The first fixture in the fifth round of the FA Cup brings us an intriguing meeting between a Premier League side surpassing expectations and a Championship club in the midst of a very disappointing season.
QPR head in to this tie without a win in six in the league with the last five being defeats. Their run in the FA Cup has been a positive side note to their poor domestic campaign, The R’s languish in 18th place in The Championship table. They are 11 points clear of the relegation zone with a game in hand, but a further 12 from the play off places. They head in to Friday’s fixture off the back off a 2-1 defeat to the league’s most in form side: Bristol City.
It looked as if The Hoops were going to spring a real surprise as they led from the 45th minute up until the 73rd, before an injury time winner from Famara Diedhiou stole the win for the hosts. It was a familiar story for QPR who have conceded two or more goals in each of their last four, an issue they’ve faced all season. They have The Championships 4th leakiest defence, shipping 47 goals in their 31 league outings.
Watford on the other hand are having an excellent season, and are really beginning to establish them as one of the best of the rest in The Premier League. Currently in eighth place, they lie just two points behind Wolves and above that is the ‘big six’. The Hornets have suffered just one defeat in their last six, winning two and drawing three. The one defeat was a gut wrenching loss away to Tottenham. Watford led until the 80th minute, and had the game snatched away from them just three minutes from time when Fernando Llorente found the back of the net.
With so many high profile exits from the FA Cup this season, the door is open for anyone to win it, and both of these sides will be daring to dream of a Wembley fairy-tale. Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have already exited from the tournament, and with several giant killings already, the fifth round could see some more. With Chelsea and Manchester United meeting each other also, that guarantees another top side going out.
Both sides were probably relatively content with the draw, for Watford they play a team from a lower division in poor form. QPR will could’ve faced tougher Premier League opponents, and they’ve been drawn at home. Where they’ve claimed seven of their 11 wins this season in the league. The Championship are outsiders to win, priced at 4.5, with the visitors available at 1.8.
There has been an average of 2.77 goals in QPR’s matches this season, with Watford’s average coming in at 2.62. The FA Cup has produced some cracking games this year, and I can see this game following suit. Both sides will be keen to gout and get the win, at this stage of the domestic season a replay is no good for either. We’re likely to see a win or bust approach for both teams, which should hopefully lead to it raining goals on Friday night. Over 2.5 goals is priced at 2.0. If both teams are going to go for it a QPR and Watford double chance could be a good option at a price of 1.25.
Over 1.5 goals @ 1.3
QPR and Watford double chance @ 1.25
Watford draw no bet @ 1.29