AFTER narrowly losing out against Manchester United at Old Trafford, QPR will be looking to get back to winning ways in the league as they take on a Burnley side brimming with confidence.
While Rangers succumbed to narrow defeat, the Clarets pulled off a cup shock by dispatching of Rangers` West London rivals Chelsea on penalties at Stamford Bridge.
Under the guidance of Owen Coyle the Clarets have started the season with a bang, currently sitting in a play-off place, a point above Rangers.
The summers dealings were kind on Burnley as despite losing prospect Kyle Lafferty to Glasgow Rangers for £3m, this enabled them to bring in striker Martin Paterson from Scunthorpe United, and highly rated youngster Chris Eagles from Manchester United.
Prior to a weekend defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers the Clarets had only lost one game in 13, propelling themselves into the play-off picture. With Coyle`s men picking up an energy sapping victory over Chelsea, they stay in West London with a view of doing a double.
R`s boss Gareth Ainsworth was proud of his side and the 6,000 plus away support that followed them against Manchester United:
‘What can I say? They were amazing.’ Ainsworth told QPR.co.uk
‘They sang their hearts out and I’m just sorry we couldn’t reward their efforts with a victory.
‘Having said that, I don’t think they’ll have any complaints with how we performed tonight.’
The effort displayed from the Rangers players was evident most notably in defence, where a stout back four comprising of Peter Ramage, Fitz Hall, Damion Stewart and Matthew Connolly kept the European Champions at bay for the majority of the game:
‘I was so proud of the boys tonight, as I always am,
‘The passion was there – they did what we wanted them to do. We gave a good account of ourselves and we didn’t get completely turned over.
‘We maybe could’ve nicked a draw at the end but Emmanuel (Ledesma) has been unfortunate and missed the target.
‘I can’t fault him though and that goes for all the players.’
The real stand out performer for QPR was goalkeeper Radek Cerny. Signed in the summer from Tottenham Hotspur, the Czech stopper has not had the easiest of introductions to the Championship, but an outstanding display at Old Trafford will certainly do his confidence the world of good:
‘Radek kept us in it at times, making some fantastic saves, but the back four, the midfield, everyone has defended like Trojans tonight.
‘If we continue in that vain, we won’t be too far short this season.’
Burnley boss Owen Coyle had beaming with pride as his side took Chelsea all the way to progress to the Carling Cup Quarter Final:
‘In terms of scalps, they don’t come any better than Chelsea.” Coyle told burnleyfootballclub.co.uk.
‘To come to Chelsea, who are top of the league on merit and one of the favourites for the Champions League, and in terms of world football one of the elite clubs and win the game, albeit on penalties, shows you the magnitude and effort the players have put in.
‘And I think we’ve deserved it. I know that sometimes you ride your luck, but at 1-0 down it would have been very easy to feel sorry for ourselves and hide, but nothing could be further from the truth.
‘I said before the game that we’d try to commit players forward at every opportunity and I think we did that.
‘We went down to a quality goal by Drogba, but we felt at half-time if we could stay in the game and retain a belief that we had a real opportunity and that would give us a platform to mount a real challenge in the game.
‘We did that, scored a very good goal and could have added to that.’
QPR Team News:
Rangers will make one enforced change to the side that lost against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Hungarian midfielder Akos Buzsaky will not feature again this season owing to an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury, and Emmanuel Ledesma or Hogan Ephraim could be set to step in.
Gavin Mahon, Lee Cook and Daniel Parejo are all carrying knocks but by and large should be available for selection against Burnley in W12. However with Daniel Parejo being hauled off at half time against United for what can only be described as an appalling display, he may not feature from the off against the Clarets.
Mikele Leigertwood will serve the final game of a four match suspension meaning the back four of Peter Ramage, Damion Stewart, Fitz Hall and Matthew Connolly are set to retain their place in the defensive unit.
Samuel Di Carmine and Patrick Agyemang will both be vying for a place alongside top scorer Dexter Blackstock, with the potential of a new forward coming in seeing Angelo Balanta loaned out to Wycombe.
Player to watch: Samuel Di Carmine
Samuel Di Carmine has burst onto scene in recent weeks and appears for the time being to be the number one choice alongside Blackstock.
Di Carmine`s strike against Birmingham City really displayed his vast talent, not only with his incredible technique in his strike, but playing selflessly with his back to goal the entire fixture.
Since joining the R`s from Fiorentina on loan, the 20-year-old found appearances hard to come by under Iain Dowie. However following the dismissal of the former Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic boss, Samuel has come into his own under Gareth Ainsworth.
Come Saturday a tired Burnley rearguard may find Samuel a real handful, with his eye for goal and venomous drives.
Burnley Team News:
Ade Akinbiyi could be in line to start against QPR this weekend. The maligned forward scored the crucial equaliser to Didier Drogba`s opener for last years finalists.
He will be vying for a place with Martin Paterson whom he replaced on the hour mark on Wednesday night. Alan Mahon could also be set for a start in W12 after his positive impact on proceedings replacing Robbie Blake.
Owen Coyle may decide to rotate his side after an energy sapping 120 minutes of football, but to what extent he moves his side around remains to be seen as his side nurse their wounds from a gruelling battle.
Player to watch: TBA
Match Facts & Stats
QPR: Last 5 Games: D D W L W
Burnley: Last 5 Games: W D W W L
Despite keeping four clean sheets in the last five games, Rangers are finding goals hard to come by scoring only two in the last five games, with two games ending in stale-mate, 0-0, while there were two 1-0 wins a la Arsenal.
A truly incredible one defeat in 13 games for Burnley came to an end at the weekend against Wolves. The Clarets away form has proved inconsistent with two wins, three draws and three losses in their eight away games in the Championship this season.
HEAD 2 HEAD
Last time out
Tuesday 12th February 2008 – Loftus Road
Coca Cola Championship
QPR 2 (Mahon 14, Agyemang 30)
Burnley 4 (Cole 41, 56, 88, Akinbiyi 77)
Rangers Team: Lee Camp, Matthew Connolly (Michael Mancienne 89), Damion Stewart, Zesh Rehman, Damien Delaney, Akos Buzsaky, Martin Rowlands (Mikele Leigertwood 39), Gavin Mahon, Hogan Ephraim (Dexter Blackstock 68), Rowan Vine, Patrick Agyemang.
See also: One Day In History – Burnley 1979-80.
Referee– Mr K A Woolmer
Assistants – Mr J M Hayto & Mr R P Whitton
Fourth official – Mr M George
Andy Woolmer from Northamptonshire will officiate the R`s clash with Burnley this Saturday
To get all the stats concerning the official Click Here >>>.
A tough fixture against a side riding the crest of a wave. Fatigue may not come into the game until the latter stages, but I believe if Rangers score they can put the game to bed; Which is why I predict:
Boxer`s Prediction: 1-0 Rangers
Where– Vicarage Road, Watford
When– Saturday November 22 – 3:00pm