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Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Rotherham United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Rotherham United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Queens Park Rangers and Rotherham United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Queens Park Rangers will be looking to record a third successive win when they face Rotherham United in the FA Cup third round.

While the home side occupy fifth position in the Championship, Rotherham currently sit top of League One, five points above the playoffs.

Match preview

Given the opportunities to make headway in the automatic promotion race, Mark Warburton would have been desperately disappointed with QPR losing home fixtures to Stoke City and Bournemouth respectively.

However, the Hoops have responded with 2-1 victories away at Bristol City and Birmingham City respectively, making it five wins from their last seven outings.

QPR still sit eight points adrift of first place but with matches in hand on three of the four teams above them, Warburton will be satisfied with their current standing.

On a negative note, you have to go all the way back to October 2 for the last time that QPR netted more than twice in a game, a streak currently standing at 14 matches.

Despite a strong defensive record of late, no clean sheets have been recorded in five outings, leaving Warburton to demand more ruthlessness at both ends of the pitch.

Paul Warne has had few issues getting those traits out of his Rotherham team this season, the Millers having suffered just one defeat from 24 games in all competitions.

However, that setback came as recently as Boxing Day, and Rotherham were far from convincing during their recent wins over Bolton Wanderers and Crewe Alexandra.

Warne will not have too many concerns at this stage, but all three games have highlighted that Rotherham can ill afford any complacency if they want to last the pace in the League One promotion race.

Rotherham have also kept just two clean sheets in their last eight matches, one of those coming against non-league Stockport County in the previous round of this competition.

Queens Park Rangers form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Rotherham United FA Cup form:
  • W
  • W

Rotherham United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Charlie Austin is expected to be one of a number of QPR players who are drafted back into the starting lineup for this fixture.

Stefan Johansen, Dominic Ball, Osman Kakay and George Thomas will also hope to feature against the third-tier highflyers.

Ilias Chair is unavailable after linking up with the Morocco squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, but Moses Odubajo is closing in on a return from injury.

Having made eight alterations for the EFL Trophy win at Crewe, Warne could revert back to the team which edged out Bolton in the previous game.

Despite scoring his first goal of the campaign during that fixture, Joshua Kayode will only be named on the substitutes' bench at best.

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Dickie, Dunne, Barbet; Kakay, Ball, Johansen, Wallace; Thomas; Austin, Gray

Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Johansson; Harding, Wood, Ihiekwe; Ogbene, Wiles, Barlaser, Rathbone, Ferguson; Smith, Grigg

We say: Queens Park Rangers 3-1 Rotherham United

With their priorities on promotion, this is a difficult match to predict. Nevertheless, QPR's strength-in-depth is stronger than the visitors, and that may prove pivotal as they look to book their place in the last 32.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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24Derby CountyDerby2571172324-111
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