CHAMPIONS Newcastle United look to hit their century as they celebrate their promotion back to the top flight at Loftus Road.
The Magpies have been the stand-out side this season, retaining the majority of their key players such as José Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini and Jonás Gutiérrez, with all three playing a starring role
It appears that for all the protests ‘The Cockney Mafia’ – as they were branded – have done them proud, with Mike Ashley bankrolling a colossal wage-bill, and Chris Hughton ably leading them back to the top flight.
This weekend they face a QPR side buoyed by back-to-back wins against Watford and Barnsley and now Warnock has his sights set on Hughton’s Geordies to round off the season in style.
A point would see Newcastle hit a deserved century and 100 points would indeed be reflective of their dominance this season.
Warnock’s charges will surely have something to say about this as Rangers look to inject some style into proceedings as the curtain comes down on a tumultuous season.
QPR 1 (Leigertwood 27)
Team: Radek Černý, Peter Ramage, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gork?s, Dusko To?ić, Josh Parker, Alejandro Faurlín, Hogan Ephraim (Lee Cook 80), Ákos Buzsáky, Antonio German (Jay Simpson 56), Tamas Priskin (Lee Brown 90+3)
Newcastle United 2 (Carroll 26, Ameobi 84)
Ipswich Town 2 (Wickham 42, Walters 90)
Team: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, José Enrique, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Wayne Routledge, Jonás Gutiérrez, Danny Gurthrie (Joey Barton 76), Kevin Nolan (Nicky Butt 76), Andy Carroll, Peter Løvenkrands (Shola Ameobi 86)
QPR Team News:
Neil Warnock has shown faith in youth in recent weeks and this fixture against Newcastle should prove no different as he offers them a chance to impress.
Radek Černý starts in goal while Kaspars Gork?s and Peter Ramage will start in the centre of defence in the absence of Damion Stewart (fractured skull) and Matt Connolly.
Mikele Leigertwood and Du?ko To?ić should start at full-back, the latter attempting to earn a permanent deal, while Alejandro Faurlín is poised to be partnered by Ákos Buzsáky.
Lee Cook is pushing for a starting spot but it seems that Josh Parker and Hogan Ephraim will be given the wide roles with Antonio German and possibly Jay Simpson lining-up in attack.
Martin Rowlands (knee) and Gavin Mahon (knee) will not make any further appearances this season.
Possible line up:
Leigertwood – Ramage – Gork?s – To?ić
Parker – Buzsáky – Faurlín – Ephraim
Simpson – German
Player to watch: Ákos Buzsáky
Buzsáky has proven a revelation in recent games proving he can recapture the form of old and produce useful displays from the heart of midfield.
His talent has rarely been in question but the application and form was evidently lacking during the dark days under Jim Magilton.
Since then a defining goal against Crystal Palace has helped bolster his career and his future with the R’s as he proves to have a positive end to the campaign.
To view his career profile Click Here >>>
Newcastle United Team News:
Chris Hughton may take the opportunity to shuffle his pack as the champions come to Loftus Road with a few rumoured inclusions of players on the periphery.
Tim Krul is being earmarked for a start ahead of Steve Harper while Steven Taylor and Tamás Kádár are being rumoured to start – Fitz Hall (groin) is eligible to play, but remains injured.
Danny Simpson and José Enrique will offer stability at full-back with Joey Barton and Nicky Butt pushing for starting places in the middle of the park – but they’ll have to oust Danny Gurthrie and top-scorer Kevin Nolan.
Former QPR wide-man Wayne Routledge is sure to start along with World Cup-bound Jonás Gutierrez. Shola Ameobi, Peter Løvenkrands, Andy Carroll and Leon Best will be pushing for the striker spots.
Simpson – Williamson – Taylor – Enrique
Routledge – Barton – Nolan – Gutierrez
Ameobi – Carroll
Player to watch: TBA
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: L W L W W
Newcastle United: W W W W D
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 16
Newcastle United: 18
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 30-09-2009
St James Park
Newcastle United 1 (Harewood 70)
QPR 1 (Watson 7)
Team: Radek Černý, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gork?s, Damion Stewart, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge, Martin Rowlands, Ben Watson, Ákos Buzsáky, Rowan Vine (Alejandro Faurlín 86), Jay Simpson (Adel Taarabt 72).
QPR 5-5 Newcastle United – 22-09-1984
Newcastle United 0-3 QPR – 22-04-1988
Referee: Mr Darren Deadman
Assistants: Mr Tony Mason (Kent) and Mr Geoff Russell (Northamptonshire)
Fourth Official:Mr Mike Blackledge (Cambridgeshire)
Darren Deadman will take charge at Loftus Road this weekend – a place where he has overseen two QPR games, both yielding home wins without reply.
The referee from Cheshunt has proven himself a card merchant in the past and fans will be hoping that his tendencies don’t ruin what could be an exciting affair this weekend.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
Rangers and Newcastle are two sides that are able to play with the freedom of knowing their future next season, and the Geordies will undoubtedly go into the game as favourites.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Rangers could coast out the campaign, but a Warnock team isn’t allowed to merely be – it has to do!
Youngsters will feature, but the spirit will remain alive and no doubt rally the troops and the fans with what should prove to a be a positive finale.
That’s all folks!