Friday’s FA Cup fifth-round encounter takes place at Loftus Road, where Championship outfit QPR will take on Premier League Watford.
Just 20 miles separate the two sides in distance, but the gulf on the pitch looks far wider heading into this clash (Match Odds – QPR 16/5, Draw 47/20, Watford 10/11).
Whilst Watford have been able to spend big and bring in the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Andre Gray in recent seasons, the R’s have mainly had to rely on bringing through youth players.
Watford to win @ 10/11
No fewer than 15 of QPR’s 27-man first-team squad are under the age of 26 and after impressing at times this season, their form has dipped dramatically in recent months.
Steve McClaren’s men have lost their last five in the league and their only wins in 2019 have come in the FA Cup – knocking an under-strength Leeds out in round three before needing a replay to beat League One Portsmouth in the fourth round.
In contrast, the Hornets have lost just one of their last nine matches in all competitions and that was a late Premier League defeat to Spurs at Wembley.
It’s no surprise then that Watford are odds-on to claim victory at Loftus Road, so it’s worth looking elsewhere for more value.
Watford to win to nil @ 37/20
Javi Gracia’s men have kept clean sheets in their last five games, including in back-to-back league games with Brighton and Watford. So a Hornets win-to-zero certainly appeals at 37/20.
The head-to-head stats do offer some hope for the hosts, with QPR unbeaten in their last three meetings with Watford. The R’s did win 2-1 in their last meeting at Loftus Road, but that was back in 2014 and a lot has changed since then.
Andre Gray – First goalscorer @ 11/2
Andre Gray has scored twice in Watford’s last four matches, including the winner against Everton last weekend, and the striker can be backed at 11/2 to score first on Friday night.
If anyone is going to score for the home side than it seems likely it will be Matt Smith, with the ex-Leeds and Fulham man having bagged four in their last three matches, and Smith is 11/4 to score at anytime.
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