Here’s why today’s QPR v Stoke City match kicks off at 5.30pm


Stoke City go in search of their first win in three games when they travel to QPR in today’s early Championship fixture.

The Potters’ match at Loftus Road kicks off at 5.30pm due to being selected for Sky Sports TV coverage..

As London has been placed in Tier 2 of the post-lockdown Covid-19 restrictions, the game will be attended by up to 2,000 home supporters.

Stoke’s festive home clash against Nottingham Forest has also been picked by Sky, with the game on Tuesday, December 29 getting underway at 8pm.

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QPR boss Mark Warburton is preparing a “frustrated” group of players for tonight’s visit of Stoke.

The QPR boss saw his team concede an 89th minute goal to lose to Reading at the weekend and, speaking to the official club website, he admitted: “It still feels raw.

“I think Reading would have been happy with a draw. Did we do enough to win the game convincingly? No, we didn’t but we certainly did enough to not lose the game.

“The fine margins are there but at the end of the day you have got to put the ball in the back of the net, it’s as simple as that.”

The R’s find themselves on a run of one point from five games, yet have produced some excellent football during that time, notably in the first halves against Brentford and Bristol City – fixtures they went on to lose.

“It’s very frustrating and very disappointing,” Warburton admitted.

“The boys are more than frustrated by what happened at the weekend, and they’re a really good group.

“With the young guys and the mentoring role of the older boys in the team, they’re a really good unit and I want to see them get the rewards that I know their quality can merit.

“I feel for the players and I feel for the fans, but we have to regroup very quickly. There is no time to feel sorry for yourself. We have to get ready for Stoke now.”

The Potters have certainly been difficult to beat on the road this season, losing just twice, a record which is only bettered by Bournemouth and Birmingham.

Those defeats for Michael O’Neill’s men came at the hands of third-placed Swansea and fourth-placed Watford.

“We know what we will face – they are very experienced and we have to impose ourselves on the game, we have to use the ball wisely, and we will need to be solid and compact,” Warburton said of a Stoke side sitting two points outside the playoffs.





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