QPR v Newcastle - Tuesday 19:45
Intensity is everything to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. And when his teams don’t have it, you tend to see them for what they really are. QPR played at a pedestrian pace on Saturday and couldn’t beat Blackburn. But the good news is they should have plenty left in the tank for this game and if they step up the intensity, they can land odds of 3/1 about the home win.
Hasselbaink refused to criticise his players when interviewed shortly after they were booed off by the Loftus Road faithful. Presumably, he is mindful of the bigger picture and recognises the long-term dangers of being too severe on a young team that still boasts the third-best shot ratio in the division - although it’s true Rangers have played five of the bottom seven.
Newcastle, since losing their first two matches, are suddenly looking every inch the winning machine they were touted as before a ball had been kicked. But it’s only four games in which they’ve scored the first goal and then closed out intelligently and this first post-window midweek fixture arguably represents their first logistical test of the punishing Championship schedule.
The Magpies are currently operating to a total goals expectancy of 2.23 and it only takes one wrong move in that context to put you bang in trouble. They trailed for 45 minutes at Fulham without reply and given Hasselbaink’s ability to protect a lead, something similar could materialise if they fall behind here. Take the 11/2 available on QPR to win to nil.