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Championship preview: QPR, Watford and Brentford in action tonight


QPR boss Mark Warburton has warned the quality of football in the EFL could suffer this season due to the relentless fixture schedule.

The Championship, League One and League Two are already renowned for having some of the most congested calendars in football and the Covid-19 pandemic has only made them more packed.

Teams are now essentially playing every three days and after the upcoming international break, QPR face a run of nine games in 28 days.


They are in action on Tuesday night as they travel to Barnsley and, while Warburton is not complaining about the schedule, he has warned it could led to a drop in the quality of football.

Tonight’s Championship fixtures Kick-off
Barnsley vs QPR 7pm
Blackburn vs Reading 7:45pm
Brentford vs Norwich 7:45pm
Middlesbrough vs Coventry 7:45pm
Swansea vs Stoke 7:45pm
Wycombe vs Watford 7:45pm

“I think you are seeing a relentless grind of games and I understand why it’s being done,” said the QPR boss.

“I understand society has far bigger issues than sport right now. So it is being done to get the games through and keep the league as normal as possible, but what you are seeing is players having to get through games, tired legs getting through games, and everyone is in the same boat.

“The key factor I have mentioned many times is the randomness. You hope very much that the injuries, fatigues, red cards, yellow cards and these type of things, doesn’t impact you too badly.

“But right now, we are going to see a dip in quality because it is a case of getting these games done. There is one every three days, then we have an international break, then it is nine games in 28 – so again, one every three days.

“That’s what is it and every team is the same. It is a not a complaint, it is a recognition of the challenge, and as I say every team right now is grinding through, but the quality will invariably dip.”

Watford are also in action on Tuesday night as they travel to Wycombe Wanderers, and they’re boosted by the return of striker Andre Gray and midfielder Will Hughes.

Fray in action (Getty Images)

Gray has been sidelined with a hamstring problem since the pre-season friendly win over Tottenham, while Hughes has not kicked a ball since the final day defeat to Arsenal following a medical procedure over the summer.

“Gray and Hughes are ready to be with the squad,” said boss Vladimir Ivic. “Now the question is will we use them today or in the next one. Both of them are important players for us, quality experienced players who can give something extra to our game in attack.

“We need to be smart and use them in the correct way. We will not take some kind of risk as both of them stayed out for a long period. I expect them to be 100 per cent ready after the international break. It is good that Andre and Will are close to coming back and helping us.”

Brentford are the final London team in action on Tuesday in the Championship as they welcome Norwich City.

They will hope to bounce back from a loss to Stoke City at the weekend, where Marcus Forss scored twice in a 3-2 defeat.

Forss linked up well with fellow striker Ivan Toney and hopes they could work as a pair going forward.

Toney has impressed (Getty Images)

“Of course it is good when you have two up top,” he said

“It gives you more options to play and the link up is easier when you have someone like Ivan up top with you. Obviously it is a good combo.”


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