On Saturday 2nd April 2022, eighth-placed Queens Park Rangers (QPR) take on the table toppers Fulham in the EFL Championship. This match is crucial as it is the West London Derby. In the reverse fixture back in October 2021, Fulham defeated QPR 4-1 with goals from Reid, Robinson, and a brace from Mitrovic being too much for QPR. Coming into this game, Fulham shockingly lost 0-1 to West Brom, and QPR lost 1-3 to Peterborough United.
QPR come into this fixture having lost 1-3 at home to bottom place Peterborough United. Luke Amos scored early, but QPR allowed Peterborough to come back and eventually win the game. This defeat is QPR’s fourth in their last five games which leaves them with a record of 17 wins, eight draws, and 13 losses to their name. xG predicted QPR to score 45 times, but they have netted 54 times this season so far. Their overperformance in attack means they are only two points off the promotion play-off spots.
The shot map of QPR seen above shows that inside the opponents’ six-yard box, they have had no problem scoring. But outside the six-yard box, QPR have missed quite a few big chances, which is shown in the scoring sheets of the team. Not even a single QPR player has reached double figures in goals this campaign.
Midfielder Stefan Marius Johansen and Forward Ilias Chair are QPR’s most successful threat creators this season, but both of them create most of their threat through set-pieces (corner kicks). From open play, it is Yoann Barbet who creates the most threat.
Fulham come into this game after a surprise 0-1 loss to West Brom. Still, they sit comfortably at the top of the table with a record of 23 wins, eight draws, and six losses. Fulham’s attack has been the best in the league by far this season in both xG as well as actual goals scored. Their defense is just as good, having let in only 32 times this season out of 37 games played (only Bournemouth have conceded fewer). Fulham have outperformed their xGA by one goal as it predicted the league leaders to ship 33 times.
Fulham’s dominance in the league can be seen in the above chart. They have underperformed in only two important categories: Long ball accuracy and aerial duels won per 90.
This West London derby is going to be mouth-watering as both teams will want to have bragging rights. QPR will want to win to get closer to promotion play-offs, and Fulham will want to distance themselves further from the rest of the promotion hunters.