Having suffered defeat to the hands of Norwich already this season, QPR will be eager to atone for their loss in November with a victory tomorrow. The Canaries came out on top with a 2-1 win, even though it would be fair to the say the R`s were the better side on the day. As usual, lapses of concentration in defence cost Rangers dear. Monday is a massive game in the context of our season. It is the start of a very winnable set of fixtures and is likely to have a considerable influence on what league the R`s will be playing their football next season.
The R`s have been very disappointing at home in terms of how many points they`ve accumulated. I for one expected the fortress that is Loftus Road to be our saving grace this season but it hasn`t worked out that way and coupled with a few of the summer signings playing poorly, we have struggled to gain any momentum at home.
QPR need step it up against Norwich, who in recent years have become their latest bogey team. Talisman Grant Holt needs no introduction anymore and he will no doubt cause our defence and the referee problems with his “style” of play. A win at home to Norwich (the team who helped cast a shadow over our promotion last season) would be the perfect way to start 2012.
Arsenal 1 (Van Persie)
Team: Cerny, Young, Traore (Orr), Connolly, Gabbidon, Barton, Faurlin, Mackie (Smith), Wright-Phillips, Taarabt, Bothroyd(Campbell)
Fulham 1 (Sa)
Team: Ruddy, Martin, Whitbread, Naughton, Ayala, Johnson, Surman, Pilkington (Bennet), Hoolahan, Fox (Holt), Morison (Jackson)
QPR Team News:
Paddy Kenny and Heider Helguson are set to regain their places in the starting line-up having been rested for the match against Arsenal. Anton Ferdinand is still out and Fitz Hall is a doubt.
Possible line up:
Young – Gabbidon – Hill -Traore
Wright-Phillips – Barton – Faurlin – Mackie
Taarabt – Helguson
Player to watch: Shaun Wright-Phillips
Against Arsenal, Wright-Phillips had a decent first half but then faded very quickly in the second once he committed the error that led to the decisive goal. Having watched Wright-Phillips carefully in recent weeks it is noticeable that he isn`t performing to the level he was when we first signed him. The diminutive winger has lacked end product in his play and falls short in the decision-making department which ultimately causes several moves to break down. Unfortunately, it is not just Wright-Phillips who is guilty of this. It is a trend running throughout the side. The set-pieces have lacked conviction and fellow wide-man Jamie Mackie is struggling to contribute with his final ball lacking quality as well. Although, unlike Wright-Phillips, Mackie has scored two goals lately, this lets him off the hook somewhat. Wright-Phillips has the ability and is proven at this level; he just needs a confidence boost.
Norwich Team News:
Norwich will be without defenders Marc Tierney and Ritchie de Laet. James Vaughan and Elliot Ward are out with knee injuries.
Naughton – Ayala – Whitbread – Martin
Pilkington – Johnson – Surman – Hoolahan
Holt – Morison
Player to watch: Steve Morison
Vital QPR has singled out Steve Morison as the One to Watch
To read our profile of the player Click Here >>>
Match Facts & Stats
Queens Park Rangers: LLLDL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 38
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 26/11/11
Norwich 2 (Martin, Holt)
QPR 1 (Young)
Team: Cerny, Young, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Hill (Bothroyd), Traore, Derry (Buzsaky), Faurlin, Wright-Phillips (Smith), Mackie, Helguson
Referee: N Swarbrick
Assistants: C Breakspear & D Richardson
Fourth Official: P Dowd
Neil Swarbrick is the match official for Monday`s game. This season Swarbrick has issued 64 yellow cards and 3 red cards in 16 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
I would love to predict a home win but our recent run does make it very difficult to go with that prediction. Norwich are in decent form and have steadily picked up points all season whereas the R`s have been on a dodgy run of late. However, there have been signs of improvement, good performances against Swansea and Arsenal tells me the confidence is slowly returning. The fans will be up for it tomorrow and this will give further confidence to the lads. I expect it be as hostile as it was against Chelsea earlier this season.
Norwich are a very solid outfit. Every player puts in a good shift and they make it hard for the opposition to play by pressing all over the pitch. Their strikers are playing well which is cause for concern especially with our rotating defence. However, should Adel Taarabt and Alejandro Faurlin see much of the ball, I feel we will score and get something out of the game.
When:07/01/12 – 15:00