Queens Park Rangers vs Leeds United: Preview and Predicton

Leeds United will aim to strengthen their grip on the second spot on the EFL Championship table when they face QPR at Loftus Road on Friday.

The 2023/24 EFL Championship regular season is on the cusp of ending, with the penultimate round of fixtures kicking off on Friday. Matchday 45 gets underway at Loftus Road, where QPR will host Leeds United, with the Whites eager to consolidate second spot on the table.

Queens Park Rangers have endured a horrendous 2023/24 campaign, with their fortunes only improving in the last few weeks. The West London club spent the majority of the season in the relegation battle, which cost Gareth Ainsworth his job in October. However, a run of just three defeats in their last 11 games has lifted the Hoops clear of the drop zone, although they are still not out of the woods yet.

On the other hand, Leeds United have recovered from a slow start to become one of the two favourites to return to the Premier League through automatic promotion. The Whites did not even enter the top ten until mid-September. However, Daniel Farke has stamped his authority at Elland Road despite a few unimpressive performances in the last few weeks. They are now a point ahead of Ipswich Town, although the Tractor Boys have a game in hand.

The reverse fixture saw Leeds United eke out a 1-0 win over QPR, with Crysencio Summerville scoring the match-winning goal in the ninth minute. Meanwhile, Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Asmir Begovic saw red. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Queens Park Rangers

Marti Cifuentes does not have any new concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Leeds United on Friday, the Queens Park Rangers manager will be bereft of the services of three first-team players.

Taylor Richards (calf), Rayan Kolli (leg), and Michael Frey (leg) are on the sidelines heading into the latest fixture. Otherwise, Cifuentes has a full-strength squad for the final stretch of the 2023/24 season.

Asmir Begovic will take his spot between the sticks, with QPR lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Leeds United. The backline should feature Jimmy Dunne, Steve Cook, Jake Clarke-Salter, and Kenneth Paal.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Sam Field and Jack Colback in the double pivot in the middle of the park. Lucas Andersen will reprise the no. 10 role and provide the creative impetus in the final third. Lyndon Dykes will lead the line for QPR, with Chris Willock and Ilias Chair being the two wide attackers.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Dunne, Cook, Clarke-Salter, Paal; Field, Colback; Willock, Andersen, Chair; Dykes

Leeds United

Like his counterpart in the Queens Park Rangers dugout, Daniel Farke does not have many issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Loftus Road. The Leeds United manager will be without three first-team players on Friday.

Daniel James is the most notable absentee, with the Welsh attacker recovering from a costal cartilage injury and an oblique abdominal muscle tear. Pascal Struijk and Darko Gyabi are the other players on the sidelines, with the duo recovering from their respective groin injuries.

Leeds United will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against QPR, with Illan Meslier taking his spot between the sticks. The backline should consist of Sam Byram, Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, and Junior Firpo.

Ilia Gruev and Archie Gray will pair up in the double pivot in the middle of the park, with the duo looking to keep things tight in the central areas. Georginio Rutter will reprise the no. 10 role, with Wilfried Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville being the two wide attackers. Finally, Patrick Bamford will spearhead the Leeds attack against Queens Park Rangers.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Byram, Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gruev, Gray; Gnonto, Rutter, Summerville; Bamford

Key Stats

  • Queens Park Rangers have won four of their last five home league games against Leeds United (L1), with all four victories coming with a clean sheet.
  • Leeds United have won thei three most recent league games against clubs from London. The Whites have not won four successive matches versus London sides since a run of five in 2006.
  • Queens Park Rangers have won six of their last 12 league games (D3 L3), more than they had managed in their previous 27 outings combined (W5 D8 L14).
  • Leeds United have won 27 league matches this season. One more victory will equal their highest tally in a campaign, having emerged victorious on 28 occasions in the 2019/20 season under Marcelo Bielsa en route to winning the EFL Championship.
  • Crysencio Summerville has scored 19 league goals for Leeds United this season and can become the first player since Chris Wood in 2016/17 (27) to find the back of the net 20+ times in a league campaign for the Whites.

Player to Watch

Crysencio Summerville

Embed from Getty Images

With Leeds United hurting after their relegation from the Premier League, they needed a few players to step up to ensure immediate promotion. Crysencio Summerville has been one of those stars, amassing 20 goals and 10 assists in 44 appearances across all competitions.

With the 22-year-old maturing into a talismanic figure for Leeds United, they have finally found a long-sought solution to fill the void left by the departure of Raphinha nearly two years ago. Meanwhile, the Dutchman’s exploits have alerted a barrage of high-profile clubs. However, he remains focused on the job at hand, with guiding Leeds to the Premier League the primary objective.


Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Leeds United

The hosts have improved considerably in the last few months, with Marti Cifuentes making his mark at Loftus Road. So, with Leeds United blowing hot and cold in recent weeks, QPR might feel the Whites are ripe for the taking this week.

It might not be surprising to see QPR taking the lead, with Lyndon Dykes finding the back of the net. However, Crysencio Summverille will inspire a comeback to take Leeds United a step closer to clinching automatic promotion to the Premier League. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Daniel Farke and his charges.

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