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Close contest sees Derby edge QPR in play-off final Mix ‘n’ Match

| 24.05.2014

It’s the most financially rewarding game in club football and the latest edition of the Championship play-off final pits Derby against QPR as they prepare to do battle for the right to ply their trade in the Premier League next season.

In similar fashion to the way Ladbrokes have priced up the chances of these two top-flight wannabe’s, the scales of our combined XI are tipped ever so slightly in the favour of the Rams.

The bookies quote Steve McClaren’s side as the slender 7/5 favourites to prevent Harry Redknapp’s R’s from making an immediate return to the big time with a 90-minute win, with the Londoners at odds of 19/10.

Below we’ve seen fit to pick six of Derby’s number over five from QPR’s star-studded ranks.


Between the sticks former England stopper Rob Green is preferred to Lee Grant having racked up 18 clean sheets as opposed to the Derby man’s 13, while his saves-per-goal ratio is higher than that of his opposite number too.

However, across the back four it’s virtually a Derby clean sweep. Andre Wisdom, Richard Keogh and Jake Buxton all have the stats and the performances behind them to merit their places, though there is room for veteran Rangers man Clint Hill on the left.

Meanwhile, the centre of the park is a straight split between QPR’s social media supremo Joey Barton, who is still a classy passer, if not tweeter, and Derby’s much-vaunted teenage talent Will Hughes – destined for big things no doubt.

Out wide on the left West Ham import Ravel Morrison earns a spot for having such a positive impact during his three-month, six-goal cameo since arriving at Loftus Road in late February.

A hat-trick versus Millwall promised much from Craig Bryson back in September and alongside Hughes the Scot made the Championship team of the season, so he’s a shoo-in for ours as well.

With 37 league goals between them, Chris Martin (20) and Charlie Austin (17), who may well have eclipsed his opposite number had he stayed fit, round off our XI in style.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.