Boro can down QPR, Championship leaders Burnley to hold second-placed Brighton
Lee Gormley | March 31, 2016
QPR v Middlesbrough
- Friday, April 1st
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
- Loftus Road, London
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Boro battle stuttering QPR
Middlesbrough will look to keep pace with both Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion in the Championship title race this weekend, as they search for a victory over an inconsistent QPR side, but have won just one of the last five fixture meetings.
Boro’s reverse clash success ended a run of four straight defeats to their London opponents, having suffered both home and away losses for two consecutive Championship campaigns, but they are 6/5 with Coral to earn another win this time around on their travels to Loftus Road.
The hosts have dropped down to 11th position after a stuttering season, though Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Rangers have enjoyed better success in recent weeks, with just a single loss in five outings, and are 11/5 for home supremacy on Friday night.
Visitors possess attacking threat
Aitor Karanka looked likely of departing the Northeast previously but has so far stayed put, and his visiting outfit for this clash arrive in the capital currently residing in third place, though a win would see them leapfrog into second, maybe temporarily.
The travelling team bounced back from two straight losses to Rotherham United and Charlton Athletic by overcoming Hull City, thanks to a 90th-minute winner from striker David Nugent, who is 2/1 to net again anytime.
January signing Jordan Rhodes has struggled in front of goal since his switch from Blackburn Rovers, having struck just once in 10 outings so far, but the forward still has double figures this term and is 9/2 to net last.
Grant Leadbitter was on target in injury time to secure victory in the reverse meeting and is 7/2 to dispatch anytime this time out, while attacking ace Gaston Ramirez is 12/5 to get on the scoresheet.
Chery can help QPR on home soil
Returning from international duty with Northern Ireland, QPR frontman Conor Washington is 13/5 to strike anytime for the home side, with his fellow attacker Sebastian Polter 13/2 to open proceedings, after doing so in the 1-1 draw with Preston North End last time out.
Dutch attacking midfielder Tjaronn Chery has been in sublime form of late, dispatching four in his last seven appearances, and the former Eredivisie playmaker is 14/5 to add another anytime on his latest outing.
QPR boast an incredible home record in this fixture, having amazingly only ever lost there on one occasion against Boro in their history, though that could soon be halted as the visitors seek points in their bid for automatic promotion.
Brighton and Hove Albion v Burnley
- Saturday, April 2nd
- Kick-off: 12:30 BST
- Falmer Stadium, Brighton
- Live on Sky Sports 1
First versus second at Falmer Stadium
In a Championship battle between first and second at Falmer Stadium on Saturday afternoon, league leaders Burnley take on close challengers Brighton, with just four points separating the automatic promotion hopefuls at this stage.
The visitors arrive on the back of a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, and the previous two meetings between these Championship rivals have ended level, making 2/1 odds on another stalemate very promising.
Although, Chris Hughton’s Seagulls will be targeting three points as they aim to close the gap at the summit and are 6/4 to triumph, while Sean Dyche’s Clarets are 2/1 for travelling success.
Welsh hitman Vokes key for Burnley
Wales international frontman Sam Vokes has been vital to Burnley’s success so far this current campaign, after dispatching an impressive 10 goals in his last 16 games, and the menacing marksman is 23/10 to strike anytime.
The Welshman featured in both his country’s friendly matches recently, including a draw with fellow home nation Northern Ireland, and will hope for further goalscoring success to boost his starting chances at Euro 2016 in France.
Alongside him in the Burnley attack will be Andre Gray, who is 19/10 to dispatch, having fired in during the previous 1-1 between the two outfits at Turf Moor last November. Brighton targetman Bobby Zamora bagged the opener after just a minute played that day and he is 5/2 to strike here.
Meanwhile, other Seagulls striker Tomer Hemed will be looking to add to his impressive 15 strikes so far for club and country, with the Israel international poacher 2/1 to dispatch anytime in this crucial Championship clash between first and second.
Coral’s top tip: Back Middlesbrough’s David Nugent to strike anytime at 2/1.