This Saturday sees Crystal Palace welcome London rivals and league leaders QPR to Selhurst Park in what should be another spirited encounter for Rangers having faced Millwall in midweek.
Palace old boys Clint Hill and Shaun Derry return for the first time since their transfers to Loftus Road and Neil Warnock makes his second appearance since joining the R’s which is sure to rile the Crystal Palace faithful.
George Burley was appointed Palace manager this summer following a relatively unsuccessful spell in charge of the Scottish national side. The Scot has plenty of Championship experience having guided Ipswich to promotion and helped Derby and Southampton to the play-offs.
This summer Burley was quick to delve into the transfer market signing 14 players in what has been a rebuilding job for the club on and off the pitch.
It’s been a mixed start for the Eagles. They picked up solid victories over Leicester and Portsmouth but have also suffered disappointing defeats against Derby, Scunthorpe and Reading. It’s not really a surprise considering the high turnover of players and it’ll take a few more games before things finally fall into place.
Team: Paddy Kenny, Kyle Walker, Kaspars Gorkss, Matthew Connolly, Clint Hill, Sean Derry, Ákos Buzsáky (Leigertwood), Adel Taarabt, Hogan Ephraim, Jamie Mackie (Tommy Smith), Heider Helguson.
Cardiff City 0
Crystal Palace 0
Team: Julian Speroni, Patrick McCarthy, Claude Davis (Bennett ), Nathaniel Clyne, Neil Danns (Dorman), Owen Garvan, Edgar Davids, Keiran Djilali (Cadogan), Alex Marrow, Wilfried Zaha, Pablo Counago.
Crystal Palace Team News:
On loan striker James Vaughan is suspended after he was shown a red card against Derby. Claude Davis is a doubt after he was taken off injured against Cardiff.
Last season’s top scorer Darren Ambrose is nearing a return after a recent lay off but this Saturday`s game may be a fixture too soon.
Sean Scannell, Lee Hills, David Wright and Neil Danns are all out injured.
Clyne – Bennett – McCarthy – Davids
Djilali – Marrow – Garvan – Dorman
Zaha – Counago
Player to watch: Julian Speroni
Julian Speroni has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this week`s match against Crystal Palace.
To read about the One to Watch Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Ali Faurlin, Rob Hulse, Bradley Orr and Fitz Hall are all set to miss out but are likely to return after the international break. Peter Ramage and Lee Cook remain long term absentees.
Martin Rowlands will be hoping to get some game time on Saturday but whether Neil Warnock will want to risk him is unclear.
Warnock is expected to once again name the same starting XI that has started the last three games.
Possible line up:
Walker – Connolly – Gorkss – Hill
Buzsáky – Derry
Mackie – Taarabt (c) – Ephraim
Player to watch: Matt Connolly
At the start of the season Matthew Connolly had to make do with a place on the bench playing second fiddle to Kaspars Gorkss and newly appointed captain Fitz Hall. But since the injury to the skipper Connolly has had to step up – and stepped up he has. With every game that goes by the centre back has grown in stature and confidence developing a colossal partnership with Kaspars Gorkss.
Playing in what is his best position (centre back) Connolly has put in some excellent performances. His assurance on the ball and intelligent reading of the game has cemented his place in the starting XI and when Fitz Hall is fit he will have a tough time breaking up the current partnership.
Connolly was a product of the ever-expanding Arsenal academy and had loan spells at Bournemouth and Colchester before joining QPR in the 2008 January window.
This summer Connolly was rewarded with a new two year contract extension keeping him at the club until 2013. Connolly said to the BBC ‘I’m really pleased to commit my future to the club and I am glad that it`s all sorted out before the season starts.’
Warnock also added ‘I am expecting big things from him in the next 12 months.’
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WWWWD
Crystal Palace: LWDLD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 36
Crystal Palace: 29
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 10- 4 -10
Crystal Palace 0
QPR 2 (Buzsaky, Gorkss)
Team: Radek Cerny, Peter Ramage, Damion Stewart (Simpson ), Dusko Tosic, Kaspars Gorkss, Mikele Leigertwood, Akos Buzsaky, Hogan Ephraim, Adel Taarabt (Parker), Alejandro Faurlin, Tamas Priskin
Referee: K Friend
Assistants: S Burt & S Child
Fourth Official: G Horwood
Kevin Friend is the match official for the game this weekend and has officiated three games this season. His most recent game was Burnley`s thrilling 4-3 victory over local rivals Preston.
Last season Friend issued a staggering 133 yellow cards and 7 Red in 34 games.
To read more on see: Ref Watch >>>
I think the match has draw written all over it. I think it will be a very tight affair and the Palace fans will make it intimidating for QPR.
Both teams have several injury concerns at the moment but that shouldn’t affect the game too much as Crystal Palace still have goal threats in Zaha, Garvan, and Counago and QPR have Taarabt, Mackie and Helguson.
Having said that Palace have struggled for goals lately and haven’t scored since their 4-1victory over Portsmouth on the 14th September. It`s quite the opposite for QPR. The league leaders have notched up twenty-two goals in nine games – fourteen more than their opponents.
QPR will be looking to extend their lead at the top and playmaker Adel Taarabt is due a good performance after a few nondescript outings. Ex- Palace players Shaun Derry and Clint Hill will be fired up as they face their former club for the first time since leaving over the summer.
Who: Norwich City
Where: Loftus Road
When: Saturday October 16, 2010