Harry Redknapp's QPR side will welcome Watford to Loftus Road knowing they can no longer return to the Premier League automatically

Harry Redknapp's side have underachieved this term considering the investment made. Picture: Action Images

Harry Redknapp's side have underachieved this term considering the investment made. Picture: Action Images

First published in Latest Sport by

Watford travel to Queens Park Rangers on Bank Holiday Monday knowing that maximum points are needed to maintain their unlikely play-off charge.

Rangers on the other hand, know that their top-six berth is all but confirmed despite a 1-0 defeat at Leicester City on Saturday.

With second-place Burnley now 13 points better off than QPR, the Hoops are finally out of the automatic promotion race.

Harry Redknapp’s side can still mathematically be caught in fourth, but with a nine-point buffer between themselves in fourth and seventh-place Reading, it would take a catastrophic collapse for the R’s to miss out.

After overseeing relegation from the Premier League last term, Redknapp elected to remain at the helm at Loftus Road to mount a return to the top-flight, but after a strong start to the campaign the Hoops have faltered since the turn of the year.

It took until late October and a 2-0 reverse at Burnley for Rangers to suffer their first league defeat of the season, but since the New Year the Hoops have struggled to replicate the form they showed before January.

Redknapp was quick to move on a number of the highly-paid players who were part of the side miserably relegated from the top-flight, but has spent big in order to try and return to the West London outfit to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The goals of former Burnley and Swindon Town forward Charlie Austin have been crucial for Rangers, who have become somewhat reliant on the 24-year-old hitman.

Signed for £4m from Burnley, Austin has bagged 14 in his first season at Loftus Road, with his unavailability due to a shoulder injury coinciding with the R’s worst period of the season form-wise.

The experienced Bobby Zamora is the club’s second highest-scoring forward with just three goals - albeit the former England international has only made seven league starts due to injury.

Andrew Johnson is another with plenty of top-flight experience, but the former Crystal Palace, Everton and Fulham striker has only made ten league starts, scoring twice.

Clearly unconvinced by his forward options, Redknapp used the January transfer window to bolster his forward options with the addition of four strikers on loan.

Kevin Doyle joined from Wolves and had a quick impact with a goal on his debut against Burnley in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Loftus Road and the Irish international followed that up with a second in the 3-1 defeat by Reading.

West Ham United's Modibo Maiga also scored against Sean Dyche’s side, but has failed to net since and has been used chiefly as a substitute.

Youngster Will Keane was another to sign on loan for Rangers, but the Manchester United prospect is goalless in six starts as a Hoop.

Guilherme Dellatorre was the fourth and final deadline day addition in Redknapp’s transfer window supermarket trolley dash, but the Brazilian has yet to feature for the R’s since signing from Desportivo Brasil until the end of the season.

One man who has settled quickly since his loan arrival is West Ham prospect Ravel Morrison.

The England Under-21 international arrived on a 93-day loan arrangement which would render him available for any potential play-off final in May.

A graduate of Manchester United’s academy, the attacking midfielder won the Championship Player of the Month award for March and has scored six times in 12 starts for Rangers.

Midfield pair Alejandro Faurlin and Matt Phillips are both sidelined whilst Joey Barton is doubtful.

Tottenham loanee Benoit Assou-Ekotto is suspended for the Hornets’ trip to West London.

Defensive pair Nedum Onuoha and Aaron Hughes returned against Leicester so should start on Monday.

Comments (5)

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8:19am Mon 21 Apr 14

demerit says...

Looks like we'll be playing them in the semi-finals then...
Looks like we'll be playing them in the semi-finals then... demerit
  • Score: 7

8:38am Mon 21 Apr 14

Bringe says...

Pretty sure Ekotto's suspension won't kick in till their next match but who cares? he's not all that anyway.
Pretty sure Ekotto's suspension won't kick in till their next match but who cares? he's not all that anyway. Bringe
  • Score: -6

8:43am Mon 21 Apr 14

mkhornet says...

Bringe wrote:
Pretty sure Ekotto's suspension won't kick in till their next match but who cares? he's not all that anyway.
Says on their website that he's due to miss today's game through suspension.
[quote][p][bold]Bringe[/bold] wrote: Pretty sure Ekotto's suspension won't kick in till their next match but who cares? he's not all that anyway.[/p][/quote]Says on their website that he's due to miss today's game through suspension. mkhornet
  • Score: 1

10:01am Mon 21 Apr 14

Bringe says...

mkhornet wrote:
Bringe wrote:
Pretty sure Ekotto's suspension won't kick in till their next match but who cares? he's not all that anyway.
Says on their website that he's due to miss today's game through suspension.
I've just looked and you're right. It wasn't a straight red otherwise he'd get 7 days to mount an appeal.
[quote][p][bold]mkhornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bringe[/bold] wrote: Pretty sure Ekotto's suspension won't kick in till their next match but who cares? he's not all that anyway.[/p][/quote]Says on their website that he's due to miss today's game through suspension.[/p][/quote]I've just looked and you're right. It wasn't a straight red otherwise he'd get 7 days to mount an appeal. Bringe
  • Score: 0

11:11am Mon 21 Apr 14

D.unstable says...

Looks as though they are just a bunch of loanees....should be a ruling against having four strikers all on loan.

Come on Watford...whilst it is still possible there is still hope.
Looks as though they are just a bunch of loanees....should be a ruling against having four strikers all on loan. Come on Watford...whilst it is still possible there is still hope. D.unstable
  • Score: 5

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