Talking Tactics | Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City

19th September 2023
First team
Nathan Wood

The Championship fixtures come thick and fast as Swansea travel to take on Queens Park Rangers in west London.

 Ahead of the action, preview the fixture, taking a look at what to expect from Gareth Ainsworth’s side, the key battle and a key stat.

What to expect from QPR

Gareth Ainsworth took over at QPR back in February and guided his side to another season in the Championship, picking up enough points in the 2022-23 campaign to avoid the drop.

The west London side brought in a few reinforcements in the summer with the likes of Steve Cook and Jack Colback - both from Nottingham Forest -  and Asmir Begovic bringing an abundance of experience to the side.

There were also a handful of notable departures too, with goalkeeper Seny Dieng making the move to Middlesbrough and Rob Dickie heading to Bristol City, amongst others.

This season, the R’s have won two of their opening six Championship outings, with both of the victories coming on the road against Cardiff, on the opening weekend, and Middlesbrough.

QPR have lost both of their home Championship fixtures so far this season. Despite starting well against Sunderland, they were reduced to 10 men in the first half and ended up losing 3-1.

Colback will be suspended tonight after his dismissal against Sunderland at the weekend and Ainsworth may need to drop Andre Dozzell into a deeper midfield role to cover for his absence. This could allow for Chris Willock to return to the starting XI.

Only Ilias Chair has more goal involvements (29 - 14 goals and 15 assists) than Chris Willock (26 – 13 goals and 13 assists) for the club since the start of the 2021-22 season, so his return will be welcomed by the hosts.

Key Battle

Carl Rushworth and Nathan Wood Cardiff

The match forecast suggests it is likely Swansea will have the greater share of possession, and that does not come as a shock. The Swans are averaging 54.6% of the ball in their opening six fixtures in the league this season, whilst QPR are rock bottom with an average of 32.3%.

As such, you can expect Swansea’s centre-backs to see a lot of the ball, with Nathan Wood likely looking to turn defence into attack from the back. He currently boasts a pass accuracy of 90.7%, the highest of any player from either of the two sides here, which has led to deeming ‘passing’ to be one of the 21-year-old’s statistically calculated strengths.

There will also be a big defensive effort required from the youngster too with QPR frequently adopting a three-pronged attack, which will likely include Ilias Chair; who is the Championship’s joint third top dribbler with 12 successful dribbles this season, tied with Swansea’s Joshua Key. 

Key Stat

So far this season at home, QPR have conceded more shots per game than any other team in the Championship with an average of 19.5. The Swans rank 20th for shots conceded per game (11.7) on the road.

However, QPR stopper Asmir Begovic has saved more attempts than any other keeper in the league (28). Both sides have conceded on 11 occasions in the Championship this season.