Leeds vs QPR predictions: Whites can make pressure pay against struggling Rs
Leeds' solid start to the Championship took a hit last weekend but manager Daniel Farke will be keen to show that the 3-1 defeat at Southampton was a mere blip.
The huge turnover of players was always going to hamper Leeds’ efforts to bounce straight back up to the Premier League but Farke will have been satisfied with the Whites’ performances prior to Saturday’s trip to St Mary’s.
Three points will be expected when struggling QPR arrive but Gareth Ainsworth’s visitors have improved since their opening weekend 4-0 horror show at Watford and look increasing resilient.
Leeds full-back Stuart Dallas is back in training after 18 months out with a broken femur but remains some way off a return to action.
Winger Wilfried Gnonto and defender Junior Firpo are expected back from injury after the international break but right-back Djed Spence’s medial collateral ligament injury will keep him out until late November.
Attacker Patrick Bamford made his first appearance of the season late on against Southampton and should get more minutes off the bench.
QPR left-back Morgan Fox is unavailable after limping off against Coventry last weekend.
QPR have tightened up since the opening day, conceding more than once in just three of the subsequent eight league matches.
Ainsworth’s men have conceded just three first-half goals in those eight games and have been behind at the break in only one.
They have also been stronger on the road than at home, collecting seven of eight league points away from Loftus Road.
Leeds have scored a middling 14 goals in nine league outings but had conceded less than a goal a game prior to last weekend’s defeat at Southampton.
Farke’s men have scored in the first half of just two of their nine league games.
Leeds have been slow starters this season both in terms of overall performance and how they approach individual matches.
That is no surprise given the number of players who needed integrating into the team, while injuries to key attackers Gnonto and Bamford also blunted the attack.
Farke will expect improvement as players return and his forward line develops a better understanding, but for now will be pleased that his team is grinding out results to stay within touching distance of the play-off places.
Last weekend’s defeat at Southampton came as a shock but Farke will expect a reaction against a QPR side who may not be as bad as their league placing suggests, but are short of confidence and a little quality.
Ainsworth is right to be positive about recent encouraging signs for QPR but this trip to Elland Road is tough and his team are likely to eventually succumb to Leeds’ superior class.
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