QPR`s disappointing 4-0 loss to Bolton may have actually been a blessing in disguise. Could it be that the defeat drove home the enormity of the task to the former owners? QPR would`ve been unable to stay up on such a stringent budget, a budget that was never going to be provided. It is also possible that Saturday`s result sped up the proposed (now confirmed) takeover led by Tony Fernandes. Either way, QPR have had a game-changing moment this week.
A new era is upon us, with QPR under new ownership, the future is very bright and for the first time in four years, not orange. For me, one of the best pieces of news to come out of the takeover is the return of Amit Bhatia, whom I believe has a real passion for the club. Under Bhatia and Ishan Saksena`s guidance, the mad-house that was QPR looked a tad saner than in recent years and the goal of promotion was attained. Hopefully now, QPR can look forward to a long period of stability.
It feels like a weight has been lifted, whether this transpires into the match tomorrow remains to be seen, although I suspect it might. Neil Warnock would`ve tweaked the defence this week and will be going to Goodison Park with the intention to keep it tight. The remaining games this month represent a chance for the bit-part players to prove their worth, as Fernandes has promised reinforcements.
Everton will be eager to get started after their opening game against Spurs was postponed and the pressure will be on David Moyes and his men to deliver tomorrow. They haven`t been busy in this summer`s transfer market, which would`ve frustrated Moyes. They do, however, possess quality players such as, Cahill, Arteta and Jagielka, whom provide a brilliant spine to the side. Moyes has done a fantastic job in keeping Everton competitive on what has been a comparatively low budget when matched against other sides such as Tottenham and Liverpool. If they can stay injury-free I expect a top eight finish from them this year.
Bolton 4 (Cahill, Gabbidon og, Klasnic, Muamba)
Team: Kenny, Dyer (Orr), Hill (Sent off), Hall, Gabbidon, Derry, Faurlin, Smith (Helguson), Taarabt (Buzsaky), Campbell, Bothroyd
Bohemians 1 (Flood)
Everton 1 (Beckford)
Team: Mucha (Howard), Hibbert, Heitinga (Distin), Duffy (Mustafi), Garbutt, Arteta (Baxter), Fellaini (Neville), Rodwell, Barkley (Osman 45), Beckford (Vellios), Anichebe (Bilyaletdinov).
Everton Team News:
Mikel Arteta is fit having come through a friendly match unscathed. Arteta`s inclusion is a massive boost for David Moyes, as the Spaniard brings creativity and goals to the side.
Everton will be without Seamus Coleman who has damaged the ligaments in his ankle. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is suspended.
Hibbert – Jagielka – Distin – Baines
Osman – Fellaini – Rodwell – Arteta
Player to watch: Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of Saturday`s match against Everton.
To read his comprehensive review of the midfielderClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Matt Connolly is expected to start at left back on Saturday after Clint Hill was dismissed against Bolton. Kieron Dyer is out having failed to recover in time for the upcoming fixture. Rob Hulse and Jamie Mackie both miss out whilst Heider Helguson faces a late fitness test.
Kaspars Gorkss could be on the bench alongside Petter Vaagan Moen. Neil Warnock is likely to stick with the midfield and attack that started against Bolton.
Possible line up:
Orr – Hall – Gabbidon – Connolly
Faurlin – Derry
Campbell- Taarabt- Smith
Player to watch: Jay Bothroyd
The signing of Jay Bothroyd can be considered somewhat of a coup for the R`s, as there were several other sides chasing the former Cardiff man`s signature. Bothroyd has matured in recent seasons and has performed consistently at Championship level and deserves the chance to play in the Premier League. Last season, Bothroyd had a season to remember, not only did he score 20 goals in all competitions, he earned his first England cap against France.
This season, Bothroyd has the opportunity to prove to everyone that he is Premiership quality, after a career of club hopping and a reputation for being a troublesome player. There is no doubting his technical ability on the ground and in the air, and R`s fans will be hoping he and DJ Campbell can forge a partnership to trouble defences.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LWWLL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 14
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 08/04/96
QPR 3 (Gallen, Hateley, Impey)
Everton 1 (Ebbrell)
Team: Sommer, Bardsley, Brevett, McDonald, Impey, Yates, Sinclair, Holloway, Wilkins, Gallen, Hateley
Referee: Mr K Friend
Assistants: Mr G Beswick & Mr A Garrett
Fourth Official: Mr M Jones
Kevin Friend is the match official for Saturday`s game. Last season Friend issued 116 yellow cards and 7 red cards in 33 games.
Although QPR players and fans will buoyed by the takeover, I doubt it will be enough to overturn an almost full strength Everton side. QPR will be eager to atone for last week`s result but whether they have the strength to do so, I`m not so sure. Last week`s game was an eye-opener and emphasised what R`s fans have feared all summer, the team as it stands isn`t strong enough to compete. Thankfully, Neil Warnock and Tony Fernandes recognise this and are committed to acquiring several quality players before the window shuts.
On Saturday, QPR were punished for having a lacklustre defence, vast improvements are needed on their positioning and how they utilise the ball. Everton are just more capable, if not more than Bolton to punish us. Having said that, Everton can be very hit and miss themselves and if we take our chances we could certainly snatch a point, which would be an admirable result.
2-1 Home Win.