Six games into the Premier League season and the table is looking rather bleak for Mark Hughes and his QPR side, as they currently find themselves propping the table up with just two points from a possible 18 in what has been a disastrous start.
Having recruited a number of players in the summer, there was a real optimism and belief around the club that they could challenge for a top-half finish this campaign given the talent the Welshman has at his disposal.
Monday night’s 2-1 defeat at home to newly-promoted West Ham was their fourth of the season so far, with Rangers producing a performance that made them look every bit like a side destined to struggle this season, as was the case last term.
Next up for the R’s is a trip to the Midlands to face Steve Clarke’s West Brom side, who have started the season in fine form, having recorded three wins, two draws and a defeat from their opening matches and currently sit sixth in the table.
The Baggies have looked a strong outfit at the Hawthorns, recording maximum points so far, seeing off Liverpool, Everton and Reading without Ben Foster conceding a goal as Clarke looks to have allayed any fears that he would struggle in his first managerial role.
West Brom head into the match as odds on-favourites to continue their 100% record at home at 87/100, with the draw at 5/2, while a first away win for the R’s under Hughes since he took over in January can be backed 3/1.
Rather worryingly for Rangers, they have been unable to record a win away from home since seeing off Stoke 3-2 at the Britannia last November, while they kept their last clean sheet on the road against Wolves in September 2011.
That doesn’t bode well when you also consider that they haven’t beaten the Baggies at the Hawthorns in their last five trips, losing three and drawing two for the concession of 13 goals, the last a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a Graham Dorrans strike back in April.
In fact, the west London club have only secured one win against West Brom in eight games and with just four goals scored in the league and 13 conceded, that stat doesn’t look like improving this weekend.
Hughes’ men have conceded first in four of their six league games, going into the break losing in three of them, so backing West Brom to be winning at half-time and full-time at odds of 37/20 is worth considering against a side that has some serious defensive frailties.
Rangers have, however, managed to find the net in each of their three away games so far at Norwich, Manchester City and Tottenham, so another bet which could prove fruitful is a home win of 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 in the multiple correct score market at 18/5.
Given their high turnover of players, it’s understandable that it will take time for the QPR squad to gel and eventually it may click for Hughes, but given the stats and their recent performances, it’s impossible to look past anything other than a Baggies victory.
Recommended bet:West Brom to beat QPR @ 87/100
Outside punt: West Brom to be winning at half-time and full-time @ 37/20
Long shot: West Brom to win 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 @ 18/5
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