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QPR are the first London derby visitors in league action at the Brentford Community Stadium in our first home game after the international break.

Our West London rivals have had a mixed start to the season, but are currently on a run of only one defeat in five games.

Their home form has been far better than their away form so far with their record of three wins, three draws and one defeat at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium the fifth best in the Championship.

However, their away performances are the seventh worst in the league with one win and two draws from six games on their travels.

In W12 they have beaten Nottingham Forest (2-0), Cardiff (3-2) and Rotherham (3-2), on Tuesday night, while drawing 1-1 with Middlesbrough and Watford and 0-0 with Birmingham, but losing 2-0 to Preston.

Their solitary away win so far came at Derby (1-0) at the start of this month, while they have picked up points in back-to-back games at Sheffield Wednesday (1-1) and Bournemouth (0-0) and lost at Coventry (3-2), Barnsley (3-2) and Blackburn (3-1).

They were out of the Carabao Cup before the league season even started as they went down 3-2 at League One Plymouth in round one.

As well as being managed by Mark Warburton, they also have Yoann Barbet in their ranks.

QPR have become a mainstay of the Championship in recent years as this is their 14th season out of the past 17 at this level, with the other three years in the Premier League, of which they were one of the founder members in 1992.

WHO’S IN CHARGE

Former Brentford boss Mark Warburton is in his second full season in charge of QPR.

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He took charge of the Bees midway through the 2013/14 season, having previously been our sporting director, after Uwe Rosler left to join Wigan. He led us to promotion to the Championship at the end of the season.

In our first season back in the second tier since 1992/93 he led us to the play-offs after a fifth-place finish, this despite learning in February that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season. As usual we failed to win promotion through the end-of-season lottery – losing 5-1 on aggregate to Middlesbrough in the semi-finals.

After leaving Brentford, he was appointed manager of Rangers (Glasgow not Queen’s Park) later that summer and led them back into the Scottish top flight (Premiership) at the first time of asking.

He parted company with the club in February 2017 and the following month took over at Nottingham Forest. However, he was sacked that New Year’s Eve and was out of the game until taking the QPR job in May last year.

After a career playing in non-league football, Warbs spent some time working in Watford’s academy, but also had a career outside football as a City trader.

WE’VE MET BEFORE

There have been 10 meetings between the sides in the Championship since we won promotion in 2014 – as well as one in the Carabao Cup – with eight Brentford wins (including the cup victory), two victories for the Rs and one draw.

QPR joined us in the second tier in 2015, having been relegated from the Premier League, and the matches in 2015/16 both went to the home team – 1-0 to Brentford at Griffin Park and 3-0 to Rangers at Loftus Road.

We did the double the following campaign with a 2-0 win in W12 followed by a 3-1 victory in the return.

We met three times in 2017/18 – once in the Carabao Cup and twice in the league.

We romped to a 4-1 win in the cup game in August to reach the third round for the first time in seven years.

We took the lead with an early own goal by Ariel Borysiuk, John Egan quickly headed our second and Neal Maupay made it three before Darnell Furlong replied just on half-time. Josh Clarke secured our biggest-ever win at Loftus Road late on.

The league game, shown live on a Monday night in November for Sky, was one of the most painful moments of the season, with two points dropped in the last 90 seconds of injury-time.

Comfortably leading 2-0 going into the added-on period thanks to two second half goals by Lasse Vibe, the points looked to be ours. But after 92-and-a-half minutes, Matt Smith pulled one back and there was still time for Luke Freeman to grab a dramatic equaliser as it finished 2-2.

We gained some revenge in the home game – our penultimate Griffin Park match of the season – as we won 2-1.

Sergi Canos gave us an early lead but Ollie Watkins was denied a chance to double the lead when Matt Ingram saved his penalty, and then Idrissa Sylla equalised in first-half stoppage-time.

Florian Jozefzoon proved to be the Bees’ hero when he hit the winner midway through the second half to extend our unbeaten run to seven matches and move us to within one point of the play-off places.

QPR took the first honours in 2018/19, hitting back from a goal down to beat us 3-2 at Loftus Road in November.

Neal Maupay put us ahead in the 22nd minute, before being carried off injured just before half-time. Rangers turned the game round with three goals in 11 early second-half minutes through Massimo Luongo, Joel Lynch and Nakhi Wells. Henrik Dalsgaard pulled one back for us but it was not enough to rescue a point.

But we continued our excellent recent Griffin Park record against Rangers in the return as we wrapped up a 3-0 win.

Neal Maupay put us ahead with an early second-half penalty, before he set up Said Benrahma for the second. Sergi Canos put the shine on the result with the third deep into stoppage-time, to condemn QPR to their eighth defeat in nine games.

LAST SEASON

Brentford once again did the double over QPR last season with two televised 3-1 wins.

In the first meeting, on a Monday night in late October, Ollie Watkins headed in Bryan Mbeumo’s cross midway through the first half to give us the lead, but Grant Hall headed Rangers level immediately after half-time.

Said Benrahma restored our lead from the penalty spot, before Watkins made sure in the fourth minute of stoppage-time when he tapped in Mathias Jensen’s pass, after a swift counter-attack, for his 10th goal of the season.

In the return in January, which turned out to be the last-ever London derby with fans at Griffin Park, the match was effectively all over after 33 minutes as we raced into a 3-0 lead.

Said Benrahma swept us ahead in the 19th minute from Mathias Jensen’s right-wing free-kick in front of a sold-out Ealing Road terrace, and four minutes later Bryan Mbeumo doubled the lead after a defensive mix-up. Ollie Watkins dived to head the third – his 18th of the season – in the 31st minute, after Ethan Pinnock headed Mathias Jensen’s free-kick across goal.

Nakhi Wells pulled one back for the visitors just past the hour mark, but it was the Bees’ day as our seventh straight home win in all competitions, sixth in the Championship, took us up to third in the table – six points behind second-placed Leeds.

OPPOSITION VIEW

BBC London commentator and presenter Phil Parry assesses QPR’s campaign so far, looks at the impact of ex-Bees Mark Warburton and Yoann Barbet, and remembers – or actually doesn’t remember – a special pre-season friendly between the sides at Griffin Park.

Q – It’s been another mixed bag of results for QPR so far this season. How would you assess their campaign to date?

A – Like so many in the Championship, consistency has been difficult to achieve this season, especially when it comes to winning games. Injuries, bedding in new signings, the protracted transfer window and the large number of games in short timeframes can all play a part in mitigation. Four wins, four losses and five draws means that a spot right in the middle is probably right, but indicates that it would take much to climb towards the upper echelons.

There have certainly been some positive signs. At times the defence has looked tighter than last season, with goals coming from a number of sources. The recent form in particular will be giving fans some cheer, averaging two points a game over the last five matches with just one defeat in that time. Although it is on the road that the results have been tougher to come by, and I am sure it is something that Mark Warburton will be looking at.

Q – What is QPR’s aim this season – promotion push, mid-table safety or just avoiding the drop, and why?

A – I think that the aim this season will be to build on the solid finish comfortable in the middle of the pack last time around. The final placing last season, 10 points above the drop zone and 12 off the play-offs, offered an insight towards potential stability after a few years where quite often there has either been a sense of boom and bust or even panic. For the first time for a while a head coach has now had two pre-seasons, and that in itself offers a suggestion that the club want to build stronger foundations from which to develop.

I wonder if the realistic aim this year is to continue with the development of the culture that Warburton and director of football Les Ferdinand want to create, looking to improve on the returns of last year and, when entering the final third, to be in with a chance to make a push for those top six places. It is set to be an unusual season and anyone who can combine some consistency with stability, and maybe the odd slice of luck, could go quite a long way.

Q – What summer transfer business did they do both in and out?

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A – On the outgoings the two big stories were the sale of the talented Eberechi Eze to Crystal Palace and the eventual loss of the rated Ryan Manning to Swansea. Both players had made their mark at Loftus Road, but the sales did allow the club to reel in some decent sums.

As for the new faces, some experience mixed in with some good scouting has seen some interesting arrivals. Lyndon Dykes has certainly attracted attention with goals already for QPR, and of course Scotland, while Rob Dickie looks a decent buy from the division below. They have also bolstered their attacking options further with Macauley Bonne and it will be fascinating to see how he know adapts to the Championship having hopped from Orient to Charlton and now the second flight. There’s some real experience with Tom Carroll and Albert Adomah, while the firming up of Luke Amos looked really sensible business, only to be dealt a blow with his injury.

Q – Bright Osayi-Samuel has played a big part this season but was also left out of a game after transfer speculation. How important is he to the side?

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A – I have liked what Bright Osayi-Samuel can offer for quite a while and the fact that he is still with QPR is a bonus for the club, although the attention he has already attracted means that holding on to him is still no foregone conclusion. His first half performance against Rotherham shows what he is capable of and how important he can be to the team. It would not be a surprise that players are given some time away from the fray if there is speculation, and although Bright is an important player for QPR, they do have other attacking options.

Q – How has ex-Brentford boss Mark Warburton done in his time at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium?

A – I am sure there will be people who will disagree, but I think that Mark Warburton has done a job worthy of recognition. In his first pre-season his first task was to put a squad together which could go out and win games, secure stability and start moving. He did that really effectively and there was a stage before “lockdown” when a burst for the play-offs was talked of in W12.

Now last season, as with the whole of 2020, became very strange and the work required for this season has been altered from the norm. But I think that Warbs has now started to put a stamp on the club, his transfer business shows that will to go and find a player and build a squad which will both have value, but also be able to produce. I suppose like any manager it’s all about time and whether they get it.

Q – Ex-Bees favourite Yoann Barbet has been getting a reputation for scoring own goals and conceding penalties and may miss Friday’s game through injury. Aside from that, how he has done since crossing west London?

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A – Agreed there have been some incidents where Yoann has experienced misfortune with the penalties and the own goals, but that left foot of his is still there and he still has the capability of sending a raking crossfield diagonal or rasp a decent effort towards goal. He is a lovely chap and his character means that people don’t doubt his approach or his honesty as a pro, and we all know that Yoann has plenty of strength too and if he were to play I am sure he would want to display them.

Q – Which previous Brentford-QPR games at Griffin Park were the most memorable for you?

A – Well I suppose you don’t have to go too far back to recall one memorable match, which was of course back in January of this year and the last derby at Griffin Park. As ever the atmosphere was superb and the entertainment matched it. There first derbies I covered as a reporter were in the early noughties and often were tight affairs, but the tension and importance of the fixtures certainly crackled through the airwaves.

And from a personal perspective a pre-season friendly in July 2000 was effectively part of my “Stag” which of course included visits to the likes of the Griffin, The Royal Oak and The Bricklayers! Unfortunately I don’t recall the game that much.

Q – Finally, can you give me a likely Rangers line-up and formation please?

A –                          Dieng

Kakay    Dickie Ball/Masterson   Hamalainen

Cameron   Carroll

Osayi-Samuel   Chair      Willock

Dykes

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME

The match is being played behind closed doors at the Brentford Community Stadium at 7.45pm on Friday, but is being shown live on Sky Sports. Season ticket holders have free access to watch the match, but others can buy a match pass for £10.

Live audio commentary is available on iFollow with Mark Burridge, Mick Cabble and Karleigh Osborne with a match pass available to buy for £2.50, and there is also live commentary on BBC London Digital.

IAN WESTBROOK

@ianwestbrook