It’s difficult to see how the QPR that visited the Walkers Stadium in April could be more different than the side which will take on the Foxes on Saturday. Just over five months ago Neil Warnock’s team arrived having failed to win any of their last dozen games on the road. The R’s had shipped 25 goals in that time, scoring only eight themselves, and had the lowest percentage of shots on target in the Championship (47.51%).
Now Leicester face an entirely different proposition. Rangers are the only undefeated side left in the Championship. They have scored the most goals (17), conceded the fewest (2), and have kept the most clean sheets (5). Worse still, unlike Tuesday’s visitors, QPR are untroubled by an extensive injury list to their top creative talents.
Perhaps there are some similarities that can be drawn from the City side that crushed QPR 4-0 in April. The Foxes went into that game on the back of four straight league defeats, and had averaged just 1.3 points per game since they had beaten QPR at Loftus Road in October ‘09. This time, the Foxes are recovering from what is still (in terms of points won) a poor start to the campaign.
The spine of that April team remains the same too. Seven of the 11 who put City’s promotion push back on track that day started on Tuesday night. Five of QPR’s starters that day made the first eleven at Ipswich. Carl Ikeme, who played his final game for QPR in April’s thrashing, is likely to start for the Foxes instead.
Recent history between the two sides has been quite even. Both teams have four wins in meetings since 2004, there have also been a further two draws. What is also evenly matched is the desire of both sides to attack. Each has 50 attempts on target, a feat bettered by no other Championship side.
Confidence is high and the bookies have City as slight favourites, but only just.