QPR kick off the festive season by hosting Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea at Loftus Road on Sunday. After successive defeats for the first time this season Neil Warnock must fancy his chances at home against a Swansea side lacking in form and confidence.
If you had asked any Rangers fan if they would`ve taken this position going into Christmas they would’ve bitten your hand off. Although the defeats have been disappointing everyone has to keep calm and have some perspective. The R’s are still top, hopefully still on course for promotion and things will turn around sooner or later and if they don’t January has certainly arrived at the right time.
When the two teams last met Swansea were flying and Scott Sinclair was the form player in the league but recently the Swans have stuttered wining once in their last five games. That said Brendan Rodgers has implemented a similar fluid passing game that he used whilst at Reading. A solid defence has proved to be difference this time is around and Rodgers’ team sit in 4th even after a mixed bag of recent results.
Leeds United 2 (Gradel x2)
Team: Kenny, Hill (Hall), Orr, Connolly, Gorkss, Walker, Derry, Taarabt, Mackie, Smith (Ephraim), Hulse (Helguson)
Sheffield United 1 (Evans)
Team: De Vries, Tate, Williams, Monk, Rangel, Gower (Easter), Sinclair, Orlandi, Dyer ( Cotterill), Allen, Beattie (Pratley)
QPR Team News:
Ali Faurlin should be available after recovering from a virus which kept him out of the Leeds match. Gavin Mahon who signed a new 1 month contract extension is available for selection.
Peter Ramage and Lee Cook are out, Akos Buzsaky is a doubt. Kyle Walker should resume a more familiar position in defence.
Possible line up:
Walker – Connolly – Gorkss – Hill
Faurlín – Derry
Ephraim – Taarabt (c) – Smith
Player to watch: Kyle Walker
The versatile defender has been enormously impressive for the R`s and Neil Warnock has said he would like to keep him for the remainder of the season. Providing Walker can extend his loan he will no doubt be considered an invaluable member of the squad as his ability to play all across the back four and in midfield which will ease the any injury woes for the Gaffer.
Walker rose through the ranks at Sheffield United before signing for Spurs in 2009. Walker re-joined the Blades on loan but was recalled in February. The talented fullback made 28 appearances for Sheffield United.
Swansea City Team News:
Brendan Rodgers has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match on Sunday. Rodgers may look to rotate after suffering a disappointing defeat against Sheffield United.
Midfielders Tom Butler and Ferrie Bodde remain the only long term absentees with respective thigh and knee injuries.
Rangel- Williams- Monk – Tate
Dyer – Orlandi – Sinclair
Player to watch: Andrea Orlandi
Andrea Orlandi has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this weekend’s match against Swansea City.
For Daniel’s comprehensive review of the midfielder Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: DWWLL
Swansea City: DLWDL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 16
Swansea City: 10
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 19/10/10
Swansea City 0
Team: Kenny, Hill, Connolly, Gorkss, Walker, Derry, Ephraim (Clarke), Taarabt (Smith), Faurlin, Mackie, Helguson (Agyemang)
After predicting a draw last week I`m reverting back to a more positive outlook, it is Christmas after all. I think Rangers have a good opportunity to amend their recent defeats with a victory over Swansea. QPR were much improved against Leeds United and lost only to two soft goals. If they R`s can eradicate these errors then they stand a great chance.
The R`s haven`t looked sharp in front of goal and they desperately need some inspiration from somewhere. Step up Adel Taarabt, Tommy Smith and Alejandro Faurlin. On their day any one of these players can turn a game on its head with their ability on and off the ball. If these boys once again fail to deliver then Hogan Ephraim and the unknown quantity that is Giorgos Tofas are surely worth a punt.
A closely fought match with just the one goal separating the sides, 1-0 Rangers.
Who: Coventry City
Where: Ricoh Arena
When: 28/12/10 – 12.15pm