It`s do or die time for QPR now. Should the R`s fail to beat Stoke then it could be curtains for Mark Hughes` men in the Premier League. Obviously, a lot depends on Bolton`s results but it would be foolish to assume they will not pick up any points in their remaining fixtures. Simply, the QPR players need to be aggressive. If they are aggressive in attack, in defence and in their minds and they will win. It is time for the players and the manager to be bold. If they are to stand any chance of remaining in the Premier League they must get three points tomorrow.
It seems Stoke will have a major say in what division QPR play in next season. The final game of the season sees Tony Pulis` men take on immediate relegation rivals Bolton in what will be a huge game for all clubs involved at the bottom. If the R`s can match the physical threat of Stoke then I feel the occasion and the atmosphere of Loftus Road may guide us to a very narrow win. The obvious aerial threat of Stoke cannot be ignored. However, I do feel the compact pitch and recent formation that Mark Hughes has adopted will quash any threat from wide areas and hopefully tip the balance in our favour.
Chelsea 6 (Sturridge, Terry, Torres x3, Malouda)
QPR 1 (Cisse)
Team: Kenny, Onuoha, Hill, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Derry, Buzsaky (Traore), Barton, Mackie, Cisse, Zamora (Wright-Phillips).
Stoke 1 (Jerome)
Everton 1 (Crouch og)
Team: Begovic, Huth, Shawcross, Upson, Wilson, Whitehead, Delap (Whelan), Etherington, Jones, Walters (Fuller), Crouch (Jerome).
QPR Team News:
Adel Taarabt is back from suspension. Midfielder Samba Diakite is a major doubt after it was revealed he is still struggling with a virus.
Possible line up:
Onuoha – Hill – Ferdinand – Taiwo
Mackie – Barton – Diakite – Taarabt
Zamora – Cisse
Player to watch: Joey Barton
Tomorrow is a match for leaders. With the exception of the Chelsea game, QPR`s captain Joey Barton has been superb since he was reintroduced into the starting eleven. When Joey Barton controls his temper he can be an effective player. If the R`s can keep their composure and discipline then we stand a good chance of victory. Barton must remain the most composed on the pitch and set an example. If he loses his head then it could be a long afternoon. Also if Samba Diakite plays tomorrow it will be a massive bonus for Barton as he has benefited from the Malian`s energy and combative displays. Barton looked like he was carrying the midfield against Chelsea and desperately needs Diakite`s efforts to become more effectual in the middle and final third.
Stoke Team News:
Thomas Sorensen is expected to start in order to build up his match fitness for the Euros. Jermaine Pennant and Andy Wilkinson are doubts with hamstring and groin injuries.
Huth – Upson – Shawcross – Wilson
Walters – Whelan – Delap – Etherington
Crouch – Jerome
Player to watch: Peter Crouch
Vital QPR has singled out Peter Crouch as the One to Watch
To read our profile of the player Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LWLWL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 16
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 19/11/11
Stoke 2 (Walters, Shawcross)
QPR 3 (Helguson x2, Young)
Team: Kenny, Gabbidon, Hill, Ferdinand, Young (Orr), Traore, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Mackie, Faurlin, Helguson.
Referee: A Marriner
Assistants: S Ledger & A Watts
Fourth Official: N Swarbrick
Andre Marriner is the match official for tomorrow`s game. This season Marriner has issued 88 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 26 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
The return of Adel Taarabt and hopefully Samba Diakite should prove to be decisive tomorrow. The R`s missed their two best players last week, especially Diakite`s physical presence in the middle of the park. In terms of how the game might pan out, the R`s will of course know that Stoke will adopt a direct approach and bombard their penalty box constantly. It is imperative that the R`s remain disciplined in and around the box to make sure we do not give away silly free-kicks in dangerous areas. This will go a long way towards preventing this aerial bombardment.
Personally, I would play two strikers and really go at Stoke. They are quite hit and miss away from home and if the R`s show a good amount of intensity in attack then I feel the Stoke defence might suffer. The alternative is for Hughes to play with a lone striker and go back to the formation and selection that proved successful against Swansea and Arsenal. I can`t imagine Djibril Cisse playing the lone role very effectively against Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross which is why Hughes might opt for Bobby Zamora. Hughes go for two up top and let`s go after them. Time to be brave.
2-1 Anything other than a home win and we are in trouble therefore the R`s to win but only just.
When:13/05/12 – 15:00