The FA Cup throws us up a West London derby this weekend and Fulham travel up the Fulham Palace road to face QPR, and both have had plenty of time to prepare for this fixture with this being the first game of 2021 for either side.
Fulham have had a few squad members, including manager Scott Parker, isolating after positive Covid-19 tests, and this will be the club’s first outing since boxing day.
Fulham were beginning to play well through some tough fixtures as they’ve lost just one of their last six outings despite playing top half sides Liverpool, Leicester, Southampton, and Man City in that time.
They have drawn their last four matches though and will be looking at this return as a means to get back to winning ways.
Scott Parker’s side have exited at this stage of the competition in three of the last five seasons, and in truth, they don’t have the excuse of having faced top opposition in their previous third round defeats to Oldham, Southampton and Sheffield United, so there are question marks over them.
QPR have had a slightly better run of things in the cup over the last couple of years as having exited at this stage 12 times over the span of just 14 seasons, they’ve managed to reach the fifth round in each of the last two.
However, those runs aren’t exactly too impressive considering they didn’t beat anyone worthy of note in either of those seasons, while in fact they’ve only won six of 31 FA Cup matches this century, having never beaten a Premier League side so that certainly works against them here.
Fulham To Beat QPR To Nil
It’s not as though QPR will be heading into this with much confidence either being on a winless run of nine matches at the moment, while they’re also yet to beat a side currently in the top 14 of the Championship table.
Mark Warburton would have been hoping to face a tired and weary Fulham side, though Fulham should actually be the fresher of the two and if they play a strong side, they should certainly have enough to get through this tie.
What’s more, the goals are certainly drying up for the Rs and although they remain the top scorers from the bottom eight sides in the league, they have now only managed three across their last seven outings.
They also have noticeably struggled for output against the better sides as up against the bottom 10 in the league, they have a competitive 1.56 goals per game, though that drops to just 0.46 when up against that top 14 bracket, drawing a blank in over half of those games and the win to nil looks to be the value way to get the visitors onside.