TIMES have changed dramatically since Watford were last due to come to Loftus Road with Neil Warnock’s men now mathematically safe in the Championship.
Despite incurring an undeserved defeat at the weekend, where converting chances seemed to be a serious issue, the draw in the Steel City derby ensured Rangers play in the second tier next season.
Watford however still lie in danger of the drop after a 4-1 thumping at the hands of Leicester, and they currently sit two points above the drop zone and Sheffield Wednesday.
The financial problems at Vicarage Road have been well-documented and this midweek game will go a long way to defining their season both position-wise and financially.
Rangers in turn could cause controversy by not using some of the key loan players in a bid to assess the squad for next season – as has been previously stated by boss Neil Warnock.
Rain drenched the turf in W12 last time with referee Pat Miller postponing the clash, but no amount of rain can dampen spirits as Rangers look to put on a show without the pressure of the drop.
Cardiff City 1 (Ledley 80)
Team: Radek Černý, Peter Ramage, Mikele Leigertwood, Ákos Buzsáky, Kaspars Gork?s, Alejandro Faurlín, Jay Simpson (Lee Cook 83), Hogan Ephraim (Josh Parker 85), Du?ko To?ić, Tamás Priskin (Antonio German 90), Adel Taarabt.
Leicester City 4 (Waghorn 36pen, Gallagher 41, Spearing 51, Vaughan 67)
Watford 1 (Taylor 78)
Team: Scott Loach, Jay DeMerit (Martin Taylor 56), Adrian Mariappa, Jon Harley, Dale Bennett, Lee Hodson (Heidar Helguson 50), John Eustace, Henri Lansbury, Don Cowie (Michael Bryan 69), Ross Jenkins, Danny Graham.
QPR Team News:
Neil Warnock could make wholesale changes following Rangers secured status in the Championship with a possible set of loan omissions.
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 could start ahead of Tamás Priskin with Warnock’s vow to utilise permanent players, while youngster Josh Parker could also be in the frame to feature.
Jay Simpson could be replaced by Antonio German in the forward-line with several of the fringe players looking to get a start tomorrow night.
Martin Rowlands (knee) and Gavin Mahon (knee) will not make any further appearances this season.
Possible line up:
Leigertwood – Ramage – Gork?s – To?ić
Buzsáky – Faurlín
Ephraim – Taarabt – Cook
Player to watch: Lee Cook
Lee Cook looks poised for a re-call to face his former club Watford tomorrow as Warnock puts faith in permanent players.
Cook has been slowly re-introduced to first-team action and hasn’t been rushed back by Neil Warnock, but looks to be a sure-fire starter tomorrow evening.
He is sure to receive a hot reception from the travelling fans despite following his heart to QPR – but the best way to respond to criticism is with a positive display.
To view his career profile Click Here >>>
Watford Team News:
Malky Mackay has no fresh injury concerns as his side travel for a crucial game at Loftus Road – but may look to shuffle his pack following a convincing defeat.
Scott Loach should start between the sticks but Dale Bennett will face a fight to keep his place with Martin Taylor set to come back into contention alongside Jay DeMerit.
Taylor bagged a consolation for the Hornets at the Walkers Stadium and could be set to come back into the side while Adrian Mariappa and Lee Hodson should continue in their respective full-back roles.
Don Cowie and Jon Harley should be set to continue wide while John Eustace and Ross Jenkins will face competition from Stephen McGinn who looks to break back into the line-up.
Henri Lansbury should play off solitary front-man Danny Graham, with Heidar Helguson ineligible to play against his parent side.
Hodson – Taylor – DeMerit – Mariappa
Cowie – Eustace – Jenkins – Harley
Player to watch: TBA
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: D D D L W
Watford: L D D W L
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 46
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 07-12-2009
Watford 3 (Doyley 43, Cowie 56, Cleverley 90)
QPR 1 (Agyemang 33)
Team: Radek Černý, Peter Ramage, Damion Stewart, Fitz Hall, Mikele Leigertwood (Ákos Buzsáky 75), Wayne Routledge (Jay Simpson 72), Rowan Vine (Adel Taarabt 59), Patrick Agyemang, Ben Watson, Alejandro Faurlín, Gary Borrowdale.
Watford 1-2 QPR – 27-04-1971
QPR 2-0 Watford – 30-04-1975
Referee: Mr Pat Miller (Bedfordshire)
Assistants: Mr John Farries (Oxfordshire) & Mr Keith Yeo (Essex)
Fourth Official:Mr Ian Cooper (Kent)
Mr Miller will be in charge of a Rangers clash for the first time since early 2007 as he comes to Loftus Road on Tuesday night.
The official has presided over three QPR games of which the R’s have won all three, against Northampton Town, Coventry City and Leicester City.
He called off the previous fixture between the two clubs when a water-logged pitch made the game unplayable in W12.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
Queens Park Rangers won’t want to be embarrassed by a fellow basement side and despite playing some of the fringe players they could have too much for Watford tomorrow.
This presents another tough challenge, but the showing against Cardiff – despite defeat – shows that there is spirit among the squad and will to succeed.
The pressure has now subsided and a chance to enjoy the occasion should take centre-stage as the R’s look to severely dent Watford’s current plight.
Teams: Barnsley v QPR
Date: Saturday April 24, 2010 – 3.00pm
Ground: Oakwell, Barnsley