After three consecutive draws QPR will be hoping to recapture that winning feeling with a result over recently relegated Burnley. Neil Warnock’s men have had a tough run of games and the R’s boss must be delighted to have remained unbeaten and to have broken the club record.
This season Burnley have taken a few games to adjust to life back in the Championship but with 13 games gone The Clarets have found their feet and sit just outside a play-off spot in 7th. Boasting the quality of Chris Eagles, Lee Grant, Wade Elliot and the young Jay Rodriguez, Burnley have a strong spine and will be one of the teams I expect to finish around the top six.
With Cardiff applying the early pressure Rangers will be going all out for a victory. I get the feeling QPR will change things up slightly for Saturday’s game. Burnley played commendably against Premier League side Aston Villa and narrowly lost in extra time but prior to that they were thrashed 4-0 at home to Reading.
Burnley have really embraced the unpredictable nature of the Championship. The only sides that have shown any consistency are the two sitting in the top two (obviously). It makes Saturday’s match all the more harder to predict. QPR haven’t won at home in two games but I think it`s about time they came away with a convincing result against what has been an inconsistent Burnley side.
Bristol City 1(Stead)
QPR 1 (Agyemang)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Connolly, Gorkss, Walker, Derry, Ephraim (Smith), Taarabt ( Agyemang), Faurlin, Mackie, Helguson (Hulse)
Aston Villa 2 (Heskey, Downing)
Team: Burnley: Grant, Mears, Fox, Duff, Carlisle, Alexander, Wallace, Marney (Elliott ), Cork (Thompson) , Paterson (Iwelumo), Rodriguez
QPR Team News:
Rangers should start with the same team that featured against Bristol City.
Hungarian midfielder Akos Buzsaky is still unavailable but is back in training. Fitz Hall is available again having featured for the reserves in mid-week and Leon Clarke is also available for selection.
Martin Rowlands is a doubt with a calf injury but could pass a late fitness test and make the bench, whereas Peter Ramage and Lee Cook remain long-term absentees.
Tommy Smith is a doubt because his wife is due to give birth over the weekend so he is expected to be unavailable – understandably too. Good Luck to the Smith family.
Possible line up:
Walker – Connolly – Gorkss – Hill
Faurlín – Derry
Mackie – Taarabt (c) – Ephraim
Player to watch: Kyle Walker
He has been a sensation since joining from Tottenham Hotspur and Bradley Orr must be kicking himself for falling out of contention at the wrong time.
Walker – an England under 21 international impressed coming through the ranks at Sheffield United and as a result was snapped up along with Kyle Naughton by Tottenham Hotspur.
Since then he has had limited opportunity at White Hart Lane, and has opted to once again dip into the Championship for regular first team football.
If he continues his current form then Spurs will have to take a long, hard look at what is an undoubted prospect.
Burnley Team News:
Brian Laws has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s match.
Chris McCann is still unavailable with a long-term knee injury. Graham Alexander will be hoping for a place in the starting XI as will former R Clark Carlisle who returned to action in mid-week.
Leon Cort and fit-again Andre Bikey will also be challenging Clark Carlisle for that final centre back position alongside Michael Duff.
Mears – Carlisle – Duff – Fox
Eagles – Cork – Marney – Elliot
Paterson – Iwelumo
Player to watch: Chris Eagles
Chris Eagles has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this weekend`s match against Burnley.
Click here to readOne to watch >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: DWDDD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 10
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 11/04/09
Burnley 1 (Carlisle)
Team: Cerny, Connolly, Gorkss, Ramage, Delaney, Routledge, Leigertwood, Ephraim (Lopez), Taarabt, Di Carmine (Cook), Vine (Alberti)
Referee: Iain Williamson
Assistants: Lee Betts & John Hopkins
Fourth Official: Steve Rubery
Iain Williamson is the match official for Saturday’s game and has officiated 12 games this season. His most recent game was the seven-goal thriller between Torquay and Bury.
In the 2008/09 season Williamson issued an incredible 138 yellow cards and 6 red cards in 30 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
To state the obvious QPR could do with a win. A draw (our new favourite result) wouldn’t be a disaster but after three consecutive draws Rangers really need to push on and get some fresh momentum – three points on Saturday will do just that.
I think if QPR can cut off the potent supply from Chris Eagles and Wade Elliot then Chris Iwelumo becomes ‘less’ of a threat. Aerially Kaspars Gorkss won’t come up against a harder opponent this season but if the crosses from wide are kept to a minimum then Iwelumo’s threat is diminished somewhat. That said it’s easier said than done keeping Chris Eagles and Wade Elliot quiet.
I feel QPR’s attack needs changing up if they are going to start scoring freely again. Tommy Smith deserves a start after impressing in a series short lived substitute appearances but whether he’s available is another matter. Rob Hulse could feature after Heider Helguson picked up a knock against Bristol City. Without sounding too spoilt (let’s not forget we are top of the league) hopefully those or any other changes can inject some fresh energy and invention to what has become a slightly stagnant attacking force.
As always I expect us to build from the back. The defence has looked imperious all season but Saturday will be a stern test with the physical threat of Chris Iwelumo and the clever movement of Martin Paterson full concentration will be needed. However I`m positive the defence can deal with the aforementioned issues.
Burnley to fly out the traps but QPR to edge it.
2-1 QPR win
Where: Loftus Road
When: 06/11/10 – 1500