-out Sky Bet Championship tie.
Locked on four points apiece coming into this match, victory would see Boro leapfrog QPR and climb into the top six, whereas QPR could go top with a win depending on results elsewhere.
Duncan Watmore and Marcus Tavernier are both likely to again miss out for Middlesbrough, after muscle injuries forced them to miss Saturday’s win over Bristol City.
Chuba Akpom could be available for selection after a period of self-isolation following a positive coronavirus test.
QPR could welcome Charlie Austin after a knee injury kept the striker out of their last two matches.
Sam McCallum (illness) won’t be risked due to match fitness but could return for Saturday’s clash against Barnsley.
- Middlesbrough have won just one of their last five meetings against QPR (W1, D2, L2).
- QPR have won their last two visits to the Riverside Stadium, having lost their previous three visits beforehand (W2, L3).
- Boro have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five home matches since defeating Preston 2-0 in March 2021, conceding eight goals and scoring seven goals (W2, D1, L2).
- 11 of QPR’s 24 shots in the league this season have been converted onto target.
- Middlesbrough have won two of three home games previously refereed by Stephen Martin, including a 1-0 win over Charlton in Martin’s last match in charge at Riverside Stadium in December 2019.
Neil Warnock should be happy with how Boro responded on Saturday to their slow start to the season because their attacking build-up play was excellent with two clinical finishes, although they need to improve their man marking after gifting an easy equaliser from a free-kick through poor defending.
QPR meanwhile produced an impressive all-round performance to comfortably dispatch Hull at the weekend with excellent passing play and intensity in their attacks, whilst their defence looks robust after a stern united display to block various Hull attacks.
On that note, I do expect a competitive match here and if Austin features for QPR, I feel that they could have the edge otherwise I am going for a score draw.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 1-1 QPR
Result: Middlesbrough 2-3 QPR