Fulham make the short trip to Loftus Road this Saturday lunchtime to face a Queens Park Rangers side that have won just two of their last ten.
However, the Cottagers have their own issues to worry about, with their last win coming on the 29th December against a struggling Rotherham side, before current boss Slavisa Jokanovic even took over the reins.
The Fulham players will be looking to finally give their manager his first win in charge at Craven Cottage, although will come up against a QPR side full of confidence after their recent 1-0 victory over promotion candidates Ipswich.
The late winner, scored by Matty Phillips, is the latest result in a slight upturn of form that has seen them not lose since New Year’s Day, although Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men will still be disappointed with the amount of games they have drawn – only Blackburn have shared the points on more occasions this season.
As we move towards the business end of the campaign, both sides will want to get the points for different reasons. Fulham are four points clear of the relegation zone, and will start looking over their shoulders unless they start to pick up points quickly.
QPR are in mid-table obscurity, 14 points clear of the drop zone and 11 points off the play-offs. They will now want to try and mount a late push for a final play-off spot.
FootballLeagueWorld writer Ryan Evans identifies three things to look out for in this massive London derby:
1) Time for Fulham to stand up and be counted
Fulham are having a strange season in the Sky Bet Championship – they’ve scored more goals than all but three teams in the whole division.
The form of their players has been strange too – with Ross McCormack, Moussa Dembele and Tom Cairney all impressing – and even ‘keeper Andy Lonergan has had a decent season despite their woeful defensive record.
However, managing to get through January with their three star men still at the club will breed great confidence into the side, and could spark off a run that will lift them away from the drop zone.
Relegation for the second time in three years will be devastating for a club the size of Fulham and especially when you consider the sheer number of fans they have.
This is the time of the year where the dye is cast. If Fulham go on a good run, they are in for a fairly relaxed run in, but should they fail to pick up three points on any sort of occasion then they will be dragged into a relegation battle they really can’t afford to be in.
And in these pivotal moments their key men need to step up to the plate. If McCormack, Dembele and Cairney all have good runs of form then Fulham could see their blushes saved.
2) Historically this has been Fulham’s game
Of the 32 meetings between the two sides, Fulham have won 14 to QPR’s 13, and will be hoping their slight superiority will continue into tomorrow’s game.
However, their meetings of late have been anything but close. Rangers have only beat their opponents once since the turn of the century, including a 6-0 hammering in 2011 and losing 4-0 last time out.
Earlier this season it was skipper Ross McCormack who proved the difference, scoring twice for his side. He will be hoping his good form continues against Rangers.
Can QPR get revenge for their previous defeat, or will Fulham triumph over their rivals once more?
3) Can Conor Washington finally make the difference in a QPR shirt?
Since moving to Loftus Road on 19th January, Washington has played just 115 minutes for Hasselbaink’s men and is yet to net a goal. This is after he scored 15 goals in all competitions for Peterborough this season.
The 23-year old is highly-rated and few raised their eyebrows when a big second tier side came looking for his signature, but Washington will want to get off the mark sooner rather than later.
He is seemingly yet to prove that he is worthy of a regular spell in the first XI, although he did play the first 80 minutes of the 1-0 victory over Ipswich last weekend.
Can Washington win his side the game?
QPR and Fulham fans…What are your predictions for the match? Can QPR spark a play-off push with a win against their local rivals? Will the Cottagers’ good run against the R’s help pull them away from the bottom three? Let us know what you think in the comments below!