Queens Park Rangers host Reading in the Championship tonight, as Mark Warburton’s side look to solidify their play-off place.
12 games gone and QPR sit 5th in the Championship.
Few would’ve expected to be saying that at the start of the season, and credit is due for the job that Mark Warburton has done so far.
His appointment in the summer was met by mass transformation – 14 players in and 17 out.
It left fans fearing a ‘transition period’ wherein poor results would be a part of their rehabilitation, but Warburton has taken no time in getting his team rolling with four wins from their past six games in the Championship.
They’ve been one of the league’s most exciting teams to watch this season with a host of young and hungry players coming through the ranks.
Here we take a look at two Reading weaknesses that QPR can exploit tonight:
As one of the league bottom-feeders, Reading often boast a very deep, very compact defence – this was best seen in their 4-1 defeat at home to Fulham earlier this month.
Many teams struggle to break down weaker teams when they do this, but Fulham had no such problem in putting four past then Jose Gomes’ side.
They overcame the compactness of Reading by simply playing the ball out wide.
For their first two goals, the ball was worked in from first the left-flank and then the right, making for easy scoring as Fulham ran riot that night.
QPR will expect to do the same tomorrow – Reading will be on the defensive tonight, and it’ll be down to Rangers to take the game to them.
Testing the waters
Reading under their new manager Mark Bowen got off to a winning start at the weekend – They pulled off a bit of a shock by beating Preston at the Madejski by a goal to nil.
Tonight though will be the club’s first away game under Bowen and as many teams do in the Championship, Reading’s tactical approach may differ.
Teams often set-up different away from home as they do on the road, and expect to see Bowen’s side lining-up in a very defensive-minded, compact shape tonight.
This again though could work in QPR’s favour.
The Reading players will still be adapting to their new manager and his fresh outlook on the tactical side of things, which could present some teething issues for them at Loftus Road tonight.
Rangers should get in the face of Reading tonight and try to unnerve them, and look for any sign of weakness or settling in in Reading display tonight.