QUEENS Park Rangers welcome League two outfit Port Vale to Loftus Road on Tuesday evening with both sides coming off the back of opening day victories so confidence will be high in both camps.
The R’s cup form has been more respectable in recent years. Two years ago QPR reached the fourth round beating Swindon, Carlisle, and Aston Villa before losing out to Manchester United at Old Trafford in a 1-0 defeat.
Last season QPR got to the third round of the cup beating Exeter and Accrington Stanley and only to be eventually being knocked out by west London rivals Chelsea.
Port Vale also lost out in the third round to Scunthorpe after famously beating both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
The match will see Neil Warnock ring the changes in preparation for the fixture against Sheffield United on Saturday, which will prove to be a tough affair.
It makes sense to rest the key players ahead of that match but part of me does think we should have some sort of continuity considering the mass of first team debutantes against Barnsley. Nonetheless a strong start in the league should take precedence.
QPR 4 (Helguson, Mackie, Taarabt, Hall)
Team: Paddy Kenny, Bradley Orr, Clint Hill, Fitz Hall, Kaspars Gorkss, Shaun Derry (Mikele Leigertwood 79), Alejandro Faurlin, Adel Taarabt (Josh Parker 77), Hogan Ephraim, Jamie Mackie, Heider Helguson (Antonio German 83)
Port Vale 1 (Collins)
Team: Tomlinson, Yates, McCombe, Owen, Collins, Griffith, Loft (Dodds 77), Rigg (Taylor 77), Roberts, Richards, Richards
QPR Team News:
Long term absentees Lee Cook and Martin Rowlands miss out while Peter Ramage is still suspended. Leon Clarke is a doubt but should be on the bench.
Neil Warnock has said he will be resting players in preparation for the away trip to Sheffield United this Saturday. With several key players likely to be sitting out it will interesting to see how the youngsters and fringe players fair against a tough Port Vale side who will be hoping for a strong cup run.
Possible line up:
Rose – Oastler – Connolly – Hill
Parker – Leigertwood – Faurlín – Mackie
Player to watch: Josh Parker
A product of the QPR centre of excellence, Parker made his first team debut coming off the bench in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
The winger who has pace to burn can play right back, either wing or striker. His versatility should become useful for Neil Warnock as the season progresses when injuries and suspensions mount up.
Parker who has had an impressive pre-season has caught the attention of many fans with his performances scoring 4 goals from wide positions and generally looking very lively.
Parker will be looking to make a strong impression this season and force his way into the manager`s plans. It’s always good to see a youth team player make the step up at Rangers which in recent years has become quite a rare occurrence. Fortunately Parker is in the very capable hands of Warnock who likes to bring through the youngsters so he should get ample chances to impress.
Port Vale Team News:
Micky Adams is expected to name the same Port Vale side that beat Bury on Saturday. The only injuries are to winger Lewis Haldane (ankle) and defender Ritchie Sutton (suspended).
Goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson is expected to keep his place between sticks after his surprise inclusion on Saturday while Tommy Fraser is battling it out for a place amongst the starting eleven after recovering from injury.
Yates – Collins – Owen – McCombe
Rigg – Griffith – Loft – Roberts
Richards, M – Richards, J
Player to watch: Justin Richards
Justin Richards has been singled out as the One to Watch ahead of Tuesday evening’s clash at Loftus Road.
To view the summary see: One to Watch >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: W W W D W
Port Vale: W L D W W
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 17
Port Vale: 13
LAST TIME OUT
English League Cup- 19-09- 06
Port Vale 3(Smith, Whitaker, Walker)
QPR 2 (Nygaard, Stewart)
Team: Cole, Bignot, Stewart, Kanyuka, Milanese (Rose, 46), Cook, Ward (Baidoo, 72), Bircham, Bailey, Nygaard (Jones, 45), Czerkas
See also: Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Port Vale – 1963-64
Referee: Garry Sutton (Lincolnshire)
Assistants: Glenn Hambling (Norfolk) and Elliott Kaye (Essex)
Fourth Official: Chris Knowles (Northamptonshire)
Garry Sutton from Lincolnshire will take charge of his first QPR game tonight as Rangers prepare to host Port Vale.
A man that’s flit between the Football League and the Blue Square Premier in recent years, Sutton will be hoping that his tenure lasts longer at this level this time out.
To view all the details on the official Click Here >>>
2-0 Rangers Win
Neil Warnock has said he will be resting players ahead of this fixture and I expect to see the fringe players to come in and try and prove a point. Players like Agyemang, Borrowdale may play some part and it is likely that youngsters Josh Parker, Antonio German, Lee Brown and Joe Oastler will also be included at some stage.
The Port Vale players will relish a chance to play against higher league opposition and no doubt will raise their game against the R`s. Unfortunately for the Vale I can only see one outcome although I expect it to be a tough match.
Even with QPR fielding a slightly weaker side I still think the R`s have enough about them to finish the match victorious.
Who: Sheffield United (A)
When: 14/08/10 – 15.00
Where: Bramall Lane,Sheffield