Friday, 29 July 2016

Queens Park Rangers vs Watford Club Friendly Match Preview And Prediction - July 30, 2016


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Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s QPR finished a disappointing 12th after their relegation from the Premier League in the 2014/2015 season. The Championship side have played six pre-season club friendlies so far and they did start out strong with back-to-back away wins against Aldershot Town and Dutch giants PSV. However, a 3-1 defeat against Groningen a few days later followed by three consecutive draws (two 1-1’s and one 0-0) against lower league sides Northampton Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Burton Albion over the last ten days has done little to help their confidence. With very little transfer news over the summer and just this pre-season friendly remaining, there’s not much time left for QPR to turn this around in preparation before the opening Championship matchday next Sunday.

Since the appointment of Italian Walter Mazzarri as their new head coach in May, Watford’s pre-season is running as the Hornet’s would have hoped. The 54-year old Italian has arrived with plenty of coaching experience from managing the likes of Sampdoria, Napoli and Inter Milan in his home country and while the standard of the teams played so far is not up to Premier League quality, Mazzarri’s Watford are unbeaten in four matches (W2 D2). Watford have also made some decent young signings such as 20-year old Nigerian forward Isaac Success Ajayi, from Granada, and 19-year old Jerome Sinclair, from Liverpool, alongside more experienced centre-back Christian Kabasele, from Genk.

While fitness is the main concern for Watford, as over two weeks remain until the start of the Premier League season, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will likely be aiming for a first team lineup with just a week until the start of the Championship. Over recent meetings when both sides were in the Championship, the teams were tied when comparing them head-2-head. Watford are, however, a much improved side in recent years, whereas QPR have shown few signs of improvement since their Premier League relegation. Both sides have been tending towards lower scoring matches in their preseasons, with Watford drawing 0-0 last time out and QPR drawing their last three, all with under 2.5 goals.

Combining this analysis with the statistics below, we expect under 2.5 goals at 43/40 to be a safe bet and Watford to win 1-0 at 17/2 with bet365 to be a top value correct score bet for this match.

The two sides last met in the 2013/2014 Championship season, where QPR won 2-1 at home. Over the last 8 league meetings between the two sides, Watford and QPR stand equal with 3 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats each.

Queens Park Rangers have scored at least one goal in five of their six pre-season club friendlies so far. Watford have also scored at least 1 goal in three of their four pre-season friendlies so far. Both teams have scored in 50% of Watford's and 60% of QPR's pre-seasons.

QPR will be without forward Jamie Mackie, who is out for at least three months after suffering ankle ligament damage.

Watford have made a few signings so far this summer: Nigerian Isaac Success Ajayi joins them for a reported €15m from Granada, Belgian defender Christian Kabasele from Genk and young Jerome Sinclair from Liverpool.

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