CARDIFF City continue to ride the crest of a wave in their endeavours to reach the Premier League.
Central to their fortune has been the form of striker Michael Chopra recently re-signed from Premier League Sunderland. His seven goals have helped propel the Bluebirds into an already commanding position in the Championship.
Cardiff bounced from successive defeats in the league to overcome Reading in a gruelling battle at the Madejski Stadium – a game that took casualties in skipper Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews, as Chris Burke’s solitary goal stole the show.
There remain some existing links between the two camps with Wayne Routledge and Tom Heaton set to take their place in the squad this weekend while Routledge will have to beat former QPR loanee Mark Kennedy, who always receives a decent hand from the Rangers support.
QPR will no doubt be champing at the bit to get back to action after their midweek postponement with Crystal Palace. The London derby fell foul of the weather with QPR instead opting to play Spurs in a behind closed doors friendly against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Magilton will undoubtedly be delighted to get away from the fractious and divisive atmosphere of Loftus Road, to a ground where his players can use the width and play without fear of heckling or abuse.
Back to back away wins is what Magilton desires, and after only one defeat so far this season QPR will be looking to extend a positive run at the Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
QPR 1 (Routledge 34)
Peterborough United 1 (McLean 16)
Team: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Damion Stewart, Matthew Connolly, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge, Ben Watson, Alejandro Damián Faurlín (Martin Rowlands 58), Hogan Ephraim (Akos Buzsaky 69), Adel Taarabt (Rowan Vine 58), Jay Simpson.
Cardiff City 1 (Burke 58)
Team: David Marshall, Anthony Gerrard, Mark Hudson, Mark Kennedy, Chris Burke, Peter Whittingham, Joe Ledley (Solomon Taiwo 87), Adam Matthews (Paul Quinn 32), Stephen McPhail (Sent Off 25), Michael Chopra (Gavin Rae 79), Jay Bothroyd.
Cardiff City Team News:
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The Bluebirds have several injury complaints heading into the clash at the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend following the midweek battle with Reading.
David Marshall will continue in goal behind a defence consisting of Anthony Gerrard, Mark Hudson, Paul Quinn and Mark Kennedy. Quinn being the undoubted replacement at the heart of defence replacing the injured Adam Matthews who suffered a groin muscle tear at the Madejski.
The fixture may come too soon for Kevin McNaughton, but he will be looking to at least challenge for the bench as he recovers from an early injury, while Kennedy will tussle once again with former team-mate Wayne Routledge.
Joe Ledley will be pushing to start this weekend despite suffering a calf injury at Reading. The skipper was withdrawn with three minutes remaining and Solomon Taiwo waits in the wings for potentially his first start in a Cardiff City shirt, while it remains to be seen whether Stephen McPhail’s red card keeps him out this weekend.
Chris Burke has been the man of the moment for Cardiff, with Peter Whittingham occupying the opposite flank in a lively Bluebirds attack.
Strike duo Kelvin Etuhu (ankle) and Ross McCormack (groin) will be sidelined, with the potent strike partnership of Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra looking to rekindle attacking prowess upfront.
Player to watch: Michael Chopra
Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra has been outlined as the one to watch ahead of this weekend’s clash with Cardiff City.
After a taste of Premier League action with Newcastle United and Sunderland, he has dipped back down to the only league he has scored consistently, the Championship.
Chopra’s talents aren’t to be doubted as he tops the goalscoring chart this season, as he attempts to justify his £3,000,000 price tag.
To read our profile of the striker Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Jim Magilton was destined to ring the changes against Crystal Palace and he may well continue his philosophy into the game at the Cardiff City Stadium.
This is the most pressure that Radek Cerny has had on his spot between the sticks, but nevertheless it would be a surprise if Manchester United loanee Tom Heaton took his place against his former club.
Kaspars Gorkss will be looking for a recall to the back-line after an extended rest, and he may line-up alongside Damion Stewart at the expense of Matthew Connolly – the latter however could move to left-back dislodging Gary Borrowdale – Fitz Hall remains sidelined with a groin complaint.
Peter Ramage and Mikele Leigertwood will once again battle for the spot at right-back, with the former Crystal Palace man seemingly undroppable in any position under Jim Magilton despite a string of indifferent displays.
Wayne Routledge will certainly occupy the right wing with Alejandro Faurlín and Ben Watson looking to continue their partnership in the middle. Akos Buzsaky may come in on the left wing at the expense of Hogan Ephraim who disappointed against Peterborough, with Martin Rowlands also competing for a place.
Rumours that Adel Taarabt has contracted mumps seem to be unfounded with no mention on the official website, he could line-up behind Jay Simpson unless QPR decide to deploy a two man attack. Alessandro Pellicori and Rowan Vine the most likely to partner Simpson while Angelo Balanta is still out with a groin injury.
Player to watch: Wayne Routledge
Winger Routledge rejected a contract with Cardiff City to join Queens Park Rangers and has hit a useful spell of form this season, particularly away from home.
His pace on the break is a particular threat for QPR, which benefits their away game as seen in games against Scunthorpe United and Exeter City so far this season.
He will undoubtedly receive a hot reception after opting to come home to London instead of the Welsh capital, but he will look to prove his doubters wrong and give Mark Kennedy a hard time at full-back.
To read his career profile Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Cardiff City: W W L L W
Queens Park Rangers: D L D W D
HEAD 2 HEAD
Cardiff City: 24
Queens Park Rangers: 30
LAST TIME OUT
Football League Championship – 25-02-2009
Cardiff City: 0
Queens Park Rangers: 0
Team: Radek Cerny, Damien Delaney, Kaspars Gorkss, Matthew Connolly, Damion Stewart, Lee Cook, Liam Miller (Matteo Alberti 58), Mikele Leigertwood, Gavin Mahon, Wayne Routledge, Heidar Helguson.
Cardiff City 1-4 Queens Park Rangers – 12-10-1988
Referee: Mr L Probert
Assistants: Mr A Newbold & Mr D C Richards
Fourth Official: Mr S Bratt
Lee Probert from Wiltshire will take charge of this weekend’s clash between Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City.
This is by no means the first time the referee has met either club, with three horrendous fixtures being refereed by this weekend’s official.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
Getting back on their travels QPR will be able to play in greater comfort and less pressure, something that has been bestowed on them by the Loftus Road crowd.
A volatile atmosphere at Loftus Road has made for difficult playing conditions for the home players, with every poor touch being greeted with groans and jeers from the home ‘faithful’.
Cardiff have been in decent form this season but are heavily reliant on a couple of players to create and score their chances, and if these can be kept quiet it could be Rangers’ day.
southernhoop: 2-1 Cardiff
Superhoop50: 1-0 Cardiff
nomar: 2-0 Cardiff
PaulaHoops: 2-0 Cardiff
beforerodney: 2-1 QPR
Sandydl: 1-1 Draw
Jezza99: 2-0 Cardiff
Cartouche: 2-1 Cardiff
Lenny367: 2-1 Cardiff
danielqpr: 1-0 Cardiff
Teams: Chelsea v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Wednesday September 23, 2009 – 7:45pm
Ground: Stamford Bridge, Chelsea