THE second part of the West Country triple-header takes place tomorrow as Queens Park Rangers travel to Plymouth Argyle.
After brushing aside Argyle`s rivals Exeter in the Carling Cup, Rangers go into this weekend`s clash brimming with confidence as they face the rejuvenated Pilgrims.
Like QPR the Green Army were riding the crest of a wave to promotion, but the feel good factor in the second tier began to wane after budgets were cut and key players were sold.
Akos Buzsaky was a notable loss for the Pilgrims as he joined the Rangers revolution when it became apparent that manager Ian Holloway and chairman Paul Stapleton didn`t see eye to eye on the issue.
Since then Plymouth have freshened up their backroom with Japanese director Yasuaki Kagami and George Synan joined forces with Sir Roy Gardner and Argyle fan Keith Todd to buy a majority share in the club.
Despite times of prosperity at Home Park, the media have been damning in their predictions of the Pilgrims fortunes for the coming season. Many have written them off as relegation fodder despite continued reassurance from the newly-formed board.
Both sides will be looking for their first win of the campaign, with contrasting fortunes in the League Cup leaving Queens Park Rangers the more confident side going into tomorrow`s clash.
Exeter City 0
QPR 5 (Routledge 53, 61, 66pen, Pellicori 85, Ephraim 89)
Team: Radek Cerny, Matthew Connolly, Damion Stewart, Kaspars Gorkss, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge (Gareth Ainsworth 66), Akos Buzsaky, Mikele Leigertwood, Hogan Ephraim, Rowan Vine (Alessandro Pellicori 67), Patrick Agyemang (Gavin Mahon 73)
Gillingham 2 (Jackson 42, Barcham 45)
Plymouth Argyle 1 (Summerfield 49)
Team: Romain Larrieu, David McNamee, Gary Sawyer, Marcel Seip, Jim Paterson, Karl Duguid, Luke Summerfield (Giles Barnes 80), Jamie Mackie, Steven MacLean (Craig Noone 72), Alan Judge (Chris Clark 73), Rory Fallon
Plymouth Argyle Team News:
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Transfer listed defender Krisztian Timar remains an injury worry for Argyle with an ankle complaint, and with little in reserve it appears that Plymouth could be set to name another makeshift central defensive partnership.
With Chris Barker still sidelined with a torn calf muscle it may prompt Sturrock to hand defender Reda Johnson his debut following his return from international duty. Marcel Seip, Gary Sawyer and Jim Paterson are also on hand to link up with Johnson.
Carl Fletcher is also doubtful with a thigh complaint which could see a second debut for Icelandic international Kari Arnason, but another summer signing, Bradley Wright-Phillips, is definitely sidelined with a knee complaint.
Alan Judge could continue out-wide despite a disappointing display against Gillingham, with Luke Summerfield set to retain his starting place after scoring Argyle`s goal in the cup defeat on Tuesday night.
With Plymouth`s move for striker Alan Gow failing to come to fruition, Sturrock moved to sign Ireland under 21 international Cillian Sheridan on loan from Celtic. He could make his debut partnering either Jamie Mackie or Rory Fallon, with young prospect Ashley Barnes pushing from the bench.
Player to watch: Luke Summerfield
Young midfielder Luke Summerfield has been outlined as the One to Watch by Vital QPR ahead of tomorrow`s clash against Argyle.
The young prospect has had a trial with Premier League Chelsea as he continues to add to his growing reputation by scoring two pre-season goals and striking against Gillingham in the Carling Cup.
To read our profile of the midfielder Click Here >>>
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Jim Magilton has a selection headache ahead of tomorrow`s game at Home Park with the R`s playing well and firing on all cylinders in performances against Blackpool and Exeter City.
Radek Cerny will continue in goal with news that Andy Marshall instead opted to join Aston Villa, with Matthew Connolly and Peter Ramage set to fight it out for a spot at right full back. Gary Borrowdale will start his third game in succession at left-back.
Kaspars Gorkss has shaken off the knee complaint that saw him withdraw from international duty and will continue with Fitz Hall and Damion Stewart vying for a position alongside the Latvian international.
Wayne Routledge has secured his spot on the right wing following his swift hatrick against Exeter on Tuesday, with Magilton hard pushed to look past Hogan Ephraim given his display against the Grecians amid reports suggest that Angelo Balanta has sustained an injury.
Martin Rowlands will miss out once again with an ankle injury prompting Gavin Mahon, Mikele Leigertwood and Akos Buzsaky to prove that three doesn`t go into two. With Adel Taarabt returning from international duty it makes for ample competition at the heart of midfield.
In attack and Heidar Helguson will bolster a confident strike force, with Patrick Agyemang, Rowan Vine and Alessandro Pellicori all playing a role in the R`s convincing midweek win.
Player to watch: Akos Buzsaky
Once again Akos Buzsaky will have the opportunity to prove his worth to his former employers infront of what is bound to be a mixed reception at Home Park.
Buzsaky played for two years at Plymouth making 96 appearances for the Pilgrims after an initial loan spell, scoring eight goals.
He was injured for the R`s last trip to Home Park and previously under Luigi De Canio failed to make the desired impact against his former club. This time around he will have a point to prove to the Plymouth faithful and Vital QPR backs him to have a positive impact on the fixture.
The Stat Attack
HEAD 2 HEAD
Plymouth Argyle: 24
Queens Park Rangers: 17
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 25-04-2009
Queens Park Rangers: 0
Plymouth Argyle: 0
Team: Radek Cerny, Damion Stewart, Gavin Mahon, Mikele Leigertwood, Wayne Routledge, Patrick Agyemang (Antonio German 66), Kaspars Gorkss, Matthew Connolly, Lee Cook (Angelo Balanta 56), Liam Miller (Peter Ramage 62), Heidar Helguson.
Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Queens Park Rangers – 20-08-1957
Referee: Mr R East
Assistants: Mr A P Bennett & Mr J Flynn
Fourth Official: Mr K Johnson
Mr East from Wiltshire will take charge of Rangers clash with Plymouth Argyle tomorrow at Home Park.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
Queens Park Rangers will be looking to continue a positive start to life under Jim Magilton with goals and good football at the forefront of the new era under Jim.
Jim has brought passing football back to the QPR fans and they revelled in such attacking class in the second period against Exeter City where the side showed a marked improvement.
In Plymouth Rangers face a side with their backs against the wall, and with nothing to lose in their first home game of the campaign the crowd are bound to be buzzing with expectation.
If QPR are able to reproduce the calibre of display shown in the second half against Exeter City then Plymouth could be in for a rough ride, but it does depend which Rangers opt to show up at Home Park.
Boxer: 2-1 QPR
PaulaHoops: 2-1 Plymouth
Toboboly: 1-0 Plymouth
Superhoop50: 1-0 Plymouth
Clonmany_Hoop: 2-1 QPR
Nomar: 3-1 QPR
Sandydl: 1-1 Draw
Beforerodney: 3-1 QPR
Cartouche: 4-1 QPR
LeeCookFan: 2-1 QPR
Teams: Bristol City v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Tuesday August 18, 2009 – 7:45pm
Ground: Ashton Gate, Bristol