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Championship Play-Off Final betting preview: Derby favourites against QPR

23/5/2014
Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers face the final hurdle in their quest for an immediate return to the Premier League this weekend as they take on Derby County in Saturday’s Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The influential Craig Bryson should return in midfield for the Rams having missed the second leg of their play-off semi-final against Brighton with a back problem.

Forward Chris Martin, scorer of 20 Championship goals this season, also looks set to start for Steve McLaren’s side.

QPR will be without long-term absentees Jermaine Jenas and Matt Phillips, but should keep faith with the same starting eleven that dispatched Wigan Athletic in their semi-final after Dynamo Kyiv loanee Niko Kranjcar recovered from a hamstring complaint.

Derby are 13/10 favourites with bookmaker Bet365 to win the match, while a QPR victory is priced at 11/5.

Indeed, despite QPR’s expensively assembled squad of Premier League calibre players, it would be bold to bet against a side that contains the talents of young midfielder Will Hughes and former Dundee United striker Johnny Russell.

If Hughes is able to link up effectively with the pacey Scottish frontman it could spell disaster for Redknapp’s men.

Midfielder John Eustace scored in both of Derby’s previous games against QPR this season. Generous odds of 9.00 to net at anytime from online bookmaker Winner make him worth considering to repeat the feat once more this weekend.

However, QPR target man Charlie Austin will surely be determined to keep pace with his now promoted former club-mates at Burnley, and at a price of 9.50 with Bwin to score two or more goals looks a solid bet to trouble Derby’s defence.

Tom Lewis
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