QPR v Birmingham - Saturday 15:00
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink fronted up to QPR fans earlier this week with a remarkably frank and insightful podcast interview, during which he explained his tactics amid unrest following the humiliating 6-0 home defeat to Newcastle. The chief frustration has been the persistence with a lone striker when many see a decent partership in Sebastien Polter and Conor Washington.
The upshot is that Hasselbaink prefers 4-4-1-1 because it allows him to play Tjaronn Chery centrally behind the striker, essentially an admission that he’s building the team around his fellow Dutchman. So now the pressure’s on Chery to deliver, even more so than before, and it seems logical that any resurgence goes hand in hand with a top performance from their number 10.
Birmingham are stout opposition and head to Loftus Road on the back four games unbeaten, taking ten points and conceding only once. Indeed, their resurgence should serve as encouragement to Rangers as it came out of adversity following an uncharacteristic second-half collapse at home to Wolves, prompting some surprise discontent towards Gary Rowett.
Backing Chery in the first goalscorer market is the first step. He bagged the opener in a 2-0 home win for Rangers against Blues last February. Either way, a good start is essential. The Hoops need the crowd behind them, which means setting the right tempo. Stick a point on the QPR/QPR half time/full time bet at 10/3.