Preston v QPR preview
Last Updated: 03/08/18 11:42am
Preston will be without Sean Maguire and Billy Bodin for their home game against QPR.
The Lilywhites suffered a double injury setback this week with confirmation that striker Maguire will be sidelined for two months due to a hamstring injury and winger Bodin will be out for six after damaging knee ligaments.
Louis Moult is expected to start in Maguire’s absence, while Callum Robinson and Tom Barkhuizen provide boss Alex Neil with further options up front. Summer signings Ryan Ledson, Michael Crowe, Jordan Storey, Graham Burke and Andrew Hughes are all in contention.
Former England boss Steve McClaren will take charge of his first competitive game for QPR. McClaren has made just one summer signing, central defender Toni Leistner from Hertha Berlin, and the German is expected to make his debut.
Despite the lack of new arrivals at Loftus Road, the Hoops will have a different look as the likes of Nedum Onuoha, Jamie Mackie, James Perch, Jack Robinson and Alex Smithies have all left the club. Matt Ingram is set to start in goal, while midfielder Sean Goss is hoping to feature after being restricted by injury in pre-season.
Preston have won all four of their Championship matches against QPR in each of the last two seasons.
Queens Park Rangers are winless in 12 league visits to Deepdale (D6 L6) since a 3-0 victory in February 1980 under manager Tommy Docherty.
Preston's win on last season's opening day ended a run of eight consecutive matches without a win on opening day - they last won on opening day in back to back seasons in 2004-05 and 2005-06, beating Watford both times.
QPR have won each of their last two opening day Championship matches, beating Leeds in 2016-17 and Reading in 2017-18; however, they haven't won away from home on opening day since August 1987, a 3-0 win at West Ham in the top-flight (D6 L6 since).
Preston gained 19 points from losing positions in the Championship last season, more than any other side - QPR themselves gained 18 points, the joint-second best record along with Middlesbrough.
QPR boss Steve McClaren has won just once in eight matches on the opening day of an English league season, a 1-0 victory as Derby manager in 2014-15 against Rotherham (D5 L2).
Preston are another side who just fell short of the top six last season and will be hoping for more after another summer of preparation under Alex Neil. They've also made some shrewd acquisitions in the transfer market.
Steve McClaren has taken charge at QPR and it will be interesting to see what he can squeeze out of the squad there, especially with some of the young players that were starting to come through under Ian Holloway. Home win for me.
David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)