The games continue to come thick in the Sky Bet Championship and fast following the midweek game against Charlton Athletic.
Harry Redknapp brings his Queens Park Rangers side north to the Keepmoat this weekend. The R’s have a had a productive start to the season but will face a stiff test in South Yorkshire where they have previously only won two games against Rovers.
The last time QPR visited our home back in November was back in the 09/10 season and they sat in a healthy fourth spot in the Championship following a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Rovers occupied 20th place but were looking in good shape at home after netting six goals in the last two home games, securing four points in the process so it promised to be quite the encounter.
Initially in the first half both sides struggled to gain the ascendency in the game in what was a riveting contest, midfield was arguably the place where the game was to be won or lost and it was Rover’s John Oster who was to get the first effort on goal as the home side looked to turn up the heat. Oster forced Radek Cerny in the R’s goal into making a terrific stop as he dived full stretch to fingertip away a free kick from just outside the box.
The home side were in fine fettle and reduced the away side to shots from distance but there was little for Neil Sullivan to worry about. Dean Shiels was looking to turn the screw for Rovers after he bamboozled the home defence with his quick feet to create space to shoot, but Cerny was there to block the effort and deny the Northern Irishman a wonderful goal.
The big Czech keeper saved from Oster in unorthodox style, punching the ball away from goal rather than attempting to catch the shot as the pressure mounted on the R’s defence. Somehow the visitors managed to get into the dressing room on level terms but it was only to be a matter of time before Rovers got their noses in front.
In fact there was a flurry of chances which were a precursor to the opening goal for Rovers, first Billy Sharp unfortunately lost his balance at the wrong moment when in prime scoring position before the impressive Shiels was again denied by Cerny.
However, the keeper could do nothing about a moment of quick witted play from Quinton Fortune was to result in the ball hitting the net. Fortune took a quick corner to Shiels who spotted Sharp in space, the ball in couldn’t have presented the striker with a better chance and he wasn’t to make any mistake and he confidently finished from close range.
The goal just urged Rovers on, with Rangers struggling to contain the urgency and persistence of the home side so it came as no surprise when Sheils smashed home a deserved goal after skilfully evading the challenge of Kaspars Gorkss on the edge of the penalty area. Rovers continued to press but couldn’t extend their advantage but it was a thrilling win and a deserved three points which hoisted the side up to 16th in the table.
Statistics v QPR
Whoever wins the game this weekend will go ahead in head to head victories, both sides have taken the spoils on seven occasions with one game ending in a draw.
Rovers have an advantage when it comes to goals scored at home against the R’s, in the eight games played in South Yorkshire the home side have netted 12 times which represents an average of 1.5 goals per game. The visitors on the other hand have scored just 4 In Doncaster, an average of just 0.5 per game.
Rovers have won five of the eight games played in front of the home supporters, with QPR tasting victory just twice. The visitors won the first game played between the sides in Doncaster back in 1951 before going 60 years until their next win which was the last game played between the teams at the Keepmoat in March 2011.
Harry Redknapp's side go into the game as massive favourites at 8/13 and will be looking for three points against a struggling Rovers side who are priced 9/2 with league sponsors Sky Bet.
Rovers - 9/2
Draw - 11/4
QPR - 8/13
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