Although Leeds United are no longer at the top of the Championship, they are mere points away from returning to the mountaintop. Every game is one step closer to achieving their Premier League dream, and recent victories over Swansea and Bolton have shown that predictions of a collapse in quality were very much overstated.
QPR, on the other hand, have failed to win a single Championship game in 2019, throwing away so much of the momentum they’d gathered during a reasonably productive end to last year. It seems unlikely but relegation is becoming an increasingly possible threat, seeming less and less distant with each loss and poor performance.
Despite the differences in their positions, both clearly have huge motivations to get the win here, meaning we will hopefully see a passionate game of football, no matter the outcome.
QPR vs Leeds United Prediction: QPR 1-2 Leeds
While Leeds United’s 2018 ended terribly and their New Year began just as badly, they look like they are slowly beginning to turn things around and once again look like serious contenders. QPR, meanwhile, have had a dreadful couple of months. Despite showing fire in places, they have simply lacked the killer instinct they’ve needed to get out of this rut. Considering United are very, very motivated right now, we think that will simply be too much for their opponents to overcome. Considering that, and that United have conceded at least one goal in all but one match this year, our predicted scoreline is 2-1 to Leeds United.
Our recommended tip: Leeds United win
With a significant 25 points and 15 places currently between them in the Championship standings, it’s no wonder that Leeds United are the firm bookmaker favourites here. QPR fans will find medium-risk 11/4 odds at Paddy Power on a win, but this is actually the least likely outcome according to the odds, with a draw getting slightly lower risk 5/2 odds. Therefore, for the best chance of winning your wager, we recommend you predict a Leeds United victory to get low-risk 10/11 match odds.
One huge confidence booster for QPR heading into this match is the fact that not only did they beat Leeds United in their last head-to-head clash, but that match also took place in January of this year. In terms of psychological advantages, they don’t get much better than that.
However, Leeds do have the overall statistical advantage, as well as a trio of wins proceeding that 2019 clash. Before that, things go back-and-forth for a number of years. Overall, United do have the slight historical edge, but it’s clear that a QPR win here is not out of the question.
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Players to watch: Ezgjan Alioski & Matt Smith
Leeds United: Ezgjan Alioski
There was little doubt who Leeds fans felt was the standout in their 2-1 victory over Bolton, as they took to Twitter in their droves to praise the efforts of Ezgjan Alioski. His second-half goal proved to be the difference maker, but he is more than a one-hit wonder. Accurate and hard working, Alioski is the kind of rock Leeds need to scale to the top of the Championship standings again.
QPR: Matt Smith
Absolutely crucial to QPR is Matt Smith. He is a man who, despite the struggles of the team, is starting to get the praise he deserves. This comes not only in light of some terrific goals against Portsmouth, Birmingham and Bristol, but also for him being a brilliant all-rounder with a keen eye for ways of pushing forward and consistently creating chances.