Brentford make the short trip through the capital on Monday night to face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in the Championship.
The Bees are targeting a fifth win in eight games, which would move them into the top half and six points off the play-off places, and are beginning to get the results their early season performances merited.
QPR, meanwhile, are hoping to arrest a run of three straight defeats, with this period being Ian Holloway's toughest run of games since he rejoined the club just over 12 months ago for his second spell following a successful five years in charge from 2001 until 2006.
His backers point to the passion with which his team plays at Loftus Road, where they have won five in nine this term and defeated two of the top three, so a victory in this derby is vitally important and ‘Ollie’s men are 2/1 (3.0) with Betfair Sportsbook to deliver.
A Brentford win, which has occurred in three of the last four meetings between these sides, is 7/5 (4.2), however, we spy value in backing a draw at 27/10 (3.7), which implies a probability of 27% - in fact, 41.7% of games of either side have ended all square. While Brentford perhaps have more talent at their disposal, we expect the Rs to up their game in this kind of fixture.
The encounter will see a reunion of David Wheeler and Ollie Watkins, who were League Two play-off finalists with Exeter City last term; QPR’s Wheeler was deployed as a false nine at Derby last time out and is 11/4 (3.75) to score anytime, while Brentford’s top scorer Watkins is 21/10 (3.1) to bag his eighth of the campaign.
Watkins and Co. will hope to take advantage of QPR’s limited options at the back, with six defenders currently ruled out including long-term absentees Grant Hall and James Perch, and since Brentford have scored the first goal in seven of their last eight games, then the price of 5/6 (1.83) to do so again looks tempting.
The hosts, though, have only lost half the eight games in which they have been trailing at half-time and only one in three at home, which came against Fulham when they overturned a late two-goal deficit to nearly salvage a point.
Due to QPR’s battling spirit, our best bet the 4/1 (5.0) on Brentford to score first and fail to win, which has happened on seven occasions this term.