Mark Hughes takes his charges to former club Blackburn Rovers this weekend for a monumental relegation 6-pointer. Both clubs are in precarious positions in the league and need to start picking up points and fast (stating the obvious a bit there). Whoever wins tomorrow will certainly sleep easier for the next couple of weeks as cup ties and international fixtures take centre stage. The R`s gaffer will have a game-plan for Blackburn – a team I suspect that only have one way of playing and when it backfires don`t have a backup style to counteract any oppositional dominance.
I think the newly-organised QPR will press Blackburn all over the pitch, even in the areas where Adel Taarabt may roam which could force an under confident Rovers side into submission in vital areas. Hughes welcomes back Akos Buzsaky, Danny Gabbidon and Jay Bothroyd but in return loses Luke Young, Heider Helguson and Djibril Cisse… swings and roundabouts indeed. Blackburn manager Steve Kean has been under scrutiny all season from the fans and a loss this weekend could damage his reputation further. On paper, Blackburn have several talented players in attack and midfield but lack a bit of nous in defence – similar to QPR in fact, which could make for an entertaining game.
QPR 1 (Zamora)
Wolves 2 (Jarvis, Doyle)
Team: Kenny, Young (Hall), Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Derry (Traore), Taarabt, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Cisse (sent off), Zamora (Hulse)
Arsenal 7 (Van Persie x3, Oxlade Chamberlain x2, Henry, Arteta)
Blackburn 1 (Gamst Pedersen)
Team: Robinson, Olsson, Givet (sent off), Dann, Dunn (Hanley), Pedersen, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Lowe (Orr), Modeste, Hoilett.
Blackburn Team News:
Gael Givet is suspended but striker Yakubu returns. Christopher Samba is out with a hamstring problem.
Orr – Dann – Hanley – Olsson
Hoilett – N`Zonzi – Petrovic – Gamst Pedersen
Yakubu – Modeste
Player to watch: Yakubu
Vital QPR has singled out Yakubu as the One to Watch
To read our profile of the player Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
New signing Djibril Cisse is suspended after being sent off against Wolves. Jay Bothroyd, Akos Buzsaky and Danny Gabbidon return. Heider Helguson and Luke Young are sidelined through injury.
Possible line up:
Onuoha – Hall – Ferdinand – Taiwo
Wright-Phillips – Barton – Buzsaky – Traore
Zamora – Bothroyd
Player to watch: Adel Taarabt
With Djibril Cisse suspended, Adel Taarabt has an opportunity to establish his position in the side as the focal point of the QPR attack. He was the stand out performer against Wolves and encouragingly looked like the player of last year, beating players with ease and testing the keeper on several occasions. Taarabt can play a key role in the remaining games and without a doubt has the talent to make an impact at this level. The mercurial Moroccan has a point to prove to the new boss and will want to impress him. This should have a positive impact on the game tomorrow with several new players out there playing for a place in the side.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WWLDL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 14
LAST TIME OUT
FA Cup – 15/10/11
QPR 1 (Helguson)
Blackburn 1 (Samba)
Team: Kenny, Derry, Hall, Faurlin, Mackie (sub Taarabt 64 mins), Traore, Barton (c), Young, Helguson, Wright-Phillips (sub Smith 83 mins), Ferdinand.
Referee: M Dean
Assistants: S Burt & D Richardson
Fourth Official: G Eltringham
Mike Dean is the match official for tomorrow`s game. This season Dean has issued 87 yellow cards and 1 red card in 27 games.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
I really can`t call this one. Usually I have a gut feeling how the game may pan out but on this occasion I`m stumped. Blackburn are a truly unpredictable outfit on and off the field which has been their downfall this season. QPR are also a terribly inconsistent side, largely down to a rather unsettled starting eleven. Blackburn tend to play a fluid style of football and hit teams on the counter but whether this will work against QPR I`m not so sure. Hughes has set his new side out to be very organised and rigid with a deep defensive line. My biggest fear from a QPR point of view is that we probably won`t keep possession as well as Blackburn which could be crucial.
1-2QPR to edge it, Zamora to score.
Where: LOFTUS ROAD
When: 25/02/2012 – 15.00