QPR welcome title contenders Manchester City to Loftus Road this weekend in should prove to be a fascinating mismatch. City have been ruthless this season easing past most opposition with consummate ease and as a result sit comfortably at the top of the table. Although, with all the money spent on their squad you would expect them to be where they are, it`s still refreshing to see someone other than Chelsea displace Manchester United at the summit of the Premier League. Neil Warnock knows the odds are stacked against his valiant QPR side and it will take a huge effort from the Super Hoops to get something out of the game.
In each half against Spurs, QPR demonstrated why they stand as much an equal chance of being relegated as they do surviving. The first half was a timid and lacklustre affair that saw QPR give Spurs too much respect. There was no pressing on the ball, the passing was inaccurate and had it not been for Paddy Kenny`s heroics and Emmanuel Adebayor`s lack of composure it could`ve been a cricket score. In the second half Rangers displayed why they deserve to be in the same league as the likes of Spurs, City and Chelsea. The R`s displayed passion, hunger, confidence on the ball and in turn really unsettled Spurs, forcing them to raise their game. Had QPR played like that throughout the match then they may have got a point or three.
Saturday represents another stern challenge in this trio of fixtures against the League`s elite. I`d like to see Warnock start with the team that finished the match at White Hart Lane, whether this will leave QPR overrun in midfield remains to be seen but what can be learnt from last weekend is that a lack of ambition will cost us dearly. I think Jay Bothroyd deserves a start after his wonderful second half performance and it will be interesting if Warnock does leave Taarabt out after his woeful display. Hopefully the match will be as explosive as the date suggests.
Spurs 3 (Bale x2, Van Der Vaart)
QPR 1 (Bothroyd)
Team: Kenny, Young, Hall (Gabbidon), Ferdinand, Traore, Derry (Mackie), Faurlin, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Taarabt (Bothroyd) , Helguson
Manchester City 3 (Toure x2, Balotelli)
Team: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Savic, Clichy, Milner, Nasri, Silva (Johnson), De Jong, Toure (Aguero), Balotelli (Kolarov)
QPR Team News:
The Fulham Chronicle are reporting that Adel Taarabt is struggling with a stomach bug while Shaun Derry is a doubt with a groin problem.
Defenders Armand Traore and Matt Connolly are doubts. Fitz Hall joins long term absentees Keiron Dyer and DJ Campbell on the injury table with a hamstring strain
Possible line up:
Young – Ferdinand – Gabbidon -Hill
Barton – Derry – Faurlin – Wright-Phillips
Bothroyd – Helguson
Player to watch: Shaun Wright-Phillips
The last time the two clubs met it was a certain Shaun Wright-Phillips who bagged a brace against his current employers. The Manchester City favourite will be itching to impress on Saturday and will no doubt be warmly received by the travelling support. The tricky winger played well against Spurs and put in a good shift against Chelsea, the only aspect of his game missing is the goals which will come if he keeps getting into dangerous positions.
Manchester City Team News:
Skipper Vincent Kompany is suspended after being sent off last week against Wolves. David Silva is a doubt after being substituted against Villarreal with what looked to be a back injury.
Richards – Savic – Lescott – Clichy
Milner – Barry – Toure
Nasri – Dzeko – Aguero
Player to watch: David Silva
Vital QPR has singled out David Silva as the One to Watch this weekend
To read our profile of the player Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: DLDWL
Manchester City: WWWWW
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 12
Manchester City: 19
LAST TIME OUT
Carling Cup – 28/10/03
Manchester City 3 (Wright-Phillips x2, Macken)
Team: Day, Edghill, Forbes, Padula, Carlisle, Ainsworth, Rowlands, McLeod, Bircham, Gallen, Pacquette (Sabin).
Referee: Mr M Atkinson
Assistants: Mr P Kirkup & Mr M Mullarkey
Fourth Official: Mr M Jones
Martin Atkinson is the match official for Saturday`s game. This season Atkinson has issued 50 yellow cards and 6 red cards in 12 games.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
Without sounding too pessimistic…I can`t see us getting much out of this game (I did say that about Chelsea too and look what happened). City have been a different animal this season with Mancini letting his attacking players express themselves and so far it has paid dividends. What has impressed me though is how City have kept their defensive solidity, something which Chelsea lacked against us, certainly a contributing factor to their downfall at Loftus Road. However, City don`t tend to make the same defensive errors as Chelsea therefore it is going to be very hard for us to get much change out of what is a very dominant side this year.
That being said, Neil Warnock is not going to let his side go down without a fight. At Loftus Road, with the home support in full voice, QPR stand a chance against anyone. If we take our chances then who knows but in all honesty I do feel that goalscoring opportunities will be hard to come by. I think it will be a cagey game to start off with. The longer QPR can hold them off the more frustrated City will get which could work in our favour. After watching City several times this season it will surely be a matter of time before they do score. You never know though with Wright-Phillips and Barton facing their former clubs with points to prove coupled with the rejuvenated Bothroyd and Helguson up top we might cause them more problems than they bargained for.
1-2 QPR putting up a fight but City proving to be too strong on the day.
Who: STOKE CITY
Where: BRITANNIA STADIUM
When: 19/11/2011 – 1500