Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers supporters are eagerly anticipating the meeting between the two sides in the Championship this weekend, what with both heading into the clash off the back of contrasting recent results.
Graham Potter has done a fine job in steadying the ship at the Liberty Stadium following their relegation from the Premier League last season, winning their opening two games of the campaign, although they have since won just one of their succeeding seven to see them slip out of the division’s top six.
And while Steve McClaren’s QPR made a woeful start to the campaign in losing each of their opening four league matches, in which time they shipped 13 goals, they have since won three of their succeeding five games to move out of the bottom three, although a 1-0 defeat to Norwich City last weekend has set them back somewhat.
Nonetheless, both sides will be hoping to improve over the course of the season having been reasonably active during the summer transfer window, with the likes of Barrie McKay and Bersant Celina making the move to South Wales, while the likes of Tomar Hemed and Nahki Wells have joined the Hoops on loan until the end of the season.
And it’s the exploits of QPR’s Wells and Swansea’s Oliver McBurnie, the two talismen of their respective teams, which are of particular interest, so let’s take a look at how the two compare…
22-year-old McBurnie made the move to the Liberty Stadium back in 2015 after beginning his senior career at Bradford City, yet he has on the whole been shipped out on loan during his time in South Wales, earning just 18 senior appearances prior to this season.
Yet the striker, who spent last season at Championship side Barnsley and scored nine goals in just 17 appearances, has become a regular under new boss Potter this term, and he has repaid the manager’s faith in scoring four goals in just nine games for the Swans, all of which coming in games Swansea didn’t lose.
And while he hasn’t been able to net in their last three league games, McBurnie’s early exploits at Championship level, having managed 13 goals in just 26 appearances in the second tier, suggest that Swansea have unearthed a gem that could go on to be a star for the South Wales club.
TT Verdict: A
QPR were seen to have pulled off quite the coup in luring Wells to Loftus Road during the summer, what with the 28-year-old possessing a goal-scoring record in the Championship that would be the envy of many second tier strikers.
The Bermuda international, on loan from Premier League side Burnley, has netted 45 goals in 145 appearances in the second tier during his career, managing at least seven goals in all four of his full seasons in the Championship.
And in reaching double figures in his last three at Huddersfield Town, Wells is one man any Championship team would want in their side, not to mention the fact that he has experience of getting the job done having won promotion with the Terriers little over a year ago.
He has yet to get off the mark for his new club in five appearances, although it will surely be just a matter of time before the 28-year-old starts banging in the goals for McClaren’s side.
TT Verdict: A-
Clearly, both McBurnie and Wells are going to be key players for their respective sides this season, with the former starting his Championship career brilliantly in recent times, while the latter has always delivered the goods at second tier level throughout his career.
Wells’ record speaks for itself, which is why many felt that McClaren’s QPR pulled off a masterstroke in luring him to the capital this summer, yet it looks as though Swansea’s McBurnie, six years younger than Wells, is well on course to eclipse the 28-year-old’s excellent achievements at this level.
And at the tender age of 22, McBurnie has an extremely bright future ahead of him, which can only be good news for Potter’s Swansea as they seek to return to the top-flight in the near future.
Swansea and QPR fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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