After a very busy end to the transfer window Mark Hughes` new-look QPR travel up to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa. Hughes has made some very good signings for a club of QPR`s stature and if anything it signals a huge statement of intent from the board. To have the likes of Bobby Zamora, Djibril Cisse and Taye Taiwo sign – baring in mind they are all international players is an amazing coup for the club. The influx of quality alongside the new manager gives the Super Hoops a much better chance of staying up than they did four weeks ago.
Aston Villa haven`t been the most convincing at home this season and appear to be quite negative which would reflect why they haven`t won at home in nearly 3 months. However, since the arrival of Robbie Keane and the re-emergence of Stephen Ireland, there appears to be a cutting edge going forward that was lacking in previous weeks which makes for a very competitive match tonight. On what is a bitterly cold evening, a point would be a fairly good result for the R`s, whether or not the home fans would agree with this remains to be seen.
Chelsea 1 (Mata pen)
Team: Kenny, Young, Ferdinand, Hall, Hill, Barton, Buzsaky (Hulse), Mackie, Wright-Phillips, Smith, Helguson (Macheda)
Arsenal 3 (Van Persie penx2, Walcott)
Aston Villa2 (Dunne, Bent)
Team: Give, Hutton, Warnock, Dunne, Clark, Cuellar, Ireland, Petrov (Bannan), Bent, Agbonlahor (Gardner), Keane
Aston Villa Team News:
Charles N`Zogbia returns to the side having recovered from a heel injury. James Collins and Marc Albrighton are unavailable due to recent injuries that kept them out of the FA Cup game against Arsenal.
Cuellar – Dunne – Clark – Warnock
Petrov – Bannan – N`Zogbia
Agbonlahor – Bent – Keane
Player to watch: Darren Bent
Vital QPR has singled out Villa striker Darren Bent as the One to Watch for this week’s encounter at Villa Park.
To read our profile of the player Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Mark Hughes could hand debuts to three of his new signings. Nedum Onuoha, Taye Taiwo and Djirbil Cisse are all available for selection. Akos Buzsaky and Danny Gabbidon are doubts with ankle and hip injuries respectively.
Possible line up:
Young – Onuoha – Ferdinand – Taiwo
Wright-Phillips – Barton – Buzsaky – Mackie
Helguson – Cisse
Player to watch: Djribil Cisse
Should he start, all eyes will be firmly fixed on the enigmatic Djibril Cisse. The former Liverpool striker will be eager to make an instant impact at QPR having had previous stints in the Premier League with Liverpool and Sunderland. Cisse brings pace and power to the attack for QPR, something that has been lacking for a long time. He adds an extra dimension to the attack and takes the pressure off the reliable Heider Helguson.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: DLWWL
Aston Villa: LWDWL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 22
Aston Villa: 17
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 25/09/11
QPR 1 (Dunne og)
Aston Villa 1 (Bannan pen)
Team: Kenny, Young, Hall, Ferdinand, Traore (sent off) Barton (c), Derry (Helguson), Faurlin, Wright-Phillips (Smith), Taarabt, Bothroyd (Campbell)
Referee: N Swarbrick
Assistants: R Ganfield & W Smallwood
Fourth Official: J Moss
The controversial Neil Swarbrick is the match official for tonight`s game. This season Swarbrick has issued 77 yellow cards and 4 red card in 21 games.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
I could see QPR really going for the win tonight. Mark Hughes has improved the team’s defensive shape ten fold and as a result we have managed to keep the opposition at bay rather well. Now that he’s added to the attack I could see us being more adventurous going forward. Villa have their obvious threats in attack and worryingly Darren Bent is only one goal away from a landmark one hundred in the league.
A very tight game but QPR to edge it, just. 1-0 away win.
Where: LOFTUS ROAD
When: 4/02/2012 – 15.00