After a fairly dull offering of live football on Sunday, Sky`s Monday night game is one that will surely set the pulses racing. QPR vs Newcastle is usually an entertaining affair but this occasion has added spice with former Toon favourite Joey Barton making his R`s debut against his former employers.
QPR are a different animal compared to when they last played a Premier League match. With five players added to the squad, competition for places is rife, which will no doubt stand QPR in good stead until January. The question is how quickly Neil Warnock will be able to integrate his new signings into the squad. On the plus side, the international break would’ve helped immensely as it has given the squad time to get to know each other during training.
Newcastle have made their best start to a Premier League season since the 1995-6 campaign, beating Sunderland and Fulham and drawing to Arsenal in the process. On the surface, looking at the players they have lost in the last two transfer windows, it`s quite a good start considering they haven`t replaced the players that have left out nor have they bought in a recognised number 9 in to replace Andy Carroll. A few of their summer signings are relatively unproven in the Premier League but that`s not to say they won`t be a success. Should new signings such as Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid hit the ground running then Newcastle could be this season`s surprise package.
Wigan 2 (Di Santo x2)
Team: Kenny, Gabbidon, Hall (Harriman), Perone, Connolly, Derry, Faurlin, Buzsaky (Bothroyd), Taarabt, Smith (Andrade), Agyemang
Newcastle 2 (Best x2)
Fulham 1 (Dempsey)
Team: Krul, Coloccini, Simpson, R Taylor, S Taylor, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Tiote, Lovenkrands (Ba), Best (Vuckic) (Smith), Obertan
QPR Team News:
Neil Warnock faces a selection headache but this time it`s the good kind. With multiple new additions, Warnock has big decisions to make ahead of the match. Joey Barton should start alongside fellow new signings Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand and Luke Young.
Jamie Mackie and Kieron Dyer are still unavailable. Patrick Agyemang who started the last two games misses out after being left out of the 25 man squad.
Possible line up:
Young – Ferdinand – Gabbidon – Hill
Faurlin – Derry – Barton
Wright-Phillips – Bothroyd – Taarabt
Player to watch: Shaun Wright-Phillips
With all the focus undoubtedly on Joey Barton and the nice coincidence that is his QPR debut, I could`ve easily focused on him as well. However, the signing of Shaun Wright-Phillips is also a huge coup for the club and is one worth mentioning. The former Manchester City favourite adds a dimension to the R`s attack that has been sorely missing since the departure of Wayne Routledge. Even though he couldn`t get a game at City, Wright-Phillips is still a very good Premier League player and has all the attributes to be a huge success at Loftus Road.
I assume Wright-Phillips will be thrown straight into the side on Monday and I believe he will make an immediate impact. He`s a typical Warnock player in the sense that he is direct, hard-working and has an eye for goal. Therefore, I could see old Neil expecting great things from the England International. I`m really excited to see how the new signings perform and I have a really good feeling about Wright-Phillips.
Newcastle Team News:
Newcastle are without several players for Monday`s game. New signing Mehdi Abeid is out with a knee problem. Hatem Ben Arfa is suffering from an ankle injury and Mike Williamson is sidelined with a broken arm.
Simpson – S. Taylor – Coloccini – R. Taylor
Obertan -Tiote – Cabaye – Gutierrez
Best – Ameobi
Player to watch: Cheik Tiote
Cheik Tiote has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of Monday`s match against Newcastle United.
For Daniel’s comprehensive review of the midfielderClick Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LLWLL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 16
LAST TIME OUT
Championship – 02/05/10
Newcastle 1 (Lovenkrands)
Team: Cerny, Ramage (Sent off), Gorkss, Tosic, Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Cook (Parker), Faurlin, Ephraim (Rose), Simpson, Priskin
Referee: Mr P Dowd
Assistants: Mr S Long & Mr R West
Fourth Official: Mr A D`Urso
Phil Dowd is the match official for Monday`s game. This season Dowd has issued a staggering 24 yellow cards in just 4 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
QPR`s first televised game of the season is sure to be an entertaining one. The pre-match build up will centre around Joey Barton and I think if you had said back in July that Mr. Barton would be playing for the Super Hoops in this fixture, I would`ve recommended a trip to the doctors to get your head examined. Since the Fernandes takeover, QPR have come a remarkably long way in a very short space of time. Warnock has done incredibly well to bring in the calibre of player that he has done in the summer and the excitement surrounding QPR is a complete contrast when compared to a few months ago.
Newcastle will not want to be playing QPR right now, the feel good factor is very high and the new signings will want to impress on their home debuts. An early goal could signal a miserable night for the Toon. If, however, they contain the R`s and manage to frustrate, then home crowd could grow restless and Newcastle could get a point at the very least. Alan Pardew is doing a good job on limited resources and seems to getting good performances out of key players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Ryan Taylor.
2-1 Home win.
When:17/09/11 – 15:00