It was a frantic finish against Blackpool last week but Everton held on to progress in the FA Cup and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 7 games. A run which includes wins over Chelsea and Man City no less.
Okay the Chelsea win isnâ€™t the big deal it would have been pre-AVB but beating the probable champions shows how well Everton are performing at the moment. Europe is now on the horizon. Itâ€™s still just a small dot but itâ€™s definitely there.
QPR have failed to ignite the Premier League the way many expected, in large part due to the money which was expected to be pumped in to the team. It hasnâ€™t been and now manager Mark Hughes is talking of not needing to reach 40 points to survive. Pragmatism is an admirable quality but itâ€™s not very encouraging for the fans. Hughesâ€™ rhetoric tells the tale of a club which will spend the remainder nervously checking the distance between themselves and the relegation line, whichever side of it they happen to be on.
Only goal difference is keeping them out of the bottom three and having lost their last three games and won only once in their last 14 league games, Hughes may be satisfied to take a point from this game. The draw is 11/5 and 1-1 is 5/1.
Everton have a solid away record and considering QPRâ€™s current form David Moyes will be looking for the win. The Blues are 7/5 favourites to take all three points so the odds-crunchers favour them too.
Although Everton arenâ€™t exactly prolific at the moment they have scored in each of their last seven games and on-loan Argentine Denis Stracqualursi (24) is proving a menace to opposing defences recently. He has scored 3 in Evertonâ€™s last 5 games and is well priced at 13/2 to open the scoring against QPR. Nikica Jelavic has been hampered by injuries since joining from Rangers but having come through 45 minutes for Croatia against Sweden he could be set to play a part. If he doesnâ€™t start he may be worth a bet to score last at 11/2.
QPR inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Everton in the opening game of the season. A lot has changed in the interim including fortunes, players and even a manager. A 1-0 Everton win at 6/1 will underline just how much things have changed since late August.