Date: 1st January 2014 at 11:30am
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QUEENS Park Rangers know that only a win will do as they prepare to face recently-promoted Doncaster Rovers on New Years Day.

The hosts will be hoping for a glimmer of festive cheer at the back end of a holiday period that has been less than giving in consideration of recent results.

Back to back defeats against promotion prospects Leicester City and Nottingham Forest was tempered at least by the damp squib of a goalless stalemate against Watford.

Rovers caused a stir by condemning Rangers to only their second defeat of the campaign, coming from behind to defeat a side struggling for consistency in front of goal.

Now is the chance and indeed the time for the home side to make amends – with expectancy levels high in all quarters, Rangers now must address their recent form and make a winning start to 2014.

TEAM NEWS

Rangers look to be without the services of Charlie Austin (hamstring) once again, leaving no fit recognised striker to fill the void. Either Bobby Zamora or Andy Johnson could start but due to fitness levels will not be able to complete the fixture.

Doncaster may be without the services of Chris Brown (ankle), Billy Paynter (Achilles) and James Coppinger (heel). Long-term absentees Jamie McCombe (back), Rob Jones (neck) and James Husband (shoulder) will remain sidelined.

FORM

Queens Park Rangers are without a win in three matches, following a less than charitable Christmas period. They have however only suffered one defeat at home, to leaders Leicester City – who have opened up a five point gap on Rangers.

Doncaster have not won in six matches, falling to defeats in four of them. A recent damning home defeat by Ipswich Town, followed up with a disappointing home draw with managerless Millwall will do little to quell the fears at the wrong end of the table.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Richie Wellens is an old fashioned central midfielder with pedigree in spades at this level. The Rovers midfield marshal has a well-documented combative side to his game – highlighted by the amount of cards picked up at clubs such as Blackpool and Leicester City previously.

His tussle with Joey Barton earlier this season proved to be formidable one, and they will renew acquaintances on New Years Day.

PREDICTION

Rovers will look upon this fixture as a bit of a free-be given their lack of expectation and lofty odds to pick up a result in W12. Rangers meanwhile need a victory to get back into the promotion hunt and today will be seen as an ideal opportunity.

If Rangers can hit their straps and take some of the opportunities they have been threatening then a home victory should be in the offing, but fall short in front of goal and as Rovers have shown, they will be there to pick up the pieces.

Prediction: 2-0 QPR