QUEENS Park Rangers face a side in good form as they travel to Deepdale to face Simon Grayson’s Preston North End.
An archetypal Championship side brimming with effort and organised by an able manager, North End currently lie in a deserved tenth place in the Championship – testament to their attitude towards England’s second tier.
All the more remarkable considering their lack of spending prowess when compared with those around them. One defeat in ten; four wins in that run, has seen them propelled into the top half of a very competitive division.
They left Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Queens Park Rangers in tatters when they visited W12 earlier this season, but this will be more of a like for like affair if recent QPR performances are anything to go by.
Rangers’ away performances have been far more impressive than some recent home stutters, victory against Wigan Athletic aside. It should be a competitive game up at Deepdale, but the result will be anyone’s guess.
Wigan Athletic 0
Preston North End 0
Team: Maxwell, Cunningham, Clarke, Browning, Huntington, Pearson, Horgan (Barkhuizen 82), Browne, McGeady, Hugill (Makienok 63), Robinson (Beckford 63).
Match Report >>>
Queens Park Rangers 2 (Smith 4, Washington 60)
Wigan Athletic 1 (Bogle 17pen)
Team: Smithies, Furlong, Onuoha, Hall (LuaLua29), Lynch, Bidwell, Wszolek, Manning, Freeman, Washington (Ngbakoto 69), Smith (Sylla 76)
Match Report >>>
Preston North End Team News:
Simon Grayson is unlikely to be outlandish in his selection and could even go unchanged despite the 0-0 draw with Wigan Athletic recently. Simon Makienok is perhaps one of the more likely players to be thrown in but with top scorer Jordan Hugill more than holding his own up top it would be a surprise to see him displaced.
Who R Ya >>>
Player to watch: Jordan Hugill
Jordan Hugill has emerged from the shadows of his competitors in recent seasons to prove his worth to Simon Grayson and PNE supporters. Top scorer with ten in all competitions he will be the one of the threats that the home side possess.
While he is a danger, threats will also come from wide areas with the youthful Callum Robinson and experienced Aiden McGeady contributing to the goal threat.
Ryan Forrester meanwhile has outlined another important danger for Rangers to keep their eyes on.
Wide man Callum Robinson has impressed since his move from Aston Villa.
QPR Team News:
Ian Holloway will be hard pressed to shuffle his pack for this weekend’s trip to Deepdale with the possible exception of Grant Hall who was taken off with an injury against Wigan Athletic. His replacement is likely to be James Perch if Rangers elect to play the same system, but on Tuesday he elected to throw on Kazenga LuaLua in a formation shift – so he will surely keep us guessing.
The Matt Smith/Conor Washington partnership is more than certain to continue up front with both scoring two in two and Washington netting four in six.
Furlong – Onuoha – Perch – Lynch – Bidwell
Wszolek – Manning – Freeman
Washington – Smith
Player to watch: Conor Washington
Conor Washington is most certainly one of Rangers more potent players heading into this weekend’s fixture at Deepdale and will look to continue a fine recent run of goalscoring.
It was not rocket science was it? – Play a forward in a forward’s role with a strike partner and you may well get the best out of him; this is the revelation that Ian Holloway has brought to Conor’s game. He and Smith already look a formidable partnership and while he’s far from the finished article, this is the biggest stride forward he’s made at QPR.
Four in six games – which should have been five in six had that frankly ridiculous decision been made correctly at Blackburn – is the mark of a player embarking on an exciting journey in W12.
The Stat Attack
Preston North End: L D W W D
Queens Park Rangers D L L W W
HEAD 2 HEAD
Preston North End: 12
Queens Park Rangers 10
LAST TIME OUT
20th August 2016
Queens Park Rangers 0
Preston North End 2 (Beckford 21, Onuoha 52og)
Team: Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Caulker, Bidwell, Cousins, Henry (Washington 55), Ngbakoto (El-Khayati 69), Luongo, Chery, Polter.
Referee: David Coote (West Yorkshire)
Assistant: Nick Hopton (Derbyshire)
Assistant: David Avent (Northamptonshire)
Fourth Official: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)
David Coote is the man in the middle for Rangers’ trip to Preston North End this weekend. He has taken charge of Rangers twice previously – both in defeat to Reading and Derby County respectively.
To read our report on the official Click Here > > >
I fully expect this to be every bit as tough as it looks and Rangers will have to be at their best to get anything out of this one.
Simon Grayson has his side organised and despite coming off the back of two wins in succession, QPR will have to guard against complacency.
Who: CARDIFF CITY
Where: LOFTUS ROAD
When: 04.03.2017 – 15.00