QPR had to put the Champagne on ice last week as Norwich’s late winner meant Neil Warnock’s troops weren’t quite mathematically promoted, but they can finally book their place in the Premiership by getting the better of Watford, whose slim chances of gate-crashing the play-off places were ended by last week’s defeat at Leicester.
Rangers have been the Championship’s best team all season, hence their position and their resilience is reflected by the fact that they have lost just five times in 44 outings. Even on the rare occasions they’re second best in a match, QPR tend to glean something from it, just as they did at Cardiff recently and with the finish line in sight, they’re hard to overlook at 11/8 with Stan James.
Leeds and Burnley’s televised clash could prove crucial in the battle for a play-off place and with sixth-placed Nottingham Forest a home banker at 4/11 (Coral) as they entertain Scunthorpe, the Elland Road contest is a must-win game for both teams.
After a dismal run of five defeats in six, the Clarets have got their top six push back on track with a tally of ten points from their last available dozen but Leeds have won just once in eight and although they haven’t lost at home in that run, they have ridden their luck at times.
Subsequently, Eddie Howe’s men are worth siding with in West Yorkshire, where they’re 11/5 courtesy of bet365 to collect all three points, although the fact that the Whites rarely lose at home means that punters should tread carefully and backing Burnley ‘Draw No Bet’ at 5/4 with Paddy Power is the best bet.
At the bottom, Sheffield United are all but down, although an emphatic victory over Barnsley would give them a slim chance provided Doncaster lose to Leicester or Crystal Palace are beaten at Hull.
The Blades can keep up their part of the bargain by getting the better of the out-of-sorts Tykes, an outcome rated by William Hill at 23/20 but hearts at Bramall Lane are likely to be broken by Rovers and the Eagles.
Sean O’Driscoll’s men, 9/4 outsiders, can get a result at the Keepmoat Stadium against Sven Goran Eriksson’s Foxes, who don’t travel well and are now out of the play-off battle. It’s 8/13 with bet365 for Doncaster to avoid defeat, which will be enough to keep them safe. Meanwhile, Palace need just a point at the KC Stadium to guarantee their Championship status and they’re 10/11 (Skybet) when kicking off with a goal start.