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QPR vs Southampton - Preview and Prediction

Posted on Nov 16th, 2012 by Araz Heydariyehzadeh

We're just 11 games in to the season and with 5 point gap having already developed between QPR at the foot of the table and safety there is no doubt that the relegation battle is already taking shape with the likely contenders largely established.

That means the clash between QPR and Southampton at the weekend is a genuine relegation 6 pointer even at this early stage. QPR are backed by 47% of our pundits to win the game with just 13% thinking Southampton can take all the points and that view is backed up by the bookies who make Southampton a 3 to 1 shot to take the win.

Win or Bust
Both managers are under huge pressure and the whispers are that this could be one of those "career on the line" matches, the sort we used to see played out by the forces of pantomime baddies and goodies in the glory days of WWF, but this is real life and the threat of a career damaging sack at the end of the game looms large for both managers.

The reality is that Hughes is under the greater strain, his team are at home and his board spent heavily in the summer giving numerous press conferences where the word "ambition" was banded around like cheap whore in a busy brothel to help explain why genuine hero Neil Warnock was being removed from the helm.

That ambition has transpired in to one which is now far from grand and left the Rangers faithful wondering if Warnock, or Redknapp or in fact anyone currently looking for a job might do a better one than Hughes and his quite possibly over paid ban of swan songers have managed so far this season. Any thing but a win might be the final curtain call for the Welshaman and a defeat will no doubt see the fans voting with their boos. Patience is in much shorter supply than Tony Fernandes' cash in the beautiful game and Marks reign needs a big spark to keep it going.

Key Battles
The stats tell you little about how this game will go except for the fact that these sides have been poor. The match up pits the worst home record in the league vs. the worst away record and also the worst attack (QPR's with just 8 goals) vs the worst defence (Southampton's with 29 conceded) but if you're thinking of watching the game don't be dismayed by all of this.

Rangers have shown some encouraging signs in attack, all too foten decent football has lead to little luck and scant reward, this might sound like the cry of many a relegated side over the years but there is some hope for QPR, they've not been hopeless in attack and against a defence like Southampton's there must be goals for them, there absolutely has to be.

Southampton have actually scored a decent return of goals. The 15 they've netted this season gives them the 10th best attacking record in the league and coming up against a defence like QPR's might be a very tasty treat. Rangers have been woeful at the back for most of the season and with neither team likely to settle in this game the strain the a weak Rangers defence comes under is bound to lead to goals.

Preview and prediction
When 2 poor defences meet two potentially good attacks the opinion bag could be bulging all day, and with both teams targeting this is the sort of game they must win if they want to avoid relegation attack must be the order of the day and goals result. Both sides will score in this game and we expect to see more than 3 goals with QPR edging the result on home turf, giving their fans a long over due first win of the season.

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