Date: 19th September 2014 at 1:25pm
Written by:

This Saturday QPR play host to Stoke live on BT sports, marking the return of former manager Mark Hughes whose tenure at the club was nothing short of a disaster. The Loftus Road faithful will be eagerly awaiting his presence and he`ll no doubt get the reception he deserves. On the pitch, Rangers haven`t got going yet and if they are to survive then their home form in the top flight needs to improve. After winning five consecutive home games between March and May 2012, QPR have only won three of their last 21 at Loftus Road in the PL (D8 L10).

As far as previous encounters between the two managers go, Hughes has beaten Redknapp only once in his last six PL clashes. Ironically, it came when Hughes guided his then QPR side to a 1-0 win against Redknapp`s Spurs. Recent history would suggest that QPR should be the favourites tomorrow as the R`s have won eight and lost just two of their last 13 home league games against Stoke (D3).

A noticeable trait of Stoke this term has been their rigidity – the Potters have restricted their opponents to just six shots on target, a league-low. In contrast, opponents QPR have allowed the opposition 24 shots on target, a figure beaten only by Leicester (25). Hughes` charges are unbeaten in their last four PL away games; they have not gone five in a row without defeat since a run of six in April 2010.

Worryingly, QPR have netted only once in 2014/15, a joint-league-low and they are also the only side in the top four tiers yet to score from open play this season. Yet again much of the goalscoring responsibility appears to be on the shoulders of Charlie Austin. As we know he is the only player to have managed a PL goal for the R`s so far this term and he looks like the major threat to Stoke tomorrow. In 2013/14, QPR had to play 15 times without Austin in the side, and they only won four of these games (26.7%). When he did play, their win percentage jumped up to 62%. His importance cannot be overstated.

QPR Team News:

Joey Barton and Jordon Mutch face late fitness tests.

Possible line up:

GREEN

ISLA – CAULKER – FERDINAND – HILL

PHILLIPS – SANDRO – BARTON – FER – HOILETT

AUSTIN

Player to watch: –

Stoke City Team News:

Stoke could be without Jonathan Walters and Marko Arnautovic, who have respective calf and foot injuries.

Possible line up:

BEGOVIC

BARDSLEY – SHAWCROSS – HUTH – PIETERS

MOSES – NZONZI – WHELAN – ADAM – BOJAN

DIOUF

Player to watch: –

Match Facts & Stats

HEAD 2 HEAD

QPR: 17
Stoke: 10
Draw: 6



LAST TIME OUT

Premier League – 20/04/13
Loftus Road

QPR 0
Stoke 2 (Crouch, Walters pen)

Team: Green, Samba, Hill, Bosingwa, Ben-Haim, Mbia, Derry, Taarabt (Bothroyd), Hoilett, Townsend (Mackie), Remy.

Attendance: 17,391


PREVIEW FACTS

Stoke have won their last two league games against the R`s, though; they have not won three in a row against them since 1974.

Peter Crouch has now gone 10 Premier League appearances without scoring.

Charlie Austin has scored 11 goals in his last 13 appearances at Loftus Road (inc. playoffs).

Stoke have lost their last five Premier League games in London, failing to score in the last four of those games.

Ref Watch:

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Mike Mullarkey & Stephen Child
Fourth Official: Roger East

Martin Atkinson is the match official for tomorrow`s clash against the Potters. Last season, Atkinson issued 118 yellow cards and 3 red cards in 39 games.

Match Prediction:


2-1 QPR win

Next Fixture

Who: Southampton
Where: St Mary`s Stadium
When: 27/09/2014