Queens Park Rangers desperately need to record their first win of the season and the Rs hope the match against Fulham will prove a turning point of their campaign. The Cottagers arrive at Loftus Road boosted by the 2-1 win over Newcastle and they can be forgiven for believing they can get all three points from this local derby.
Last chance saloon
Queens Park Rangers may be sitting at rock bottom, winless in 16 Premier League games and eight points adrift of safety, but having watched them quite a few times this season, I cannot really agree that they deserve to be sitting deep in the relegation zone. Rangers may not have looked too solid at the back, but they have been carving out chances with relative ease, with their profligacy in front of goal the main reason for the dismal results. However, everyone could see improvement in the attacking department following the arrival of Harry Redknapp and three straight draws are clearly a step in the right direction. Everybody at the club understands that QPR will not be able to survive this Premier League campaign unless they start winning soon, which is why we can expect the Rs to attack Fulham from the off. It remains to be seen whether they will have enough in them to finally record their first Premiership victory.
First choice keeper Julio Cesar from a groin injury, but Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson remain long-term casualties.
Dimitar Berbatov effect
Given that Fulham had been transformed from relegation strugglers to genuine top table side thanks to their defence-minded style of football, it is no wonder many were afraid when Martin Jol started using a more positive approach. However, the players quickly adapted to the new tactics and with Dimitar Berbatov, Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega arriving in the summer, the Cottagers were even able to show a considerable improvement this season. With Damien Duff and Alex Kacaniklic also impressing, Fulham quickly became one of the most entertaining sides in the Premier League, to the delight of fans at their Craven Cottage. Having just ended their seven-match winless run by beating Newcastle, the Cottagers will fancy their chances in the clash against rock-bottom QPR, and I have no doubts they will give their best to record the second win in a row.
Martin Jol has no fresh injury worries, but Mahamadou Diarra, Bryan Ruiz and Simon Davies remain sidelined.
Being eight points adrift of safety, QPR have got to go all guns blazing at their opponents, and with Fulham expected to respond in the same manner, there is every chance we will see a highly entertaining encounter at Loftus Road. Therefore, betting on over 2.5 goals looks the right thing to do.
Top pick: Over 2.5 goals 1.91 (10/11) @ William Hill
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.73 (8/11) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 2: Over 3.5 goals 3.25 (9/4) @ BetFred