Going by the formbook Manchester City have shaken off the run of poor form which submerged their title challenge and should add to a three-game winning streak against QPR.
The bwin odds moguls agree, pricing up Manuel Pellegrini’s soon-to-be-deposed champions at a size-zero-skinny 11/50 for victory, with QPR 21/2 underdogs and even the draw around double its normal size at 25/4
A mismatch of motivation levels should contribute to making the clash a fair bit closer than the layers’ assessment suggests, with the Super Hoops running out of chances to secure their very Premier League survival.
The pyrrhic prize of runner-up status is all that City have to tilt for and cannot but represent a far less rousing objective.
Rangers have several reasons to believe ahead of the contest, most obviously the fact that their recent meetings with the Sky Blues have regularly seen them get results that bely the gulf in status between the two sides.
Of their five encounters since QPR first reacquainted themselves with the top table in 2011/12, just once have the R’s been bested by more than a single goal.
The most recent brace of fixtures in that sequence saw the west London outfit secure draws, albeit at Loftus Road, too, so all in all the 5/4 about the visitors with a +2 handicap has to be worthy of closer inspection.
Recent form would agree, with such a bet’s backers claiming the loot in seven of Rangers’ nine away games from Boxing Day onwards and it has also had a knack of copping when they’ve visited the division’s better teams in 2014/15.
Rudderless early-season 4-0 farces at White Hart Lane and Old Trafford aside, QPR have visited St Mary’s, Stamford Bridge, the Emirates and Anfield and lost by but a single goal.
Their cause (and that of our suggested wager) is further aided by a fur-coat and no knickers City resurgence.
Scratch below the surface of the W-W-W next to the Manchester club’s three most recent outings and each could have gone rather differently.
West Ham conspired to gift Pellegrini’s men their two goals, while Aston Villa were robbed of at least a point by a highly dubious offside decision against Christian Benteke.
Most recently Guardian writer David Hytner suggested that Joe Hart had rivalled goalscorer Sergio Aguero for man of the match honours against Tottenham.