QPR have the chance to end their FA Cup agony this weekend when they face Karl Robinson`s in-form MK Dons. Shockingly, the R`s haven`t won an FA Cup game in over 10 seasons and despite this amazing statistic they will be considered the favourites and expected to win. Neil Warnock has promised to play a strong side for the visit to the Stadium MK, which is wise seeing as a victory will certainly increase morale. QPR will be without Joey Barton, who starts the first of his three match ban tomorrow.
Karl Robinson`s side have impressively scored 9 goals in their two Cup matches so far and will be full of confidence going into the match. The Dons will see this as a chance to prove their metal against a higher division club, a cause for motivation for many lower league sides, which unfortunately for the R`s, usually inspires an upset or two. Interestingly, Robinson sets his side out to play fluid attacking football and they will not panic in possession which makes for a fascinating game.
QPR 1 (Barton)
Norwich 2 (Pilkington, Morison)
Team: Kenny, Young, Hill, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Barton (Sent off), Derry, Faurlin, Mackie (Wright-Phillips), Taarabt (Campbell), Helguson (Macheda)
MK Dons1 (MacKenzie)
Team: Martin, Lewington, Doumbe, MacKenzie, Gleeson, Potter, Williams, Chadwick, Bowditch, MacDonald (Powell), Ibhere
MK Dons Team News:
Leading scorer Charlie MacDonald is unlikely to feature due to a knee injury.
Smith – MacKenzie – Williams – Lewington
Gleeson – Potter
Powell – Ibhere – Chadwick
Player to watch: Adam Smith
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QPR Team News:
Joey Barton is suspended. Armand Traore and Adel Taarabt are away on African Cup of Nations duty. Warnock could give starts to strikers DJ Campbell and Federico Macheda
Possible line up:
Young – Gabbidon – Ferdinand – Hill
Wright-Phillips – Derry – Faurlin – Smith
Campbell – Macheda
Player to watch: Federico Macheda
If reports are to be believed then on-loan striker Federico Macheda is expected to start for the first time in blue and white colours. His record at youth and reserve team level is very impressive and is clearly an accomplished finisher. However, injuries and a change of manager hindered his progress whilst out on loan at Sampdoria last season but a run in the QPR side could help unlock the obvious potential that he possesses. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his first full start and hopefully he can hit the ground running for the R`s.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LLDLL
MK Dons: WLWDW
Referee: M Oliver
Assistants: B Pollock & A Nunn
Fourth Official: S Hooper
Michael Oliver is the match official for Saturday`s game. This season Oliver has issued 49 yellow cards and 3 red cards in 17 games.
I actually think it will be a really good game. QPR have a lot to prove and need a victory for confidence more than anything whereas MK Dons are on fire in the league and will certainly make a decent game of it. Both teams will look to attack from the off which always makes for an entertaining affair. Being a cup game there isn`t much point in being negative so I expect Warnock to be very positive in his selection and as a result pinch a win. I do feel it will be a close game though.
1-2 Away win and a debut goal for Macheda.
Where:Sports Direct Arena
When:15/01/12 – 13:30