AFTER the monotony of an international weekend Queens Park Rangers return to action as they host fellow playoff hopefuls Preston North End.
Alan Irvine’s side have proven resilient in recent times, quietly brushing teams aside to occupy a top six position.
Central to their fortune has been their strike force with Chris Brown, Neil Mellor and John Parkin all beginning the season in positive fashion.
The R’s have had a week to clear their heads after a disappointing second defeat of the season at the hands of Swansea City.
Rangers went down to nine men at the Liberty Stadium, and will be surely looking to recapture the calibre of performance displayed against Barnsley in their last home fixture.
Former Lilywhites Patrick Agyemang and Gareth Ainsworth aren’t expected to feature from the start but the former is more likely to occupy a place on the bench.
This fixture has thrown up some interesting results and displays in recent years, not least two years ago when two 90th minute goals secured a point for QPR in unlikely circumstances.
While the entertainment value is looking to be instilled this weekend with the ‘Be our 12th man’ campaign in full flow – the R’s will be looking for a positive result to rekindle their league form.
Swansea City 2 (Gower 74, Trundle 85)
Team: Radek Černý, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gork?s, Damion Stewart, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge, Ben Watson (Sent Off 77), Martin Rowlands (Sent Off 53), Ákos Buzsáky (Adel Taarabt 76), Rowan Vine (Alejandro Faurlín 61), Jay Simpson (Alessandro Pellicori 76).
Preston North End 0
West Bromwich Albion 0
Team: Andy Lonergan, Billy Jones, Neill Collins, Eddie Nolan, Youl Mawéné, Darren Carter, Ross Wallace, Richard Chaplow (Veliče ?umulikoski 71), Chris Sedgwick, Neil Mellor, Chris Brown (John Parkin 65).
QPR Team News:
Radek Černý will keep his place between the sticks despite conceding two goals last weekend, and with a midfield reshuffle, there could also be a change to the back four.
Peter Ramage may return at the expense of a suspended central midfielder with Mikele Leigertwood pushing forward, while Damion Stewart, Kaspars Gork?s and Gary Borrowdale look set to keep their spots despite the return of Fitz Hall.
With the absence of Ben Watson and skipper Martin Rowlands, both through suspension, and the latter receiving a nasty injury while on international duty with Ireland, Leigertwood should step forward alongside Argentinean Alejandro Faurlín.
Wayne Routledge and Ákos Buzsáky should once again line-up on the wings, with the Hungarian looking to take his international goal midweek into the league this weekend.
Rowan Vine looks most likely to play behind lone striker Jay Simpson, but with Patrick Agyemang bagging his second goal for the reserves during the week, the former Lilywhite has given Jim Magilton food for thought.
The R’s will be without Gareth Ainsworth (tendonitis) as he looks to get more reserve games under his belt, while Angelo Balanta (groin), Hogan Ephraim (ankle) and Martin Rowlands (knee) are all unavailable.
Possible line up:
Ramage – Stewart – Gork?s – Borrowdale
Leigertwood (c) – Faurlín
Routledge – Vine – Buzsáky
Player to watch: Ákos Buzsáky
Versatile midfielder Ákos Buzsáky will be hoping to continue his useful goalscoring run this weekend as the R’s host Preston North End.
The Magical Magyar lived up to his name in the previous home fixture against Barnsley with an excellent double in a comfortable home win.
His goal for Hungary during the week against run-away group leaders Denmark would have bolstered his confidence after a disappointing outing to both Swansea and Portugal for the R’s man.
Buzsáky has shown great adaptability and positivity in his new-found role on the left-flank, and he will be hoping to extend his run of goals against Alan Irvine’s side.
To read his career profile Click Here >>>
Preston North End Team News:
Who R Ya? >>>
Alan Irvine has somewhat of a selection headache with a couple of key players returning from injury to bolster his squad.
Andy Lonergan delighted his boss by penning a new contract this week, and will remain between the sticks. The game may come too soon for veteran Callum Davidson despite a speedy recovery from a torn hamstring.
Billy Jones and Eddie Nolan could therefore occupy the full-back berths, with Neill Collins and Youl Mawéné pipping Liam Chilvers to a central defensive poisition.
Veliče ?umulikoski will be hoping to prove a point to QPR boss Jim Magilton, who discarded him while manager of Ipswich Town, and he will look to displace Richard Chaplow or Darren Carter at the heart of midfield.
Ross Wallace and Chris Sedgwick will look to occupy the flanks, but with the imminent return of versatile midfielder Paul Parry it could be Sedgwick that gives way for the former Cardiff City man.
Irvine will once again have to pick two from three in the forward line, with Chris Brown and Neil Mellor performing well in recent times and John Parkin waiting in the wings.
Jones – Collins – Mawéné – Nolan
Sedgwick – Chaplow – Carter – Wallace
Brown – Mellor
Player to watch: TBA
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: D W W D L
Preston North End: L W W L D
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 8
Preston North End: 11
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 03-05-2009
Preston North End: 2 (Parkin 37, St Ledger 74)
Queens Park Rangers: 1 (Agyemang 57)
Team: Radek Černý, Peter Ramage, Matthew Connolly, Kaspars Gork?s, Damien Delaney, Wayne Routledge, Mikele Leigertwood, Gavin Mahon (Angelo Balanta 83), Hogan Ephraim, Patrick Agyemang (Antonio German 75), Rowan Vine.
Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Preston North End 11-09-1971
Referee: Mr Russell Booth (Nottinghamshire)
Assistants: Mr Mike Blackledge (Cambridgeshire) & Mr Tony Mason (Kent)
Fourth Official: Mr Warren Atkin (West Sussex)
Russell Booth from Nottinghamshire will take charge of the playoff-chasing clash between the R’s and Preston North End this weekend
Mr Booth has taken charge of one Rangers game while refereeing a mixed bag of results for Preston North End in the three fixtures of theirs he has overseen.
So far this season he has taken charge of 12 games dishing out 19 yellow cards and two reds.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
Jim Magilton’s R’s will be looking to get back to winning ways in what is bound to be a keenly-fought encounter in W12 with two stout set of defences.
Both sides have a stubborn rearguard with QPR conceding ten goals this season, and the visitors 12. The game will require a creative spark to unlock a defence, and that as mentioned above could be Ákos Buzsáky.
It will not be an easy fixture by any stretch of the imagination, and certainly not as open as the Barnsley fixture, but the first goal will be all-important in this one.
LeeCookFan: 2-2 Draw
southernhoop: 3-0 QPR
jezza99: 1-1 Draw
QPR4Me: 2-1 QPR
Superhoop50: 1-0 Preston
toboboly: 2-2 Draw
Ranger1975: 2-1 QPR
beforerodney: 2-0 QPR
PaulaHoops: 2-1 QPR
cartouche: 2-2 QPR
Next Up In W12
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Reading
Date: Tuesday October 20, 2009 – 8:00pm
Ground: Loftus Road, London