With the ultimate prize of Premier League football at stake, Saturday May 24th afternoon's playoff final between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers is estimated to be worth in excess of a hundred million pounds. Tune in to Sky Sports at 15:00 and here are some free football betting tips for you.
After a poor start to the season, Derby County found themselves at the wrong end of the table with only eleven points from their first ten games. A managerial change saw the appointment of the much maligned, ex England boss Steve McLaren and it's fair to say this change certainly paid off for The Rams. Whilst McLaren may have bitten off more than he could chew when it came to managing the national team, his pedigree shone through in the Championship as he transformed the fortunes of the Midlands side losing just once in his first 14 games in charge.
Derby County went on to finish third in the division and were the league's top scorers, more importantly though, they have finished the season in excellent form. After taking 16 points from a possible 18 to end the campaign, Derby comprehensively disposed of Brighton in the playoff semi-finals putting six goals past the second best defence in the Championship, with top scorer Chris Martin adding another two goals to take his tally to 25 for the term.
Harry Redknapp's QPR make up the other half of the playoff final this weekend having seen off Wigan Athletic in the semi-final. After a dull affair at the DW, it took an extra-time Charlie Austin goal at Loftus Road to book The Hoops a place in the final. After an exceptional start to the season, QPR sat top of the table thanks to an eleven game unbeaten run. However, Harry's fortunes took a turn for the worst at Christmas and QPR went on an alarming slump, dropping points to several of their main rivals. Whilst their defence was excellent for most of the season, without the efforts of top scorer Charlie Austin, Rangers wouldn't have made the playoffs. Austin currently leads the way for his team with 20 goals this term, the next highest scorer is Ravel Morrisson with a mere 6 strikes. It doesn't take a genius to see this is where QPR's problems lie.
Derby County head into the weekend as deserved favourites at a decent price of 16/11. Considering the stark difference in form between the two sides, this already looks a good bet. QPR can be backed at 27/11, which certainly reflects their unpredictability, with the draw on offer at 9/4. The key to this weekend's clash will be QPR's defence, having only conceded two goals in their first eleven games it is clear they are capable of shutting out teams for long periods. However, up against the highest scorers in the division I still expect Derby to eventually prevail. Although I wouldn't be surprised if this went to extra-time, Derby to lift the trophy at 3/4 isn't going to set the pulse racing. Therefore back a draw at half-time and Derby to be winning at full-time which is available at a best priced 5/1 with Coral and a goal in the last fifteen minutes at 6/5 with William Hill. Overall this season 50% of QPR's matches have been tied at half-time, they also concede most of their goals in the last fifteen minutes and Derby score the most of their's in the last fifteen. Based on these statistics, 5/1 is an absolute bargain and 6/5 some decent insurance.
Heading into the goalscoring markets, obviously Chris Martin and Charlie Austin will make all the headlines but are both only available at even money to score anytime. However, an anytime double on both players is available at 3/1 with William Hill. Back this along with Chris Martin to score in a Derby win available with the same bookmaker at 7/2. The Rams' forward has spot-kick duties as well as five goals in his last six games, thus highlighting his appeal for this weekend's clash.
Derby v QPR Betting Tips and Predictions
Draw Half-Time/Derby Full-Time – Bet Here at 5/1 with Coral
A goal in the last 15 minutes – Bet Here at 6/5 with William Hill
Charlie Austin and Chris Martin Both To Score – Bet Here at 3/1 with William Hill
Chris Martin to Score and Derby to Win – Bet Here at 7/2 with William Hill
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