In a difficult Friday night match to call, side with the hosts to shut out Brentford.
QPR v Brentford - Friday 19:45, Sky Sports 1
The spoils were shared between these two west London rivals last season, with both teams winning their respective home fixture after more than a decade apart. In fact, 2015/16 was only the fourth season in the last half a century they’ve occupied the same division but there’s a remarkable symmetry to the overall record: 22 Rangers wins, 22 Brentford wins, 23 draws.
Brentford have every reason to believe they are the stronger team at present with a 53.9 per cent shot ratio (ranked seventh), compared to QPR’s equivalent of 47.4 per cent (ranked 18th). But the R’s probably believe they have the measure of the Bees - their defeat at Griffin Park last October was before Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s arrival and their response (a 3-0 win in March) was much more emphatic.
On balance, it’s difficult to call a winner. Both teams play the same 4-2-3-1 system almost religiously, so inherently understand the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s strategy. And my ratings are in total agreement with the market on both the match supremacy and total goals line.
So the value perhaps lies in the underlying patterns of success and failure. For QPR, victories and clean sheets go hand in hand, making the 15/4 win to nil price an appealing bet - of their 13 league wins under Hasselbaink, 11 have arrived by this method. Brentford have found the net only once in their last four matches, thwarted by Wigan, Derby and Barnsley.