Nottingham Forest are back in Championship action this weekend as they face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
Martin O’Neill’s side returned to winning ways against Middlesbrough last weekend. This ended a dismal run of four consecutive defeats in the Championship which had ended their play-off hopes.
The Reds currently find themselves seven points off the top six, with just two games remaining. There’s no doubt that if they had produced last weekend’s performance on a more regular basis, they’d be much closer to achieving their target.
It’s not going to be an easy task for the Reds to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season against QPR. Having been on a poor run themselves recently, they’ll be looking to produce a good performance for their home support.
Considering how poor the Reds have been away from home, QPR will probably be seen as favourites to win this match. O’Neill’s side have failed to win any of their last 13 away games in the Championship. The Reds last went 14 away league games without a win in the 2004/05 campaign.
Ahead of this weekend’s game, Seat Pitch has taken a loot at three players that the Reds will have to deal with if they are to secure the three points.
There’s no doubt that Luke Freeman can be one of the most dangerous midfielders in the Championship on his day. It hasn’t been the 27-year-old’s best season, but he has still managed to pick up eight goals and six assists. That isn’t a bad return for a midfielder in a team who have largely struggled throughout the season.
He has made 48 appearances for QPR in all competitions this season. He was highly rated by previous manager Steve McClaren and has continued to feature regularly under John Eustace. Freeman certainly has a wand of a left foot and the Reds will have to limit the amount of time he gets on the ball.
One of the main positives at Loftus Road recently has been the emergence of youngster Eberechi Eze. The 20-year-old midfielder has burst onto the scene this season, and has become a key player for his side. McClaren regularly included him in his starting line-up from the start of the campaign, and he has now established himself as one of the most promising youngsters outside of the Premier League.
He has made 35 appearances in the Championship this season. This has given him a good grounding which will stand him in good stead moving forward. Not only this, but he has managed to rack up four goals and three assists. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him linked with a move away in the summer. He is certainly destined to play at the very top.
If it wasn’t for Nahki Wells’ arrival at QPR late on in last summer’s transfer window, McClaren may have lost his job a lot sooner. QPR had lost their opening four games of the season but Wells’ arrival helped halt that run of form. It didn’t take him too long to get off-the-mark as he scored his first goal for the club against Sheffield Wednesday in October.
The 28-year-old Burnley loanee has scored nine goals and picked up six assists in the Championship this season. If it wasn’t for his contribution, then QPR may have been involved in a relegation battle at this stage. They’ll be hoping that they can lure the striker away from Turf Moor on a permanent basis this summer.