Swansea v QPR: Cooper's troops to bounce back
Play-off chasing Swansea welcome out-of-form QPR to the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night. Mark O'Haire reckons the hosts can bounce back to winning ways here.
Swansea v QPR
Tuesday February 11, 19:45
Tuesday February 11, 19:45
Swansea suffer frustrating Derby defeat
Swansea boss Steve Cooper said his side shot themselves in the foot in Saturday's 3-2 home loss to Derby at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans came from behind to lead 2-1 in the second half as Yan Dhanda and Kyle Naughton struck after Martyn Waghorn had put the Rams ahead in the eighth minute. But two goals in the final half-hour consigned City to defeat.
It was Swansea's first reverse as hosts since November and Cooper claimed the Swans were the architects of their own downfall, saying, "We are hugely frustrated with not just losing the game, but how it happened. We only have ourselves to blame - we did not play well enough in the first half. I think we've given the three points to Derby rather them earning them."
Despite the defeat, Swansea are still only four points adrift of the top six. Cooper welcomed Wales defender Connor Roberts back at the weekend and may also recall Ben Wilmot to the team for the midweek match. Elsewhere, Dhanda could be handed a start after his positive impact on Saturday but George Byers and Bersant Celina are set to miss out through injury.
Warburton bemoans QPR's lack of clinical edge
QPR boss Mark Warburton was again left demanding that his Rangers side be more clinical as they made it four straight defeats across all competitions with a 2-0 loss at Huddersfield on Saturday. Both goals came within the space of four second-half minutes, with the decisive second arriving via the penalty spot just after the hour mark.
Warburton said: "You've got to take your chances and I sound like a broken record. We looked a very good team in the first half. We were dominant and moved the ball well, but we didn't put it away. We were just a little bit toothless. It's the same message I'm repeating in the last few weeks. Good teams score goals and ultimately we have to be clinical."
The first half was an affair dominated by the R's as the lively Eberechi Eze caused plenty of problems for the hosts' defence. However, Grant Hall's header against a post was as close as QPR came to breaking the deadlock and the visitors' failure to convert their chances came back to haunt them after the restart. Ryan Manning could be recalled for Tuesday's clash.
Swans expected to bounce back
Swansea are unbeaten in each of their last seven home league matches against QPR (W4-D3-L0) dating back to January 1981. The Swans have also taken top honours in five of their past seven league meetings with Rangers (W5-D1-L1) including a 3-1 success at Loftus Road from the duos earlier season encounter back in August.
Swansea's 2.08 defeat against Derby at the weekend ended a five-match unbeaten streak at the Liberty Stadium (W3-D2-L0) and was only Steve Cooper's third reverse against the bottom-half since taking charge (W9-D5-L3). In fact, exclude top-six opposition and the Welsh outfit have avoided defeat in 19 of their 23 tussles against the rest of the division.
QPR 3.95 have picked up maximum points only four times in Championship action since mid-October (W4-D4-L11), a run of results that's seen Rangers collect just four points from a possible 27 on their travels (W1-D1-L7). The visitors have been beaten in each of their past five away days, as well as all five trips to teams occupying positions in the top-nine.
Little value in goals
Over 2.5 Goals 1.78 has paid out in seven of Swansea and QPR's most recent nine match-ups across all competitions, including the duos two contests this term. A total of 9/16 (56%) of the hosts' and 9/15 (60%) of Rangers' road trips have seen the same selection bank in Championship action this term, suggesting there's little value in a repeat.
Both Teams To Score 1.68 has only copped in 18/31 (58%) of the two teams' collective home/away games but the pair have combined to keep a paltry five (16%) clean sheets in that sample. However, there's no appeal in the prices on offer and so a straight play on the Swansea success is advised at 2.08 quotes.
The hosts boasted a solid 60% Expected Goals (xG) from open play ratio return at their Liberty Stadium base before the frustrating Saturday loss to Derby and went off as odds-on favourites here when welcoming Reading, Middlesbrough, Charlton, Barnsley, Millwall and Nottingham Forest already this season.
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