Having endured a frustrating start to his QPR career, which saw the striker do everything right save for finding the back of the net, Jay Bothroyd appears to have regained his goalscoring touch as he looks to bag a goal for the third game running against Stoke City this weekend.
Priced at 9/4 to score at anytime against a side he made four loan appearances for towards the end of their promotion campaign to the Premier League, the former Cardiff frontman finally broke his duck for Rangers in the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane at the end of October.
That goal saw Bothroyd rewarded with a place in the starting eleven against Manchester City the following week, and he wasted no time repaying Neil Warnock’s faith by opening the scoring, and was unlucky not to grab a second after seeing a header drift just wide of the post.
The Rs eventually went down 3-2 to the current Premier League leaders, but Warnock and his players will take heart from the display, which saw them put Roberto Mancini’s side on the backfoot for the majority of the game and create enough chances to at least secure a point.
Having reverted to a more attacking line-up for the second half against Spurs, and from the off against City, Warnock is likely to set his side up to attack Tony Pulis’ men from the start, taking confidence from Newcastle’s 3-1 victory in the previous fixture at the Britannia, which should present Bothroyd with plenty of opportunities.
Odds of 8/1 for Bothroyd to once again open the scoring are certainly worth considering, and new customers using the £25 free bet they receive when signing up to a bwin account would see a return of £200 should the one cap England international bag the first goal of the game.
Stoke have, however, proved formidable opposition at the Britannia in recent years, and have already held Chelsea and Manchester United while securing a win against Liverpool at home this season.
Pulis’ men will also be eager to avenge successive defeats in the league, the last a 5-0 thumping away at Bolton.
One player who would love to get his name on the scoresheet is former QPR forward Peter Crouch, who made his name at Loftus Road in a brief spell at the beginning of his career before a switch to Portsmouth following Rangers’ relegation to the third tier.
Crouch has been priced as the 5/1 favourite to score the first goal of the game and add to the four goals he has notched in all competitions this season, and can be backed at 7/5 to score at anytime against a side who sit level on points with the Potters.
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