QPR’s ejection from the Capital One Cup was fairly predictable despite them playing League One’s Swindon at home. Harry Redknapp’s Hoops have their focus honed solely on winning promotion back to the Premier League and a sojourn deep into the country’s second cup competition would provide an unwanted distraction.
Playing fewer games will allow them to keep players fresher and this will work in the favour of those who back the 16/1 for striker Andrew Johnson to finish as the Championship’s top scorer this term.
The former Birmingham and Crystal Palace frontman is partaking in his first second tier campaign since winning promotion with the Eagles in the 2003/04 season, which Johnson finished as top scorer with 27 goals.
Redknapp’s master plan to achieve first-time promotion seems to have a key role for Johnson to play, with the 32-year-old pitched in from the start of three of their four league games to date.
This has yielded two goals already, both of which were match-winning strikes against Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton.
Should he stay fit, he’s certain to score frequently. He possesses a decent finishing ability and, in a team that’s sure to win more games than not this season, chances will fall his way.
Whether he can put the ball away more than the club’s marquee signing of the summer, though, remains to be seen. Drafted in from Burnley, Charlie Austin will also be among the frontrunners in the race to top the Championship scoring charts this term.
He may not have started as well as strike partner Johnson, but after notching 25 in a far weaker side last time around, it’s difficult to envisage him not scoring something close to that total once more.
In a volatile market where the winner typically springs from nowhere, this duo offer good early-season value.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date