After touring the country in recent weeks, the R`s are finally back at Loftus Road, where they welcome former coach Steve McClaren and his Derby team. In truth, Rangers have stuttered in October, picking up one win from four (D2 L1), although the fixture list was unkind with three tough away games in succession. Worryingly, QPR have lost the attacking threat they carried against Middlesbrough and Barnsley and the R`s mustered just 10 shots on target in October and failed to score in their last two matches against Burnley and Wigan. Lots for Harry to think about.
The injury to Niko could mean a change in formation with Redknapp potentially selecting two up front from a choice of Austin, Chevanton, Johnson and Hitchcock. However, I think it`s more likely that Matt Phillips will come in on the wing and Rangers continue with a five-man midfield. It will certainly be an intriguing match as McClaren worked with the R`s squad for several months over the summer and start of the season and it might mean Derby head to Loftus Road tomorrow full of ideas and ways to exploit QPR`s weaknesses.
QPR Team News:
Nedum Onuoha remains on the absentee list, as does Bobby Zamora. Niko Kranjcar is out with a hamstring injury.
Possible line up:
SIMPSON – DUNNE – HILL – ASSOU-EKOTTO
PHILLIPS – BARTON – FAURLIN – HOILETT
AUSTIN – JOHNSON
Player to watch: Andrew Johnson
Simply, QPR need to be testing the opposition goalkeeper much more often. When Charlie Austin isn`t getting the service, none of the current crop of midfielders look like they are currently capable of scoring. A confident Junior Hoilett or Matt Phillips should be tearing this division apart but injuries and lack of form have hindered their progress this season.
Andrew Johnson could be our best hope this weekend should Charlie Austin fail to make an impact. Johnson`s movement and finishing can be very effective at this level and with QPR requiring some inspiration, Johnson could be the man to provide it.
Derby Team News:
Zak Whitbread is out with a calf injury.
Possible line up:
KEOGH – BUXTON – WISDOM – FORSYTH
WARD – EUSTACE – HUGHES – BRYSON – DAWKINS
Player to watch: –
Stat’s Ya Lot
Charlie Austin has scored four goals in his last four league appearances at Loftus Road.
QPR have won all five games at home in which they have taken the lead.
Derby County have scored a league-high 14 goals in the first half of fixtures this season.
In October, no side mustered fewer shots on target in the Championship than QPR (10).
HEAD 2 HEAD
LAST TIME OUT
Championship – 18/04/11
Team: Kenny, Hill, Orr, Gorkss, Connolly, Derry, Taarabt (Agyemang), Faurlin, Routledge (Miller), Smith, Helguson (Hulse).
Referee: Jon Moss
Assistants: Gavin Muge & Mark Russell
Fourth Official: Gavin Ward
Jon Moss is the match official for tomorrow`s game against the Rams. This season, Moss has issued 23 yellow cards and 1 red card in 7 Premier League games.
1-0 Home win. Barton to score.
Where: Madejski Stadium