Queens Park Rangers will be hoping that the Harry Redknapp effect helps them to a priceless home win over West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road this Boxing Day.
The Londoners may have failed to register a win over the Baggies in the Premier League as of yet, with two away defeats and a home draw in their previous three top-flight meetings, but QPR’s recent home form suggests another result could be on the cards.
Rangers have lost just one of their last five games at Loftus Road, including their first league victory of the season against Fulham last time out and Redknapp certainly appears confident heading into the crunch encounter.
“West Brom have done very well. Steve Clarke has done an excellent job with them and they’re a strong outfit, but we’re at home. We won our last home game against Fulham,” he told reporters earlier this week.
“The crowd were great in that game and we’ve got to show the same passion, the players have got to show the same passion.”
You can get odds of 5/4 on a QPR home win and given West Brom’s recent slump, it could prove a tempting prospect.
The Baggies appear to have lost whatever early-season spring they had in their step, with just one win one recorded from their last five – a last-gasp success over Norwich City last time out.
Steve Clarke’s team have struggled for form on the road in particular, having lost their last two on the bounce at Arsenal and Swansea City.
West Brom have proven defensively weak, too, and head into this match having failed to keep a clean sheet in nine competitive games away from the Hawthorns.
Any hope of West Brom claiming an away win at 21/10 will hinge on the efforts of their strikers, who have endured a forgettable few weeks, with the Midlands club failing to find the net in three of their last four games.
But with Romelu Lukaku finding the net late on against Norwich and Peter Odemwingie now set to miss the African Cup of Nations, goals could be in store.
With odds of 23/10 available on a draw, you could be tempted to back a stalemate – with QPR picking up draws in three of their last five matches.
However, given the fact that the game is being played at Loftus Road, and with the Redknapp effect working for them, I’ll be backing the Hoops to do the business at those tempting odds of 5/4.