New Year’s Day Championship football is set to continue in the second of two matches as QPR welcome Hull to Loftus Road, with a live stream available on the match to watch (KO 17:15).
The home side, currently fifteenth place in the league, will struggle to overcome a Hull team who have managed to climb to third place.
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There is a fourteen point gap separating the two sides, with the hosts currently having 30 points from 24 matches played, and Hull having 44 points from the same number of fixtures. Goal difference is another area showing the disparity in quality – Hull have put up an impressive GD of 16 whereas QPR are on negative numbers, with -2.
Hull are narrow favourites to win but the close odds reflect the unpredictability of this time of year.
QPR have had an uninspiring December with everything taken into account. The team are winless since their narrow victory over Reading at the start of the month and have drawn four of their last five contests.
They have also suffered a narrow 2-1 loss away at Ipswich. It was hoped that the hiring of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager would boost the team’s fortunes but the coach is still searching for his first win since taking charge. The QPR boss has tweaked his starting XI since taking control and looks set to continue searching for his strongest side on New Year’s Day.
Sebastian Polter managed to find the back of the net for QPR against Huddersfield and there is a strong chance he will make his way into the starting lineup against the Tigers.
Despite their respectable league position, Hull have had a mixed time in the Championship as of late. Steve Bruce’s men most recently managed a 1-0 away loss to Preston, a surprising result considering Preston’s unimpressive league position.
The previous two away fixtures also saw losses against Rotherham and Leeds. If Hull are aiming to stay in contention for promotion, their away form is one of the main things that needs to improve.
Ipswich have showed that QPR are beatable at home and Hull will be looking to send a strong statement to the rest of the Championship by leaving West London with all three points.
The match is very hard to predict with the bookies having a Hull win as the slightly more likely outcome but only just ahead of a QPR win or a draw.
If QPR do manage to claim the victory then they could move to within a win or so of the playoff positions.
An away win, on the other hand, would help to keep Brighton at arm’s lengths, as the Seagulls are currently level on points with the Tigers.