Fulham boss Marco Silva says he expects QPR to come flying out of the blocks against his side on Saturday.
Fulham make the short journey to W12 sitting top of the Championship table and needing just 12 points from their final nine games to secure promotion back to the Premier League following relegation under Scott Parker last year.
The Whites have not played for over two weeks due to the international window and Nottingham Forest’s FA Cup commitments, but before the break their form had been patchy, with a defeat at West Brom coming hot on the heels of a 1-1 draw with lowly Barnsley thanks to a 84th-minute equaliser from Harry Wilson.
The former Everton and Watford boss believes the break came at the perfect time for his players but unlike many of the sides Fulham have faced this season, he expects Rangers, who desperately need a win to get their faltering promotion quest back on track, to go all out for victory.
Fulham ran out 4-1 winners when the teams last met at Craven Cottage in October, with three goals in the final 17 minutes cancelling out Lyndon Dykes’ equaliser following Aleksandar Mitrovic’s early strike.
And Silva believes Fulham will have to be wary of a Rangers side who are out to prove a point.
“The way they play I am expecting another open game like it was at the Cottage earlier in the season,” he said.
“One of the strong parts of their team is their attack, their midfield has quality and are good footballers and in attack they have the same.
“They have the talent and the ability to cause problem for any side and I expect an open game.
“But this season, there have also been games where I expect an open game and the other team has changed the way they play against us, but I don’t expect QPR to do that.
“They have an idea of how they want to play and they want to stick with that and always try to match or better the opposition side.”
Silva admits it’s not ideal heading into the match, which has sold out, without a win in two games but said lessons had been learned from the West Brom and Barnsley performances.
“The last two games teams did similar things, trying to block our build-up, and not so much in the Barnsley game, but in the West Brom one it was our own fault,” he said.
“We didn’t build with the quality we should and although you have to admit West Brom showed their quality, after I analysed the game I realised we didn’t do what we should have and if we had we would have not lost the game.
“If QPR do similar things to what the other teams have done or something different we have to be ready and it is up to us to go out, enjoy the game and play with enough courage and confidence to make a difference.”