QPR v Reading: Hughes’ big chance for first three points


QPR and Reading are the only teams in the division yet to record a win, and both clubs will be looking to secure their first three points of the season at Loftus Road.

Rangers manager Mark Hughes has been forced to defend his position over his side’s recent form, but victory is more than possible against the Royals at 5/6.

The West London club have not lived up to their summer expenditure so far this campaign, but showed heart during their home draw against Everton before narrowly losing at Arsenal.

Reading suffered a gut-wrenching 5-7 League Cup defeat against Arsenal mid-week, after surrendering a 4-0 first-half lead against the Gunners.

But before that astonishing cup fixture, Brian McDermott’s side had begun to find their feet amongst English football’s elite, earning three draws from four league outings.

Hughes will be well aware that despite owner Tony Fernandes’ public backing, a victory against fellow strugglers Reading is almost a necessity.

QPR have a good recent record against the Berkshire outfit in the league, having won the last four meetings between the two sides and are unbeaten from six Championship encounters.

Reading’s 2-1 victory over QPR at Loftus Road in 2005 was their first win there in a barren 15-year spell, although they have enjoyed cup success against their promotion rivals.

You can back the visitors at 10/3 to take all three points back down the M4, whilst a share of the spoils is priced at 5/2.

QPR have the equal-second worst defensive record in the league behind serial shippers Southampton, whilst Reading and the Saints are the only two sides yet to keep a clean sheet.

This first-time to flight match-up between QPR and Reading is likely to see goals, and backing both sides to score at 8/13 should not be dissuaded.

For the home side Stephane Mbia is banned after his red card at the Emirates, while Park Ji-Sung, Bobby Zamora and Armand Traore are all doubts.

The visitors will be without out-of-favour midfielder Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan.

In the goalscorer markets, with Zamora unlikely to start a few names crop up as potential marksmen for the hosts.

Junior Hoilett opened the scoring against Everton and is 6/1 to do so again against Reading – having also struck first when the two clubs met in the League Cup in September – and is priced at 7/4 to score at anytime.

Djibril Cissé could replace Zamora up front for QPR, and he is also the same odds as Hoilett, while Adel Taarabt is 11/5 to find the net at some point during the 90.

The away side’s main goal threat is Pavel Pogrebnyak, and he could add to his five strikes this season by breaking the deadlock at 13/2 or 2/1 to score at anytime.

Mikele Leigertwood struck from long-range in his last two outings, and at 15/2 he might be worth a punt to make it three goals from three.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.