Promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough make the long journey down to Loftus Road tonight, hoping to get three points in the Friday night game and put the pressure on Burnley and Brighton going into tomorrow.
QPR are unbeaten in their last three games, and have not conceded a goal in the two home games as part of the run, something which the club are making a bit of a habit of.
Boro meanwhile ran out 1-0 winners over Hull City last time out, but prior to that suffered two defeats to relegation threatened teams, meaning tonight is a must win for them. Three points would put them second, with Brighton and Burnley due to meet each other tomorrow.
History tells us it is a pretty equal spread in terms of wins for each club against each other, however it is QPR who have won four of the last five meetings, with Boro’s win in these five games coming this season in a 1-0 win at the Riverside.
Here are THREE things to look out for in tonight’s game…..
1) A lack of goals
Middlesbrough are one of the most solid teams in the division, boasting one of the best defensive records in the league.
QPR on the other hand are getting that way themselves, especially at home, so tonight’s fixture looks set to be tight one, with a possible 0-0 written all over it.
However, Boro need to win, and manage Aitor Karanka will be keen for his side to grab an early goal so they can settle into their rhythm and keep the ball from QPR.
It would be a real surprise to see a goal fest tonight, but QPR are more than capable of pulling off the upset, and manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will be keen for his men to keep their impressive home record going.
2) Conor Washington
Washington will be looking to cap a brilliant week with a win and goal tonight no doubt.
He scored his first goal for his country during the week in a 1-0 win for Northern Ireland, and the January signing will be looking to add to his goal tally when Boro come to town tonight.
Washington has looked the part so far with his workrate and all round game leading fans to believe he will be an excellent acquisition. He will be keen to showcase his talents live on Sky tonight.
3) A must win for Boro
Defeat for Boro could be vital, and Aitor Karanka has to set his team out to win this one tonight.
Should Burnley win tomorrow at Brighton, it would put Boro 8 points off top spot. With second still to play for, it would add extra pressure knowing you are only hunting down one promotion slot.
Boro need the win, and a fast start will be crucial. If they get the early goal, it is likely they will hold out for the win. However should QPR get ahead, it could well be a long night again for the men from the North East.