New QPR boss Mark Hughes may have the perfect opportunity to get his tenure up and running when struggling Wigan Athletic visit Loftus Road on January 21.
The former Wales coach had a stiff first assignment in charge of the Hoops against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, a match which ended in a 1-0 defeat to leave the club languishing in the Premier League relegation zone.
And it was evident from that performance that Hughes has a lot of work to do if he is to save QPR’s status in the top flight, despite it being a slight improvement from the crushing losses suffered earlier in the season under the guidance of Neil Warnock.
Hughes has been promised money to spend in January and he believes that around £20 million is required to turn the club’s fortunes around.
Hughes’ first port of call will be to shore up his side’s ailing defence which has been parted 37 times in just 21 games.
But even QPR hold an advantage over Wigan in the defensive stakes as Roberto Martinez’s men have shipped on 41 occasions leaving them one place below the R’s in 19th.
One win from ten home matches hardly gives the backer much reassurance when looking at QPR – however an upturn in fortunes has to be chanced with the respected Hughes now in charge.
The Welshman performed well under similar circumstances at Blackburn Rovers and with a transfer war chest at his disposal, he can lead QPR steadily away from danger.
This is a real ‘six-pointer’ if ever there was one and as usual, preference has to go with the hosts.
Federico Macheda has arrived in optimistic mood on loan – and whilst the jury is still out over the Italian in terms of being good enough for Manchester United, he has the pace and skill to unlock a Wigan defence who look hapless at the best of times.
Martinez has been backed at numerous stages of the season by Chairman Dave Whelan but even he must be scratching his head as to how things can change for the better at the JJB.
Providing Hughes can initiate an instant impact, QPR look good value to overcome their relegation rivals at around even money.
Games of this nature are usually quite low scoring as struggling teams often cancel each other out, however it would be no shock to see a plethora of goals for the simple reason that both clubs have to set their stall out to win.
Both teams to score (also at even money) makes excellent appeal, as does over 3.5 goals for the chancier punter at 5/2.
And selecting the aforementioned Macheda to bank the first of those at around 6/1 makes good sense as it is only a matter of time before he finds the net against this kind of opposition.
Anyone who enjoys a correct score wager may also want to take a peak at 3-3 which looks rather tempting at 80/1 – a result which would if anything validate just how poor both of these clubs are when it comes to defending.
© Frixo 2013