I don`t want to focus too much on last Sunday`s game against Manchester United but like many I am totally incensed by the FA`s decision to dismiss the appeal, which to me proves the stubbornness of the men in charge of our game and the blatant bias towards to the big teams or brands as Paul Finney (Indy R`s) puts it. In my opinion, this negative needs to be turned into a positive, if the fans can channel this anger into a hostile atmosphere for Swansea tonight then that could really make a difference in the game.
Tonight, I expect us to approach the game much like how we did against Arsenal. Swansea will keep the ball, that is a given and boy have we heard a lot about their style of play this season. Therefore, if we let them keep the ball in their own half and then press them when they enter our half, we will break up their play setting us up for the counter. It worked against Arsenal and I see it working against Swansea. However, the idea of playing counter attacking football at home could be perceived as negative. Personally, I don`t think it`s negative and I think it represents a game plan shows tactical awareness.
Swansea are safe this season, despite their poor run of form. Their style of play is admirable but at times it isn`t as effective as it was earlier on in the season. Teams are setting their stall out to defend which is frustrating Swansea and in turn counteracts their attacking threat, as the space in the final third is diminished, resulting in many of their moves breaking down. Newcastle perfected this last week. They`ve signed (albeit on loan) one hell of a player in Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has provided some spectacular and important goals since his move in January. He is the one we need quell and without Shaun Derry, Joey Barton or Samba Diakite must take up that responsibility.
Manchester United 2 (Rooney pen, Scholes)
Team: Kenny, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo, Derry (Sent off), Diakite (Wright-Phillips), Buzsaky, Mackie, Taarabt (Smith), Bothroyd (Campbell).
Newcastle United 2 (Cisse x2)
Team: Vorm, Williams, Taylor, Caulker, Rangel, Britton, Dyer (Sinclair), Routledge, Allen, Sigurdsson, Moore (Graham).
QPR Team News:
Bobby Zamora returns from a virus while Joey Barton will be welcomed back into the squad having been rested to avoid a possible two-match suspension. Shaun Derry and Djibril Cisse are suspended.
Possible line up:
Onuoha – Hill – Ferdinand – Taiwo
Mackie – Barton – Buzsaky – Diakite – Taarabt
Player to watch: Joey Barton
Joey Barton needs to follow up on his all action display against Arsenal with another captain`s performance tonight. Mark Hughes needs his captain to vindicate his decision to spare the outspoken midfielder against United and have an impact in what has been perceived as one of the more winnable games this season. Barton kept it simple against Arsenal and will need to do the same to be at his most effective tonight. Interestingly, I feel we might approach the game with the same disciplined stance and allow Swansea to play in their own half but then close down once they enter the R`s territory. Therefore, Barton will need to be leading the midfield with another combative and industrious performance.
Swansea Team News:
Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair are expected to start tonight. Kemy Agustien remains the only long-term absentee.
Rangel – Williams – Caulker – Taylor
Britton – Sigurdsson – Allen
Routledge – Graham – Sinclair
Player to watch: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Vital QPR has singled out Gylfi Sigurdsson 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: 17
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 27/12/11
Swansea 1 (Graham)
QPR 1 (Mackie)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Hall, Young, Traore, Derry, Barton, Faurlin, Mackie, Taarabt, Helguson.
Referee: L Probert
Assistants: R Ganfield & G Beswick
Fourth Official: K Friend
Lee Probert is the match official for tonight`s game. This season Probert has issued 100 yellow cards and 8 red cards in 32 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
From a neutral point of view, I don`t think this is going to be a very entertaining match. QPR might adopt a more defensive and disciplined approach tonight in order to dampen Swansea`s possession football. I feel the tightness of the pitch will help us frustrate Brendan Rodgers` men. We need to take our chances when they arise and punish them with any set-pieces that come our way. Adel Taarabt and Bobby Zamora have started to show a good partnership going forward and I think they could prove to be the difference tonight, providing our defence hold firm.
1-0 Home win. Taarabt to score.
When:14/04/12 – 15:00