Mark Warburton’s Queens Park Rangers head into Wednesday evening’s Championship clash in decent form, having picked up four points from their opening two fixtures of the season.
However, their opponents, Middlesbrough, are also unbeaten in the league so far this term, with Neil Warnock’s side having secured an impressive draw away at Fulham on the opening day of the 2021/22 campaign, as well as dispatching Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium last weekend.
As such, the Rs will undoubtedly have to be at their best if they are to get anything from Wednesday’s fixture, with Warburton having to make a couple of tough calls as to who he will choose to start the game.
So, here’s how we think QPR could line up against Middlesbrough, along with the latest team and injury news…
With Warburton recently revealing that he is optimistic Charlie Austin, who missed the victory over Hull City due to a slight knee injury, will be fit enough to return to the side, as well as confirming that Sam McCallum will not be included in his matchday squad due to illness, we predict that the 58-year-old will make just one change to the side who comfortably saw off the Tigers last weekend.
Indeed, this change is Austin coming in for Christopher Willock, who is unfortunate to drop to the bench after impressing in both the Millwall draw and in the win over Hull, with the forward getting himself on the scoresheet at the weekend.
However, it is undeniable that the £1.8m-rated Austin, who scored eight goals over 21 Championship appearances for QPR last season, poses far greater attacking threat than Willock, meaning if the 32-year-old is indeed deemed fit enough to start, he will surely take the 23-year-old’s place in the XI.
Furthermore, Wallace retains his spot at left wing-back as a result of McCallum’s continued absence, while the likes of Jimmy Dunne, Andre Dozzell and George Thomas have to make to with spots on the bench.
Other than McCallum, Warburton has a clean bill of health at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, and will undoubtedly be hoping that his side continue their early-season form with another impressive performance and result at Riverside.