QPR welcome Rochdale to Loftus Road this evening for the second round of the Carling Cup. Neil Warnock is expected to make several changes ahead of the game tonight. Following on from the memorable win against Everton, Warnock will look to rest many first teamers suffering from illness and tiredness. The last thing Warnock would want, is more injuries for the trip to Wigan on Saturday, which for all intents and purposes, is the priority this year. Therefore, it is presumed, the R`s gaffer will experiment with his team selection, blending youth and reserve players.
Dale, meanwhile, will relish a Cup tie against Premiership opposition, whether or not the team representing QPR tonight will be indicative of a top flight team selection is debatable. Steve Eyre will have his players fired up for the match and without sounding pessimistic, I could see an upset tonight. Rochdale`s league form has been fairly hit and miss and they won`t be the most confident side to visit Loftus Road this season. After losing to Sheffield Wednesday and Oldham, they earned credible draws against Huddersfield and Carlisle. A win tonight could spark a surge of confidence and see them pick up their first league win.
QPR 1 (Smith)
Team: Kenny, Orr, Connolly, Hall, Gabbidon, Derry, Faurlin, Smith (Ephraim), Taarabt, Buzsaky, Agyemang (Bothroyd)
Oldham 2 (Reid pen, Clarke)
Team: Kean, Darby, Widdowson, Holness, Trotman (Sent off), Jones, Grimes (Twaddle), Adams (Kennedy), Thompson (Balkestein), Tutte, Akpa Apro
QPR Team News:
Neil Warnock is expected to make wholesale changes to his side tonight, as he looks to favour the league over the cup. Players such as Petter Vaagan Moen, Lee Cook and Bruno Andrade could get a chance to impress.
Rob Hulse, Jamie Mackie, and Kieron Dyer are absent through injury.
Possible line up:
Orr – Gorkss – Perone – Connolly
Faurlin – Vaagan Moen
Ephraim – Buzsaky – Andrade
Player to watch: Hogan Ephraim
Hogan Ephraim joined permanently in January 2008 and originally looked a real prospect after impressing on loan. Since then, Ephraim has struggled to maintain a level of consistency, partly down to the managerial roundabout associated with QPR before Neil Warnock`s arrival. Under Warnock, Ephraim has featured regularly and at times shown glimpses of the ability many believe he possesses. On Saturday, Ephraim came off the bench to replace Tommy Smith and in the short time he was on the pitch, played a blinder, tracking back excellently and linking the attack neatly. Ephraim should get the chance to impress tonight and I would back him to get on the score sheet.
Rochdale Team News:
Steve Eyre will hand Pim Balkestein his first start tonight. The former Ipswich defender joined on loan from Brentford this summer. Balkestein replaces Neil Trotman who is suspended.
Darby – Balkestein – Holness – Widdowson
Thompson – Jones – Tutte – Adams
Akpa Apro – Grimes
Player to watch: Ashley Grimes
Ashley Grimes has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of Tuesday`s match against Rochdale.
To read his comprehensive review of the strikerClick Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WWLLW
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 1
LAST TIME OUT
Third Division (Old) – 20/04/59
Referee: Mr O Langford
Assistants: Mr W Atkin & Mr G Russell
Fourth Official: Mr L Collins
Oliver Langford is the match official for Tuesday`s game. Last season Langford issued 78 yellow cards and 4 red cards in 35 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
Memories of the Port Vale game last season spring to mind ahead the match tonight. I expect Neil Warnock to field a side full of youth and reserve players and if it results in QPR being eliminated from the Cup, then I wouldn`t be too disappointed. I think everyone is in agreement that the Premier League is the main priority this season. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how players such as Bruno Perone, Petter Vaagan Moen perform and if youth teamers like Bruno Andrade and Antonio German can impress, providing they`re selected.
For sentimental reasons, I`d like Lee Cook and Martin Rowlands to be given a chance to impress Neil Warnock or for the sake of their careers, potential suitors before the transfer window closes. Rochdale will be heading to Loftus Road with the sole intention to cause an upset, and I think they stand a very good chance against what is essentially our reserve side. However, the Dale will need to be wary over QPR fringe players looking to give Warnock a selection headache.
2-0 Home Win. Ephraim and Perone to score.
When:27/08/11 – 12:30