QPR’s 3-2 defeat away at fellow strugglers Aston Villa two weeks ago increased the gap between themselves and safety to seven points with just eight league matches remaining and relegation to the Championship looks a near-certainty for the Rs.
Harry Redknapp’s men have managed to secure just four wins all season and face a tricky Easter Monday trip to Craven Cottage, where they were turned over 6-0 by neighbours Fulham last season in what was their record Premier League defeat.
The loss at Villa Park came on the back of successive victories for the Hoops, who had seen off Southampton 2-1 away from home, before a convincing 3-1 success at Loftus Road against Sunderland in arguably their best performance of the season.
The Cottagers head into the game in tenth place and undefeated in four having picked up two wins and two draws, their last outing an impressive 1-0 win away at top four-chasing Tottenham courtesy of a goal from in-form front man Dimitar Berbatov.
Martin Jol’s men have been priced as even money favourites to secure back-to-back league wins, with the draw at 23/10, while QPR can be backed at 27/10 to claim a double over Fulham after seeing off their hosts 2-1 at Loftus Road back in December.
That was QPR’s first win of the season in what was a dominant performance from Rangers, with Adel Taarabt bagging both goals before a Mladen Petric consolation, but Fulham are likely to be a different proposition at Craven Cottage.
Berbatov has been in fine goalscoring form of late, notching in each of his last three league appearances, each of which has been the first goal of the game, and he looks a good price at 9/2 to open the proceedings once again, or 7/5 to score at any time.
Despite recording three clean sheets in their last four outings, the Fulham defence will certainly have their hands full against a QPR side that has scored seven goals in three matches and in Loic Remy, they have one of the league’s most clinical finishers.
That said, the Rs have recorded just two clean sheets in their 15 games away from home this season, shipping 48 goals along the way, so backing both teams to score in the game at 7/10 is certainly worth considering.
In recent weeks Redknapp has set his side out to attack in the knowledge that they must now head into each of their remaining matches with the aim to win and that has seen them score at least two in each of their last three outings, so expect goals in this game.
Nineteen of Fulham’s 29 league matches this season have seen over 2.5 goals, as has been the case in 15 of Rangers’ outings this term, including in three of their last four, with the odds of this match seeing at least three goals or more priced at 87/100.
While the Rs may be fighting for their life at the bottom, they come up against a Fulham side that have lost just one of their previous five home matches, that coming against leaders Manchester United, so the draw at 23/10 looks the most tempting bet.