The game on Saturday is being hailed as the battle of the 5-0s, two teams embarrassed on the opening day looking for a better response and three points. I can`t help but feel the real battle is that with second season syndrome with both teams conceding the early advantage. Without going overboard, opening games of the season usually provide unusually results and I doubt many would`ve predicted 5-0s for Norwich and QPR. There are plenty of games to correct the failings of last Saturday. For QPR, the obvious flaw is the defence. Misplaced, outpaced, and completely run-ragged on the counter attack, Mark Hughes has signalled his intent this week with bids for Michael Dawson and Ricardo Carvalho.
Swansea 5 (Michu x2, Dyer x2, Sinclair)
Team: Green, Onuoha, Hill (Wright-Phillips), Ferdinand, Fabio, Diakite (Derry), Park Ji-Sung, Hoilett, Mackie, Taarabt, Cisse (Johnson).
Fulham 5 (Duff, Petric x2, Kacaniklic, Sidwell)
Norwich City 0
Team: Ruddy, Martin, Turner, Tierney, R Bennett, Johnson, Howson, Surman (Morison), Pilkington, Snodgrass (E Bennett), Holt (Hoolahan).
Norwich City Team News:
Martin – Bassong – Turner – Tierney
Snodgrass – Howson – Johnson – Pilkington
Holt – Morison
Norwich could hand debuts to new signings Sebastien Bassong and Javier Garrido as they look to bolster a defence that lost out 5-0 to Fulham on opening day. They will be without Elliott Bennett (knee), Steven Whittaker (ankle), Jacob Butterfield (knee), David Fox (knee) and Elliott Ward (ankle) owing to long-term injuries.
Player to watch: Grant Holt
Holt as always will have a point to prove as Norwich return to Carrow Road this weekend.
He handed in a transfer request in the summer but then subsequently signed a new deal – hoping therefore to impress the home faithful once more.
His first season in the top flight was successful, his goals will not be more important than ever if Norwich are to survive again.
QPR Team News:
Possible line up:
Onuoha – Nelsen – Ferdinand – Fabio
Mackie – Park – Derry – Taarabt
Rangers will undoubtedly look to put in a better showing at Carrow Road than when they flattered to deceive at home. Jose Bosingwa and Ryan Nelsen could make their debuts at the back, depending on what tactics Hughes decides to deploy.
Player to watch: Junior Hoilett
One of the few bright sparks of last Saturday`s drubbing was Junior Hoilett. For the most part, when Hoilett got on the ball he looked to make things happen and came close to scoring on several occasions. Hoilett is direct and very skilful. Just ask Norwich as they will say the same as he scored against them twice last season for Blackburn. Here`s hoping the highly-rated winger can produce a memorable moment or two on Saturday.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WWWDL
Norwich City: DDDLL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 38
Norwich City: 45
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 02/01/12
QPR 1 (Barton)
Norwich City 2 (Pilkington, Morison)
Team: Kenny, Young, Hill, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Derry, Taarabt (Campbell), Faurlin, Barton (Sent Off), Mackie (Wright-Phillips), Helguson (Macheda).
Referee: M Clattenburg
Mark Clattenburg is the match official for Saturday`s gameLast term Mr Clattenburg has dished out 115 yellow cards and eight reds in 36 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
Norwich 1-2 QPR
This is very much with my heart and ignoring superstition. I think we are capable of turning things on their head and picking up a good result.
It will be a fixture I certainly earmarked points at the start of the season, particularly if the club has ambitions beyond struggling.
A narrow, gritty victory would be just the right tonic after the opening day shock.
WHEN: 28/08/12 – 19.45
WHERE: LOFTUS ROAD