Tomorrow afternoon sees QPR make the short trip down the road to Craven Cottage to face London rivals Fulham. It will be the first time the clubs have met in a decade and hopefully it will be an entertaining affair with passion and atmosphere. However, the rivalry between the clubs isn`t exactly fierce and it might feel like any other league game. Neil Warnock`s new recruits are unbeaten since they arrived at Loftus Road, which is extremely positive. The only thing missing is the goals. For all Rangers` industry and creativity the final ball and finish has been lacking and this is the only cause for concern in what has been an exciting season so far.
Martin Jol hasn`t made the impact many Fulham fans would`ve hoped for this season. The Cottagers are the only side not to win this season, drawing four and losing two. For all their resiliency they lack imagination and on the instances I`ve seen them on Sky and Match Of The Day they look tired and flat. This is could possibly be down to the strain of playing in Europe or just a period of adjustment under the new boss.
QPR are looking confident and will want to head into the international break with a win. Strangely, the R`s have accumulated most of their points away from home and seem to play with more freedom. I`m not sure whether this is due to the restrictive nature of the pitch at Loftus Road but lately QPR seem to revel on a larger playing field. If QPR take the game to Fulham which I`m sure they will, it could be a tough afternoon for the Cottagers. That said, Warnock has to reshuffle the defence yet again due to Armand Traore`s suspension which could have an adverse impact on Sunday.
QPR 1 (Dunne og)
Aston Villa 1 (Bannan pen)
Team: Kenny, Young, Traore (Sent off), Hall, Ferdinand, Derry (Helguson), Faurlin, Barton, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips (Smith), Bothroyd (Campbell)
Odense BK 0
Fulham 2 (Johnson x2)
Team: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, Briggs, Kasami (Sa), Murphy (Sidwell), Duff, Etuhu, Dempsey, Johnson
Fulham Team News:
Fulham strikers Bobby Zamora and Moussa Dembele are available for selection after recovering from illness. Aaron Hughes will undergo a late fitness test after struggling with a knee injury. Matthew Briggs is also a doubt.
Kelly – Hughes – Hangeland – Riise
Dempsey -Murphy – Etuhu – Duff
Zamora – Johnson
Player to watch: Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of Sunday`s match against Fulham.
To read his comprehensive review of the midfielderClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Armand Traore is suspended after being stupidly sent off last week against Aston Villa. Matthew Connolly is expected to deputise at left back as Clint Hill joined Nottingham Forest on loan.
Danny Gabbidon looks certain to miss out with a knee injury sustained in the Wolves match. Jamie Mackie isn`t far off being included after joining full training and featuring in the reserves this week.
Possible line up:
Young – Ferdinand – Hall – Connolly
Faurlin – Derry – Barton
Wright-Phillips – Bothroyd – Taarabt
Player to watch: Anton Ferdinand
It has been reported that Anton Ferdinand joined for what would`ve been a club record transfer fee of £4.5 million. If so, then that is quite a substantial fee for a club like QPR to pay for a player and quite a statement of intent from the board to back Warnock with that sort of money. In his short career at Loftus Road, Ferdinand has been a rock at the back. He`s clearly a good footballer but in the past has lacked certain defensive qualities which would`ve taken him onto the next level. Solely, going by his performances in a QPR shirt, Ferdinand will be well worth the outlay. He`s been commanding, good in the air, competent on the ball and has adopted a no-nonsense decision making policy which has paid dividends.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LLDWD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 12
LAST TIME OUT
Championship – 10/03/01
Fulham 2 (Saha pen, Clark)
Team: Harper, Perry, Ready, Plummer, Baraclough, Rose (Kulcsar), Murray (Kiwomya), Darlington, Knight (Warren), Peacock, Crouch
Referee: Mr A Mariner
Assistants: Mr D Bryan & Mr W Smallwood
Fourth Official: Mr L Probert
Andre Mariner is the match official for Sunday`s game. This season Mariner has issued 7 yellow cards in 3 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
Fulham have started slowly but that can sometimes be deceiving. I think they`re a decent side with several quality players that can unlock defences coupled with a very solid defence. Bobby Zamora is sure to cause our defence many problems just like Kevin Davies did on the opening day. Hopefully, the impressive Anton Ferdinand can keep the England striker quiet. Clint Dempsey is a player I really like and has performed consistently for a few years now. Dempsey can create and score and will need to be tracked constantly by our centre midfielders.
Neil Warnock is likely to stick with Jay Bothroyd in attack. The big man has been very impressive in his general play but as we know is just lacking the final finish to his game. It will come but until then he`s got to persevere and relax in front of goal.
When:15/10/11 – 15:00