Both teams enter tonight on the back of 2-0 results at the weekend, but those 2-0 scorelines represented differing outcomes for either side.
Derby saw off a spirited Huddersfield side at the iPro to emerge victorious, while QPR saw their good run of form grind to a halt as the MK Dons took the spoils at Stadium MK.
Managers Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Darren Wassall are both new to the league, and it will be a battle between 2 ex Premier League sides who have both underachieved this season with respect to expectations.
QPR have built a reputation for being a solid unit under the Dutchman, and he will be keen to make sure that a repeat of Saturday does not happen in front of their home fans.
Here at FLW, we take a look at THREE things to look out for during tonight’s game….
1) Rangers are on the way back up
Despite the loss at the weekend, it has been relatively positive stuff for QPR since Hasselbaink took over. He has made them resolute and hard to beat, and this has seen them climb to 12th in the Championship table where they sit comfortably on course for a mid-table finish.
Hasselbaink worked wonders with a good Burton side in League One, and there are signs that he is instilling a similar ethic at Loftus Road as he looks to build towards next season.
The Dutchman will be confident his side can run out winners over Derby tonight, a result which could see them leapfrog Reading into 11th place in the table. They will need that solidity to be on full show if they are to earn the win.
2) Derby need consistency
To say that The Rams’ form has been inconsistent, would be an understatement. In the last six games they have won three, lost two, and drawn one, form which is simply not good enough if you want to be challenging in the upper echelons of the table.
The Rams have a team that is absolutely full to the brim with talent, and the harsh reality is that they should be nearer the top of the table than they are.
Another play off campaign beckons, and we all know what can happen during the end of season games.
Derby fans will be disappointed to once again be missing out on the automatic spots, but a win tonight may well just open the door slightly if all the results go their way.
3) Revenge on the R’s mind?
Derby ran out 1-0 winners at the iPro earlier in the season, and Rams fans will definitely take a repeat of that tonight.
However, QPR can count themselves unlucky to have lost that game, and will definitely be looking to reverse that scoreline at Loftus Road tonight.
Hasselbaink will have his side well organised and no doubt up for a game against one of the league’s biggest spenders, and he will be quietly confident of defeating a Rams side who have had their fair share of turmoil this season.
It would be another big statement from Hasselbaink if they can get the win, and will give him further encouragement that his side is moving forward in the long run.