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2-5
24 February 2018 Venue Loftus Road Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: QPR (A)

23 February 2018

Nottingham Forest will be looking to build on Tuesday's point against Reading when they visit Queens Park Rangers in the Sky Bet Championship tomorrow.

The Reds picked up their second successive draw following the stalemate with Burton last weekend, and they will be keen to take their defensive resolve and Tuesday's second-half display in particular to the capital.

There appears to be plenty of progression on the pitch for Forest as they build following several new additions in the January transfer window, and they will be hoping for all three points to complete the league double over Rangers.

Ian Holloway's side have been up and down all season as they sit in 15th spot heading into this weekend's fixtures, but the R's boss will take some positive from their home form where they have won three of the last four.

QPR will be looking to avoid defeat on Saturday, with a Forest win seeing them overtake their opponents in the league table.

See below for the pre-match views from the Forest camp.

Team news

Question marks still surround several Forest players as they try and recover from injury and illness.

Michael Mancienne, Daryl Murphy and Apostolos Vellios have all missed the last two games through illness, and manager Aitor Karanka will leave it late before making a call on the trio.

Joe Worrall has also been absent through injury but could be in contention. Eric Lichaj is definitely missing though as he serves the second of his three-game ban, as is Ashkan Dejagah who is sidelined through injury.

From the opposition

QPR boss Ian Holloway admits he wants revenge against The Reds after the thumping 4-0 defeat at The City Ground back in November.

Forest ran out comfortable winners that day but Holloway is expecting a different test this tim around. Speaking to their official website, he said:  "They beat us heavily at their place and that result still hurts me deeply, it really does.

"Revenge is in my mind, of course, it is – but learning from what we got wrong at The City Ground is also in the forefront of my thoughts.

"We started well up there, but then got a lot wrong.

"But they've got a new manager now and they're playing in a slightly different way so we will need to do our homework and be ready.

"I expect them to sit off us, let us take the game to them and then look to hit us on the counter-attack.

"It'll be a very different test to ones we've faced recently at Loftus Road."

One to watch - Matt Smith

Towering forward Matt Smith has topped the scoring charts for QPR this season with seven goals and is likely to be a key figure again this weekend.

The 28-year-old is dominant in the air and Forest will need to ensure he is kept under wraps to avoid giving away too many opportunities in West London. 

Last time out

Tickets

Tickets are available on the day from Loftus Road, with cash only at the lower tier of the School End. 

The Reds are set to be backed in good numbers yet again on the road and full details can be found here.

Coverage

International subscribers to iFollow Forest will be able to watch the whole match live, while audio commentary provided by BBC Radio Nottingham will also be available.

There will also be full coverage via the club's official social media channels and in the Match Centre.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated:

Hull v Sheffield United (Friday, 7.45pm)
Birmingham v Barnsley
Burton v Millwall
Leeds v Brentford
Norwich v Bolton
Preston v Ipswich
Reading v Derby
Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa
Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Fulham v Wolves (5.30pm)
Cardiff v Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm)

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Match Reports

QPR 2-5 Forest

24 February 2018

Nottingham Forest produced a five-star performance to run out emphatic winners against Queens Park Rangers this afternoon.

Brilliant from the first to last kick, The Reds showed a defensive resolve and clinical attacking edge as they put QPR to the sword for the second time this season to win 5-2 in West London.

Lee Tomlin's brace had put The Reds in control before Joe Lolley and Matty Cash scored their first goals in the Garibaldi.

Ben Brereton's superb injury-time finish added a gloss to the scoreline and ensure the fantastic travelling support at Loftus Road left with smiles on their faces.

The Reds made a single change from the side that drew with Reading at The City Ground in midweek, with Cash replacing Kieran Dowell in midfield.

The opening stages of the match saw both sides create chances in what was quite an open affair. After good work by Lolley driving forward, Brereton teed up Tomlin on 11 minutes, with the forward arriving unmarked into the host's penalty area but dragging his effort wide.

QPR responded minutes later, going even closer as Matt Smith saw his header rebound off the crossbar after a corner. The ball bounced down on the line and the goalline technology system ruled the ball had not crossed the line.

Forest continued to cause problems in the QPR defence, with Brereton racing through on goal on 18 but being denied by a smart stop by Alex Smithies. The keeper came out on top again when he saved from the 18-year-old minutes later, Tomlin again the provider for Brereton who saw his left-footed effort saved by the legs of Smithies from an angle.

But Forest eventually found a way past the host's number one after Tomlin side-footed home from close range on 37 minutes.

Lolley raced clear on the left after a quick free-kick and cut inside the penalty area before squaring the ball to the forward who slotted home for his second goal in as many games.

It was a well-deserved goal for The Reds who had dominated for large periods of the first half and they came out firing on all cylinders at the start of the second half, doubling their lead within two minutes of the restart.

Tomlin grabbed his second when he found space on the edge of the QPR penalty box and curled a majestic right-footed shot into the top corner giving Smithies no chance.

And it was to get worse for the hosts when three minutes later Forest grabbed a third. Tomlin this time turned provider as he flicked the ball into the path of Lolley who charged into the area and managed to keep his effort down and past the QPR stopper.

Forest looked threatening in every attack however it was the hosts who were next on the scoresheet on 68 minutes. A corner from the left was poked goal wards by Smith and then turned over the line by the outstretched leg of Massimo Luongo.

The joy and any chance of a fight back from the home side were short lived however, when Forest added a fourth through Cash on 76 minutes.

The midfielder raced onto a loose ball after Smithies had parried substitute Kieran Dowell's, and calmly side footed the ball into the net from a tight angle to finally get his first goal for The Reds.

But the scoring didn't end there as two minutes later and QPR had restored the two-goal deficit. Luke Freeman's cross was headed home by Smith to give Rangers a glimmer of hope going into the closing stages, but all hope was extinguished in injury time with Brereton's moment of brilliance.

The striker's performance deserved a goal and it arrived as he flicked the ball over one defender, charged at goal and effortlessly curled a left-footed shot into the far corner of the net.

A great afternoon for Forest and a big three points on the road for Aitor Karanka's men. That loving feeling is back.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox, Osborn, Colback (Guedioura 90'), Watson (c), Cash, Tomlin (Dowell 69'), Lolley (Worrall 85'), Brereton

Unused subs: Kapino, Mancienne, Bridcutt, Vellios

Goals: Tomlin 37', 47', Lolley 51', Cash 76', Brereton 90'

Bookings: Tomlin 35', Pantilimon 72'

QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Robinson, Lynch (Eze 53'), Wszolek, Luongo, Scowen, Bidwell (Washington 70'), Freeman, Smyth, Smith

Unused subs: Ingram, Furlong, Manning, Perch, Osayi-Samuel

Goals: Luongo 68', Smith 78'

Booking: Scowen 84'

Referee: Darren Bond

Attendance: 13,675 (1,709 away)

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