AFC Bournemouth will be hoping to maintain their impressive start in the Championship when they host QPR at Vitality Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Jason Tindall’s team are unbeaten in their first four games having beaten Blackburn Rovers, Norwich City and Coventry City and drawn with Middlesbrough.
QPR arrive in Dorset in ninth place having taken five points from an opening-day win against Nottingham Forest and 1-1 draws with Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday. They also went down 3-2 at Coventry.
Australia-born forward Lyndon Dykes, whose parents are from Dumfries, has already scored six goals this season – two for Scotland in the Nations League, two for former club Livingston in the Scottish Premier League and two penalties for QPR.
QPR IN PROFILE
Manager: Mark Warburton (appointed May 2019)
Club captain: Geoff Cameron
Last game: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 QPR (Championship)
Leading goalscorer 2020/21: Lyndon Dykes (six, including two for QPR)
Last season’s finishing position: 13th in Championship
afcb.co.uk: Briefly summarise QPR’s first four games in the Championship?
TI: A good opening-day 2-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest where we grew stronger as the game wore on.
Then, the R’s were unlucky to go down 3-2 at Coventry City before a pair of 1-1 draws at home to Middlesbrough and away to Sheffield Wednesday.
So it has been a good, solid start and we are a couple of points off the play-off zone. This comes after selling star man Eberechi Eze to Crystal Palace for a fee that could well rise to £19.5 million.
afcb.co.uk: How would you assess Mark Warburton’s (pictured above) tenure so far?
TI: It is very promising. Mark has had to cut the wage bill dramatically to tie in with the club’s Financial Fair Play position.
But he has succeeded in nurturing young, hungry players which has always traditionally been the QPR way.
The style of football is good too. Mark was a regular at Loftus Road in 1975/76 when our greatest-ever team missed out on the league title by a point while playing a flamboyant passing game. So he knows what our long-standing fans expect out on the pitch.
afcb.co.uk: Having covered the Championship for a few years, is it stronger, weaker or similar this season?
TI: That’s very difficult to say. Several clubs have had to cut back dramatically due to Financial Fair Play restrictions – QPR included.
If we don’t get spectators into our stadiums soon, there will be even more cutbacks.
But the Championship remains a vibrant competition where anyone can beat anyone else on their day. The carrot of Premier League football is always the ultimate incentive.
afcb.co.uk: Give us a line on Lyndon Dykes (pictured above), he seems like an interesting character?
TI: He signed from Livingston during the transfer window and had made an excellent impact at QPR.
Lyndon is a dominant centre-forward with top-notch aerial ability and good feet as well.
He likes to smash home penalties with a ferocious style reminiscent of Ray Stewart at West Ham in the 1980s.
Lyndon is also starting to become a regular for Scotland and has weighed in with a couple of important international goals recently.
afcb.co.uk: Give us your take on the signings of Albert Adomah and Chris Willock?
TI: ‘Uncle’ Albert is a lifelong QPR supporter who grew up playing on the Astroturf community pitch next door to Loftus Road.
So it is a dream come true for him to play for the R’s and that passion will shine through in his performances.
Chris Willock will add versatility to several of our attacking positions. He is a player with a good upbringing in the Arsenal academy.
At 22, he will look to improve and develop his football career at Rangers.
afcb.co.uk: Who is QPR’s dangerman?
TI: Bright Osayi-Samuel (pictured above).
He has electric eel-style trickery on the flank and blistering pace. Once he gets on his bike, he is very difficult to stop.
Bright creates a host of chances for others and also has an eye for goal himself.
afcb.co.uk: What’s your score prediction?
TI: An exciting 2-2 draw.
You can follow Tony on Twitter – @TonyIncenzo
Officials: John Brooks (referee), Nick Greenhalgh (assistant), Akil Howson (assistant, Andy Davies (fourth official).