Millwall return to The Den this Saturday (kick-off 3pm) after a three-week absence from home soil, taking on Queens Park Rangers in an all-London contest. The Lions will look to respond from a frustrating recent record, as Mark Warburton’s men come south.
Neil Harris’ side sit 15th in the Sky Bet Championship after seven games, having won two – both at The Den – alongside three draws and two defeats, the most recent of which coming in our last outing at Blackburn Rovers. QPR have raced up the table in recent weeks to seventh having won their last three Championship games, boasting the services of the League’s joint-top scorer Jordan Hugill as part of a potent attack. The West Londoners’ last outing saw them hold onto a 3-2 lead at home to Luton Town having roared into a three-goal lead inside 28 minutes.
QPR have battled in The Championship since their relegation from the Premier League in 2015. The club have only managed one top-half finish in four seasons since their drop, though possess a lot of promise amongst their current squad with a healthy blend of youth and experience. Former Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Rangers manager Warburton took charge of first-team matters in the summer, as they look to steer themselves up the table from last term’s 19th-place finish. The Hoops’ record League finish was second in the old First Division in 1975, with the club’s last European appearance coming a decade later and their sole League Cup arriving in 1967.
QPR won the Championship title in 2011, under Neil Warnock. QPR recruited heavily in the summer in an effort to rebuild for a positive campaign, bringing in the likes of Hugill, Yoann Barbet and Todd Kane. Nahki Wells also returned to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, although a number of players moved onto pastures new including Millwall’s own Matt Smith. Luke Freeman was snapped up in the Premier League, whilst Massimo Luongo, Jake Bidwell and Jordan Cousins were also among 26 players on the books to depart.
QPR chief Warburton signed a two-year managerial contract at the club ahead of this season, taking over from John Eustace’s caretaker spell after Steve McClaren’s departure. Warburton featured in non-League during his playing career as a defender, and worked for a long period as a London trader. After his first significant coaching involvement with the Watford academy, he joined Brentford and eventually became first-team manager in 2013. The 57-year-old won promotion to The Championship in 2014, later joining Rangers and securing the club’s return to the Scottish top flight. After a spell at Nottingham Forest in 2017, Warburton is now back in the managerial game in West London.
This weekend’s clash will be the 75th meeting between the two teams, with Millwall boasting a superior historic record (31 wins to QPR’s 20, 23 draws). However, eight of the 12 fixtures between the clubs since the turn of the millennium have resulted in draws, including a goalless stalemate the last time the sides met at The Den back in April. The Lions secured a 1-0 win over The Hoops in SE16 in the 2017/18 season, Steve Morison heading the decisive goal.