QUEENS Park Rangers will be looking to kick-start their campaign by claiming their first home win of the season against Crystal Palace.
The Eagles come to W12 off the back of a turbulent season thus far at Selhurst Park. A chairman with a waning interest, disallowed goals and a home thumping – things haven’t been quiet in SE25.
Palace’s well-documented defeat at Ashton Gate has set the tone for a disappointing start that sees the Eagles sit in 19th place, and Warnock lambasting his team for a recent thumping defeat.
Warnock stated that his team ‘couldn’t score in a brothel’ following their home humbling by Scunthorpe United, while scathing of their defensive shortcomings against the Iron.
In QPR they face a side struggling for confidence not only infront of goal, but also infront of an unforgiving Loftus Road crowd who have booed them off on the last two occasions.
Magilton will be looking to turn the tide of home form and fan opinion as they hosts an Eagles side whose motivation levels must also be at rock-bottom.
Many of Crystal Palace’s promoted side sit in Rangers current line-up and it will be a meeting of old friends when Ben Watson, Wayne Routledge, Mikele Leigertwood and Gary Borrowdale take their places this weekend.
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.
Crystal Palace 0
Scunthorpe United 4 (Forte 4, Hayes 58, Togwell 66, O’Connor 68)
Team: Julian Speroni, Clint Hill, Danny Butterfield, Matt Lawrence, Jose Fonte, Darren Ambrose (Ryan Smith 64), Shaun Derry, Neil Danns, Victor Moses (Freddie Sears 64), Alessane N’Diaye, Alan Lee (Sean Scannell 46).
QPR Team News:
Jim Magilton looks set to make changes from the side that drew at home to Peterborough United at the weekend.
Mikele Leigertwood could keep his place at full back owing to a sheer plethora of central midfielders at Rangers disposal, while his former Palace colleague, Gary Borrowdale, will line-up at left-back.
Kaspars Gorkss must surely be set for reintroduction after his impressive performances for Latvia and his sure head at the back. If Magilton decides against his selection Damion Stewart will partner Matthew Connolly in the continued absence of ex-Palace defender Fitz Hall.
Another former Eagle, Wayne Routledge will be in for a hot reception as he lines-up on the right, with Hogan Ephraim’s performance on Saturday leaving him in the balance for selection, with Adel Taarabt or Akos Buzsaky vying for a left-midfield spot.
Alejandro Faurlín and Ben Watson look set to keep their places in the middle after reasonable showings against Posh, with QPR surely looking to two up front and Alessandro Pellicori or Rowan Vine to partner Jay Simpson.
Player to watch: Ben Watson
The midfielder had an indifferent start in a Rangers shirt at the weekend but will now be looking to put his former club to the sword tomorrow night.
The midfielder had been on Rangers’ radar for quite some time, and it was thought his move to the Premier League outfit in January had put pay to Rangers interest.
With Roberto Martinez sweeping into the DW Stadium with new signings and ideas, Watson was advised to get some first team football on loan, and W12 was his first port of call.
For quite some time the R’s have searched for a midfield general and in Watson they may well have someone to get a foothold on the fixture and contribute to Rangers’ attacking threat.
He will now look to start against his former club, and help Rangers to a first victory on home soil, along with fellow former Palace colleagues in the R’s line-up.
To read his career profile Click Here >>>
Crystal Palace Team News:
Who R Ya? >>>
Neil Warnock has warned of a shake-up in his Crystal Palace side following their home thrashing at the hands of Scunthorpe United.
Julian Speroni has been one of the Eagles’ more consistent performers and will sit in front of a rearguard that will include the returning Paddy McCarthy following his return from suspension.
Alessane N’Diaye has impressed in his wide role following his introduction to the side, along with Victor Moses on the left – both of whom are expected to retain their place in the cull, along with skipper Shaun Derry.
The striking department could see Freddie Sears return to the fold if he recovers from a late knock against the Iron. Sean Scannell could come in for Alan Lee after a poor first half performance from the Irishman.
Player to watch: Freddie Sears
West Ham United loanee Freddie Sears has been outlined as the One to Watch ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Crystal Palace.
The young striker burst onto the scene in 2007 when he shot up through the ranks to score his first senior goal on his full debut against Blackburn Rovers.
He reportedly rejected QPR to go on loan to Palace for the season and is looking to put his ghost goal despair behind him for this test at Loftus Road.
To read our profile of the striker Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 35
Crystal Palace: 29
LAST TIME OUT
Football League Championship – 04-04-2009
Queens Park Rangers: 0
Crystal Palace: 0
Team: Radek Cerny, Kaspars Gorkss, Damien Delaney, Peter Ramage, Matthew Connolly, Mikele Leigertwood, Wayne Routledge, Liam Miller (Lee Cook 46), Hogan Ephraim, Adel Taarabt (Rowan Vine 73), Samuel Di Carmine (Angelo Balanta 85).
Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Crystal Palace – 11-04-1955
Referee: Mr M P Russell
Assistants: Mr M George & Mr R P Whitton
Fourth Official: Mr S P Rubery
Russell from Hertfordshire has slowly risen up through the ranks of the Football League since his appointment to the list in 2004.
This will be his first Rangers clash with fourth official Steve Rubery one of those implicated in the Ashton Gate debacle earlier in the season.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
It’s been a tough time for Magilton and QPR of late, and while getting off the mark at Scunthorpe United recently, it will take a similarly gritty display to overcome Crystal Palace.
The side have now been booed off at home for the second time in succession, despite remaining undefeated on home soil, but nevertheless the supporters remain unimpressed.
In what is bound to be a close encounter, Rangers will be looking to edge out their London rivals and get their season back on track.
Teams: Cardiff City v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday September 19, 2009 – 3:00pm
Ground: Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff.