QUEENS Park Rangers travel to Glanford Park tomorrow still in search of their first win of the campaign.
They face a Scunthorpe side recently promoted from League One, and despite a handful of useful results continue to struggle on their return to the Championship.
Glanford Park has been a fortress for the Iron in recent years and already two wins from three at home suggests that Scunthorpe will be reliant on home comfort to stay in the Championship.
This is highlighted even more when you consider their form on the road, with Nigel Adkins` side being on the wrong end of two four goal thrashings against Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Rangers by comparison have seen the core of a very capable side blighted by their ability to finish off teams while on top and closing out a fixture they largely control.
Tuesday`s game against Accrington Stanley was certainly the exception to the rule thus far with Magilton vowing to shake the living day-lights out of some of his players.
Central to QPR`s fortune at Glanford Park could be new loan signing Jay Simpson whose great pace and eye for goal could prove a necessary ingredient if Rangers are to break their Championship duck.
QPR 1 (Ephraim 68, Routledge 90)
Accrington Stanley (Symes 90)
Team: Tom Heaton, Peter Ramage, Damion Stewart, Kaspars Gorkss (Gary Borrowdale 46), Matthew Connolly, Akos Buzsaky, Gavin Mahon (Wayne Routledge 68), Mikele Leigertwood, Hogan Ephraim, Rowan Vine, Patrick Agyemang (Adel Taarabt 46).
Swansea City 1 (Dobbie 79)
Scunthorpe United 2 (Canavan 13, Hooper 111pen)
Team: Joe Murphy, David Mirfin, Niall Canavan, Jordan Spence, Marcus Williams, Matthew Sparrow, Josh Wright, Sam Togwell (Gary Hooper 87), Martyn Woolford, Garry Thompson, Jonathan Forte, Michael O`Connor, Paul Hayes.
Scunthorpe United Team News:
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Nigel Adkins is set to ring the changes from the side that played in the energy-sapping encounter with Swansea City during the week. Joe Muprhy will continue in goal and was one of the only Iron players to leave with plaudits after the 4-0 thrashing by Sheffield Wednesday.
Record signing Rob Jones may remain sidelined with a head injury but the return of David Mirfin from an ankle injury against Swansea has cushioned the blow of his loss. Niall Canavan will be looking to retain his spot after scoring the opening goal at the Liberty Stadium.
Fellow defenders Jordan Spence and Marcus Williams will retain their spots with Andrew Wright (metatarsal) and Kenny Milne (knee) both sidelined. The midfield department sees Martyn Woolford, Matthew Sparrow and Michael O`Connor retain their places.
Gary Hooper and Paul Hayes should begin up front with Jonathan Forte, the forward who scored for Scunthorpe against QPR two years ago, dropping to the bench.
Player to watch: Martyn Woolford
Midfielder Martyn Woolford has been outlined as the One to Watch this weekend, a player who has had a key role in Scunthorpe`s revival recently.
Signed from York City a year ago, Woolford has put in some consistent performances in the Iron midfield while scoring the crucial goal to see them back to the Championship.
To read our profile of the midfielder Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Following what was a very disappointing fixture against Accrington Stanley during the week, in terms of performance, boss Jim Magilton will be looking for a big response from his players.
Despite a good showing on Tuesday Manchester United loanee Tom Heaton will drop to the bench with Radek Cerny regaining his space between the sticks.
In defence and Fitz Hall faces a race against time to be fit for the weekend`s clash following a rib injury against Nottingham Forest. Damion Stewart and Kaspars Gorkss are set to rekindle their partnership at the back, which proved a success last season. Peter Ramage and Gary Borrowdale will start in their respective roles at full back.
Martin Rowlands is another player that is fighting to make the squad after recovering from his ankle complaint picked up on the opening day, while the defensive partnership of Mikele Leigertwood and Gavin Mahon is set to be disturbed by the return of Alejandro Faurlín.
Hogan Ephraim sent a message to Magilton on Tuesday after missing out of the squad against Forest and could get the nod over Akos Buzsaky on the left flank with Angelo Balanta also providing competition for the spot. On the other flank Wayne Routledge has firmly cemented his name in the line-up.
The agony of choice upfront – if only. Jay Simpson comes in to bolster an under-performing strike force and may be set to partner Rowan Vine who was one of few to come out of the Accrington game with credit.
Player to watch: Jay Simpson
Simpson has just joined the R`s on loan and fans will be hoping that he can have an immediate impact against Scunthorpe United.
Loan spells at both Millwall and West Bromwich Albion haven`t yielded too many goals but goals galore in the Arsenal youth set-up, where he plays as a central striker, can give Rangers fans great hope for his time in W12.
To read his career profileClick Here >>>
The Stat Attack
HEAD 2 HEAD
Scunthorpe United: 1
Queens Park Rangers: 7
LAST TIME OUT
Football League Championship – 15-03-2008
Queens Park Rangers: 3 (Rowlands 43pen, Agyemang 79, Vine 90)
Scunthorpe United: 1 (McCann 8)
Team: Lee Camp, Michael Mancienne, Akos Buzsaky (Gavin Mahon 81), Matthew Connolly, Damien Delaney, Rowan Vine, Mikele Leigertwood, Martin Rowlands (Damion Stewart 89), Fitz Hall, Patrick Agyemang (Keiran Lee 89), Dexter Blackstock.
Scunthorpe United 0-2 Queens Park Rangers – 12-11-1966
Referee: Mr G Salisbury
Assistants: Mr M C Dexter & Mr N Murphy
Fourth Official: Mr K D G Lawson
Mr Salisbury from Lancashire will referee this weekend`s fixture between QPR and Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.
Rangers haven`t had a good record under this official presiding over three QPR fixtures all ending in defeat.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
I expect Magilton`s side to bounce back from a disappointing display midweek and edge out Scunthorpe in what will prove to be a very testing encounter.
Rangers have come close to their first victory on numerous occasions, playing some nice football to contribute to spells of great dominance, but that killer instinct and will to see games through has eluded them thus far.
Jim has talked about a lack of belief in the camp, and it is hoped that the introduction of Jay Simpson from Arsenal may spark some positivity in the line-up.
Boxer: 2-1 QPR
Superhoop50: 1-0 QPR
Lenny367: 2-1 Scunthorpe
Southernhoop: 2-0 QPR
Beforerodney: 2-0 QPR
Jdqpr1882: 2-1 QPR
Jezza99: 2-0 Scunthorpe
PaulaHoops: 1-0 QPR
LeeCookFan: 1-1 Draw
Nomar: 2-1 QPR
Clonmany_Hoop: 2-1 QPR
Danielqpr: 1-0 QPR
Toboboly: 1-1 Draw
Next Up In W12
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Peterborough United
Date: Saturday September 12, 2009 – 3:00pm
Ground: Loftus Road, London.