Queens Park Rangers’ troublesome league form is put on the backburner this weekend as they face a different competition in the form of the FA Cup.
This could be a real chance for Mark Warburton to lift some of the pressure off of his own back, with the Hoops struggling to put wins together.
They currently sit 20th in the Championship and face a real relegation battle unless they make some quality January additions to their squad.
It won’t help that star winger Bright Osayi-Samuel seems to be in talks with Turkish outfit Fenerbahce for a move this month, which means QPR fans may not see him in their colours ever again.
And that furthers the need for additions, with Glenn Murray being targeted in a loan move in a bid to bolster a failing strike-force of Lyndon Dykes and Macauley Bonne.
The ultimate 2021 QPR quiz – Can you get 24/24 correct?
Unfortunately for QPR they come up against a side that are also looking to prove a point in West London rivals Fulham, who have seen an upgrade in performance quality recently but still sit in the Premier League relegation zone.
Scott Parker has revealed plans to shuffle his pack accordingly for this game, with the likes of Marek Rodak and Josh Onomah getting chances to impress in the first team.
Former England striker Michael Owen has offered up his prediction for Saturday’s clash, and it won’t be what QPR fans want to hear.
“With both sides in such poor league form, the FA Cup could come as a welcome distraction,” Owen told BetVictor.
“QPR have been pretty inconsistent this season. Typically, Mark Warburton’s side have played well at times but just fallen short.
“Similar can be said for Fulham, but I just think the Cottagers will have too much quality and should progress.”
With Parker’s revelation of a much-changed Fulham squad, it wouldn’t be a shock to see QPR take a result here with the shackles of the league being lifted.
Fulham were recently hit by a coronavirus outbreak, which wasn’t enough to shut their training ground down but it saw the postponement of last week’s trip to Tottenham.
The Cottagers’ back-up players are still of high quality, but this will probably be a really close encounter and Warburton will be desperate for a win to perhaps save his job, with speculation rife that Tim Sherwood is being lined-up to take over.