The Villa Appetiser: QPR v Aston Villa 2018

With our third game in less than a week, it at least gives us chance to quickly get over Tuesday’s disappointment.

Our poor record at Carrow Road continues, but we have at least slightly better memories at the site of Friday’s encounter – Loftus Road.

Smith will be forced into more rotation due to injuries and given QPR’s resurgent form, it’s going to be another tough test.

Can we get a first away win under Smith?

Form

QPR

13th in the league table with the 18th best home record.

Last five matches at home: W 3, D 1, L 1 

ASTON VILLA

16th in the league table with the 16th best away record.

Last five matches away: D 2, L 3 

McClaren on Villa

“Aston Villa are a very, very good side – and they will get better.

“They will finish in the top six, without a doubt.

“Dean Smith is a very good manager, they have a fantastic squad and this is an opportunity for us to test ourselves and to go out there and have a real go.

“They are one of the top sides in this division.”

Bidwell on form and Dean Smith

“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves but we’ve made massive steps forward in a relatively short spell of time.

“After a poor start, which we’ve rectified now, we just want to keep this form going.

“It’s a tight league and anything can happen if you get four or five wins back-to-back. The longer we can stick around maybe we can keep surprising people?

“I know Dean well from my time at Brentford. He will be looking to get Villa playing football properly if you like.

“When we parted ways I was on good terms with him. I wish him well for the job at Villa after Friday night of course!”

Smith on QPR

“They had a really slow start to the season but Steve McClaren has got them really organised now.

“They’re on a decent run of results at the moment and that showed when they beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 the other night – a team who were on a good run themselves.

“It was no mean feat and it’ll be tough for us.

“But for me, it’s got to be about ourselves and our attitude, enthusiasm and desire. We’ve got a talented squad there.

“What we’ve tried to do in training is make them more tactically astute when they’re playing, and they’ve taken a lot more responsibility of that.

“I’m expecting more or less the same as Tuesday – two teams trying to win the game.

“When both teams get the ball they’ll be an attempt to stop them. That sounds obvious, but sometimes teams will sit deep. I don’t expect that.

“We’ve got the attacking players to go and create and score goals. They’re certainly capable as well, though, so we’ll have to be at our best.”

Memory Match

18th Nov 2017 – QPR 1 Aston Villa 2

A double from Adomah secured the points after a Jamie Mackie opening strike.

Player to Watch

Nahki Wells – the on-loan Burnley striker scored against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, and will undoubtedly be familiar to Villa fans from his Bradford days!

Embed from Getty Images

no Championship team has collected more points than QPR over their past 10 matches

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

After the first matches QPR looked like they were in for a season of struggle, but they seem to be turning things around.

McClaren’s men moved into the top half of the Championship after an impressive 3-0 showing against Sheffield Wednesday in the week – their third win in four.

Friday’s opponents started the season with four consecutive defeats, but no Championship team has collected more points than QPR over their past 10 matches (they’ve recorded 20).

They’re making Loftus Road something of a fortress too, picking up 10 points from the last available 15 at home.

As well as that, QPR have also kept three clean sheets in their last four matches – in stark contrast to Villa’s shaky defence.

We saw signs of attacking promise in Dean Smith’s opener at Villa Park, but Chester’s goal was our only shot on target of the match on Tuesday.

Across the season, over half of our goals have been via either set pieces or own goals. We seem to be lacking that cutting edge.

Winless on the road since the first game of the season, we don’t seem to like travelling to the capital – we’ve lost 11 of our last 13 league matches in London.

“I know Dean well from my time at Brentford. He will be looking to get Villa playing football properly” – QPR’s BIDWELL ON SMITH

Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag

There’s a sense that the Villa positivity has diminished after the Norwich game, but the transformation in playing style will take time.

You can see what Smith is trying to achieve with the Villa squad, and as the players tune in, we’ll definitely see some better away day displays.

While Adomah is set to miss Friday’s match, we do at least welcome back John McGinn who was a MOTM contender in Smith’s debut game.

Consulting the history books can often offer encouragement and there are some intriguing statistics surrounding this fixture.

While QPR won their last game against us (the 3-1 horror show at Villa Park last season), they haven’t won back-to-back league matches against Villa since September 1989.

As well as this, bizarrely QPR have lost their last 13 Friday league matches, dating back to Boxing Day 2014!

We mentioned earlier in the article that we’d lost 11 of our last 13 league matches in London, apart from… two matches against QPR!

Those two wins came after we’d previously failed to win in the previous seven matches at Loftus Road.

We’ll take that as a good sign.

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