Midweek Championship Tips: An entertaining 90 minutes expected in West London

QPR are unbeaten in three and have looked a tough proposition in recent weeks but backing goals may be the best way to profit from Tuesday night's clash with Derby says Jack Critchley...

Derby's search for a first away clean sheet set to continue

QPR 2.36 v Derby 3.20; The Draw 3.65
Tuesday February 25, 19:45
QPR have generally struggled defensively this season, but the West Londoners have now kept back-to-back clean sheets on the road.
Mark Warburton guided his side to another goalless draw at the weekend, picking up a very respectable point at the City Ground. The R's were largely outplayed throughout the 90 minutes, however, statistics show that Nottingham Forest managed just two efforts on target. Yoann Barbet, slotting in at centre-back alongside Grant Hall, was particularly impressive throughout. The Frenchman won 100% of his aerial duels and rarely let Lewis Grabban out of his sight. The visitors have looked far more assured on their travels in recent weeks, and a fifth clean sheet of the season gives them something to build upon.
At home, it's a completely different story with the former Rangers boss often preferring to sacrifice solidity for creativity, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the likes of Luke Amos and Ilias Chair given a start here.
QPR's goals have dried up since the departure of Nahki Wells, but they still have ample firepower and managed to stick four past Stoke City ten days ago. They've scored 65% of their goals at this ground and only Bristol City, West Brom and Nottingham Forest have kept them off the scoresheet on their own patch.
Derby boast one of the division's best home defences, although it's a completely different picture away from Pride Park. The Rams have conceded 72% of their goals on the road, and are the only side in the Championship to have failed to keep a clean sheet on their travels.
Phillip Cocu must find a way to improve his side's away form, although this won't be an easy assignment for the Dutchman. Derby found themselves 3-0 down against Bristol City before deciding to mount a comeback at the beginning of February, and they were also guilty of switching off at Swansea just a few days earlier.
At the other end of the field, the Rams are now firing on all cylinders, netting in each of their last 11 games and this should result in yet another entertaining 90 minutes at the Kiyan Price Foundation Stadium.
Over 2.5 Goals would have landed in eight of Derby's nine encounters with sides below them in the table and it would also have paid out in seven of QPR's eight meetings with bottom half opposition. The hosts stuck four past Stoke in their last home match, and they'll relish to chance to test themselves against a defence which has conceded 2+ goals in five of their last six away games.
QPR have been far better defensively away from home, yet they could struggle to keep Cocu's men at arms length here. This could be a very entertaining midweek match-up and using the Sportsbook's Same Game Multi, we can get 10/11 for Over 2.5 Goals and BTTS.

Armstrong to continue his fine goalscoring form

Blackburn 2.44 v Stoke 3.35; The Draw 3.30
Wednesday February 26, 19:45
When Bradley Dack went down injured at the end of December, Rovers fans could be forgiven for fearing the worst. Their talisman had netted nine times in 22 appearances and had been their match-winner on several occasions. The former Gillingham playmaker may be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but Blackburn supporters have since found a new hero in Adam Armstrong.
The former Newcastle striker has endured a fairly nomadic couple of years, despite still clearly possessing plenty of ability. After failing to make an impression at Bolton, the 23-year old moved to Ewood Park amid very little fanfare. He found the net on just five occasions last season, however, he's already more than doubled that fairly modest tally this time around and has made a terrific start to 2020.
Nine of his 12 goals have arrived since the beginning of December, and he secured his first double of the campaign against Brentford at the weekend. He doesn't just play the role of out-and-out striker however, with six assists to his name so far, and he's also been averaging over two shots per game in recent weeks.
Although Stoke have significantly improved since the arrival of Michael O'Neill, they still look a little flimsy on the road, and Armstrong could capitalise on the Potters' defensive woes. The Staffordshire side have conceded eight goals in their last two away games and have kept just a single clean sheet on their travels since mid-September.
Blackburn are in terrific form and are unbeaten in four of their last five Championship games. They more than matched the high-flying Bees at the weekend, and have also become incredibly tough to beat at Ewood Park. With just a single defeat in front of their own fans since the end of September, they still have an outside chance of sneaking into the play-off picture and Armstrong will be pivotal in propelling them towards the top six.
The north-easterner is 9/5 on the Sportsbook to score anytime in this midweek fixture and he is clearly full of confidence. He will also enjoy playing against a Stoke back-line who look far from secure on the road. He'll have set his sights on bagging 20 goals this season, and he can take another significant step towards that total on Wednesday evening.

Barnsley to avoid defeat in Humberside

Hull 2.54 v Barnsley 2.82; The Draw 3.65
Wednesday February 26, 19:45
Barnsley remain firmly in a relegation dogfight, but they've given themselves a fighting chance of beating the drop in the last couple of weeks. Gerhard Struber's men have now won back-to-back Championship games, and thoroughly deserved their 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon. The Austrian coach tends to favour the 4-4-2 diamond formation, and has been fairly loyal to his preferred system, however, he reverted to a back three at the weekend, which helped stifle the Teessiders throughout the 90 minutes.
The Tykes have now kept consecutive clean sheets and have netted four times in their last couple of outings. There is still plenty of work to do, however, the South Yorkshire club appear determined to avoid an immediate return to the third tier.
They've also projected well this season, and have the fifth highest xG rating in the Championship. At home, they have the fourth highest xG and are producing better numbers than leaders West Brom and play-off chasing Cardiff City.
Hull have struggled since the departure of their star men in January, although they did put in a much improved performance against Preston at the weekend. They've lost four of their last five matches at this ground, although they did pick up a point against Swansea last time out.
The hosts have been scoring goals, and Malik Wilks is looking sharp, however they could fall short against a much-improved Barnsley outfit. The Tykes are 19/20 Draw No Bet on Wednesday night, and after leaving Craven Cottage with all three points ten days ago, they will be feeling extremely confident about their chances of success at the KCOM Stadium.

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