Queens Park Rangers welcome West Bromwich Albion to Loftus Road this weekend and will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointing defeat to Norwich last week. Equally, the Baggies will see this fixture as a perfect opportunity to regain their bounce after their recent home defeat to Spurs. The narrow pitch will suit Hodgson`s tactics and they will certainly squeeze the play which could undo any tidy possession work from the R`s.
QPR need to pick up a win at home having only won once at Loftus Road this season. It is at home where the R`s can help to eradicate their inconsistent form. Neil Warnock will be boosted by the return of skipper Joey Barton who will make a difference alongside the talented Ale Faurlin. This week the R`s gaffer made his frustration public with regards to goalkeeping situation and the Premier League`s decision to not allow him to sign a keeper on loan. Experienced goalkeeper Radek Cerny is set to continue between the sticks despite having played very little football in the last 6 months.
West Brom have been steady this year, the minimum expectation of a Roy Hodgson side. Hodgson`s men sit in 14th position with a 5 point cushion above the drop zone. The league is so tight that a win for the Albion could propel them up to 8th (results permitting), which does suggest how competitive the division is this year.
Norwich City 2 (Martin, Holt)
QPR 1 (Young)
Team: Cerny, Hill (Bothroyd), Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Young, Derry (Buzsaky), Faurlin, Mackie, Wright-Phillips (Smith), Helguson.
WBA 1 (Mulumbu)
Spurs 3 (Adebayor x2, Defoe)
Team: Foster, Olsson, Shorey, McAuley, Reid, Morrison, Brunt, Thomas (Tchoyi), Mulumbu, Long (Odemwingie), Gera (Cox).
QPR Team News:
Shaun Wright-Phillips is a doubt after coming off against Norwich with an ankle injury. Joey Barton returns from suspension and Radek Cerny is set to continue in Paddy Kenny`s absence.
Possible line up:
Young – Ferdinand – Gabbidon -Traore
Mackie – Barton – Faurlin – Wright-Phillips
Bothroyd – Helguson
Player to watch: Ale Faurlin
The impressive Argentine midfielder is now the only player in the squad to have featured in every league game this season. It has to be said, that Faurlin has progressed dramatically in his time at Loftus Road and appears to be a grounded individual, very much enjoying life in W12. His performances in the Premier League have been nothing short of sensational and it is a joy to watch him boss games and dictate the play with consummate ease. In recent weeks he has struck up a great partnership with Joey Barton which will no doubt be resumed this week after the skipper returns from suspension tomorrow.
WBA Team News:
Simon Cox is likely to start after Zoltan Gera has been ruled out for the season. Fellow striker Shane Long is a doubt with a groin injury which could pave the way for Peter Odemwingie.
Reid – Olsson – McAuley – Shorey
Morrison – Dorrans – Mulumbu – Brunt
Cox – Long
Player to watch: Chris Brunt
Vital QPR has singled out Chris Brunt as the One to Watch this weekend
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The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WLLWL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 13
LAST TIME OUT
Championship – 06/03/10
QPR 3 (Simpson, Buzsaky, Connolly)
WBA 1 (Brunt)
Team: Ikeme, Gorkss, Stewart, Connolly, Hill, Leigertwood, Faurlin, Ephraim (Buzsaky), Taarabt (Ramage), Simpson, Priskin (Vine)
Referee: M Atkinson
Assistants: A Newbold & D C Richards
Fourth Official: J Moss
Martin Atkinson is the match official for Saturday`s game. This season Atkinson has issued 70 yellow cards and 7 red cards in 17 games.
I think the game will be very tight. I don`t see it being a particularly great game of football, however, with the way our team is playing and defending set-pieces, I feel we will concede at some stage. What I don`t doubt is our team`s character and ability to score goals and get back into the match. Both sides possess strong midfielders who can keep and use the ball well, which leads me to think the match will be won in the middle of the park and with Joey Barton returning alongside Faurlin, I feel we could come out on top.
Heider Helguson will most likely have the beating of Jonas Olsson in the air and with Mackie, Traore and possibly Wright Phillips` pace we should cause Steven Reid and Nicky Shorey a few problems. Shane Long has settled well at the Hawthorns and looks every part the Premier League player. Should he play, Ferdinand and Gabbidon will need to be alert as the Irishman`s movement is deceptive.
When: 10/12/2011 – 1500