Rotherham and QPR managed 15 shots off target and 20 shots on target when they met at the New York Stadium on Saturday, but could only come up with a single goal between them. Two of our three bets won in the Championship over the weekend, but those two sides let us down on the over 2.5 goal bet. Not that we’re bitter, you understand!
It’s on to the midweek fixture list now, and both sides feature again in our betting preview. The win for Rotherham over Ian Holloway’s QPR gave them a vital three points as they attempt to climb the mountain to Championship safety. The Millers are still ten points from Blackburn in 21st, but their first victory in 16 games gives them something to build on. They travel to London to take on a Fulham side which is trying to find enough consistency to improve on their 10th place in the league and trouble the top six.
For QPR it’s back home to face the form side of the division, Derby County. A 3-0 win in last week’s derby match with Notts Forest was the Rams’ sixth in a row, and a serious promotion challenge is on the cards for the returned Steve McClaren. Ian Holloway has also returned to an old stomping ground at QPR but that defeat to Rotherham was his third in three games since taking over, and there is clearly work to do at Loftus Road.
Newcastle suffered a three-game blip in the last couple of weeks, with defeat to Hull in the EFL Cup sandwiched in-between losses to Nottingham Forest and Blackburn in the league. The Magpies bounced back to form in good fashion at the weekend, with Dwight Gayle’s hat-trick leading them to a 4-0 win over Birmingham. On Wednesday night Rafa Benitez takes his side to Wigan, and they’re fancied to come away with three points from the relegation-threatened Latics.
QPR v Derby
We’ll start with Derby, who are fair odds to beat QPR at +125 with William Hill.
The Rams have been in superb form since McClaren came back to the club after his ill-fated spell at Newcastle, and after two season’s of going close, there is a growing feeling around the club that this could be their year to step back up to the big time. Six wins, four clean sheets and 18 points have seen them fly up to 5th in the table, and a play off place will be the minimum expectation from here on in. They’ve won the last two on the road at Wigan and Wolves, and play a QPR side here that is badly out of form.
Holloway returned to lead Rangers to a 2-1 win over Norwich, but it should be remembered that the Canaries were on a terrible run at that point. Since that win Holloway has seen his team fall to defeats to Ipswich, Wolves and Rotherham – hardly the leading lights of the second tier. The defeat at Rotherham in particular was a sucker punch, as the Millers had just 7 points to their name prior to the game and were on a long losing streak. Any confidence that man-manager Holloway has tried to instil is being eroded by results, and despite being at home, a match against the in-form side of the division is the worst they could have asked for.
Wigan v Newcastle
Rafa Benitez’ squad rotation back-fired when he left six players out of the starting line-up at home to Blackburn. They fell to a shock 1-0 defeat, and it proved to be a fruitless exercise anyway. With those first-teamers restored to the line-up for the EFL Cup quarter final at Hull, Newcastle still got knocked out by the Tigers. An away match at Forest followed, but after 2 red cards in the first half another defeat was almost inevitable. However, Saturday’s convincing 4-0 win over Birmingham makes for good reading, and with Gayle back among the goals it would be no surprise to see the Geordies go on another winning streak.
Wigan have improved since Warren Joyce took charge of the club, but they remain in 23rd place with just 18 points. After getting promoted back to the Championship last season, this one looks like it will be all about survival. The last two have been narrow 1-0 defeats to good sides in Derby and Aston Villa though, and if anything, Newcastle are probably superior to those two teams. The Latics have only hit the back of the net four times in their last ten games, and that possibly tells you why they’re in such a lowly position. By comparison the Magpies have scored 23 times in their last ten, and there should by only one winner here.
Fulham v Rotherham
Finally, it’s a goal bet in the match between Fulham and Rotherham at Craven Cottage, with the -185 on offer with Marathonbet the best price about over 2.5 goals.
Yes Rotherham did keep a clean sheet on Saturday against QPR, but that was their first shut-out since a 1-0 win over Brentford back on the 20th of August. Overall they’ve conceded a divisional high 45 goals, and 16 of their 20 competitive league and cup games this season have gone over 2.5 goals.
Fulham were a standing dish for over 2.5 goals last season, and in recent weeks they’ve looked back to their high-scoring best. A 4-4 draw at Wolves over the weekend followed last week’s 5-0 thumping of Reading, and it’s now six out of the last seven at Craven Cottage which have had at least three goals. Three of the last four meetings between these two teams have covered the 2.5 goal line, and it looks a solid bet to get things started on Tuesday evening.
Derby to beat QPR
Wednesday 14th December, 19:45 GMT
Newcastle to beat Wigan
Wednesday 14th December, 19:45 GMT
Fulham v Rotherham – Over 2.5 Goals
Tuesday 13th December, 19:45 GMT