RANGERS will be looking to build on a hard-fought win over Bristol City by taking their frustrations out on Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
Paul Hart received criticism from some quarters for his defensive tactics against the Robins, and has vowed to build on the gritty home win against the Tractor Boys.
Roy Keane’s men have taken a while to get their season going, but with he and former Rangers defender Damien Delaney have found their feet at Portman Road.
The defeat away at Crystal Palace at the weekend was their first in 11 games, with Jon Stead seeing red in the capital, and leaving Keane and his players visibly frustrated.
Rangers by comparison are undefeated in three games, but their inability to keep clean sheets is a distinctive worry – only three coming in the league all season.
Hart’s men will have to be at their best to pick up the maximum in Suffolk with the Irishman finally getting his Tractor Boys playing winning football in a bid to move towards a playoff place.
Lying two points above the drop zone wouldn’t be what Marcus Evans had in mind when he ousted Jim Magilton, but nevertheless the hosts will look for their second home victory in succession.
QPR 2 (Simpson 31, Leigertwood 40)
Bristol City 1 (Maynard 57)
Team: Radek Černý, Peter Ramage, Fitz Hall, Mikele Leigertwood, Wayne Routledge, Ákos Buzsáky (Matt Connolly 83), Kaspars Gork?s, Ben Watson, Alejandro Faurlín (Patrick Agyemang 63), Tom Williams, Jay Simpson (Gary Borrowdale 83)..
Crystal Palace 3 (Fonte 38, Danns 58, Moses 90)
Ipswich Town 1 (Peters 19)
Team: Arran Lee-Barrett, David Wright, Liam Roseinor, Gareth McAuley, Damien Delaney, Owen Garvan (Alan Quinn 69), Jamie Peters, Colin Healy (Pablo Couñago 69), Carlos Edwards (Connor Wickham 46), Jack Colback, Jon Stead (Sent Off 39).
Ipswich Town Team News:
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Ipswich will be boosted by the return of an influential trio ahead of the clash with QPR this Monday, with Grant Leadbitter, Stern John and Jon Walters all eligible to play.
Leadbitter and Walters have served a one match suspension against Crystal Palace while Stern John returns after not being eligible to play against his parent club.
With ‘keeper Richard Wright still sidelined (knee) Arran Lee-Barrett will continue between the sticks with Damien Delaney and Gareth McAuley destined to be the central defensive partnership.
David Wright and Liam Roseinor are the preferred choice at full back, but a formation shift may see Carlos Edwards revert to left-back in Wright’s stead.
Alex Bruce (groin) isn’t far away from returning after a period on the sidelines, and after conceding three goals, Keane may decide to tinker with the formation to accommodate him.
Reported QPR target Owen Garvan could start for the Tractor Boys with Jack Colback, Colin Healy and Jamie Peters set to fight with Leadbitter for a midfield spot.
Lee Martin is progressing well from ankle complaint and may take Edwards’ place on the left-wing, with Jon Stead free to continue up front pending his red card appeal alongside Pablo Couñago.
Roseinor – McAuley – Delaney – Edwards
Garvan – Leadbitter – Colback – Martin
Stead – Couñago
Player to watch: TBA
QPR Team News:
Hart may look to change things ahead of Monday’s clash with two games in a short space of time, and with some talent in reserve.
Radek Černý will start between the sticks as Kaspars Gork?s looks to be partnered by the returning Damion Stewart. Tom Williams and Peter Ramage are set to start once again following a useful display against Bristol City.
This means that both Matthew Connolly and Fitz Hall look set to miss out despite their performances against the Robins, along with Gary Borrowdale who also gave a brief cameo from the bench.
Paul Hart may choose to deploy a now familiar 4-5-1 formation with Adel Taarabt looking to break back into the side at the expense of Ákos Buzsáky – the Hungarian playing over 80 minutes after returning from a knee complaint.
Wayne Routledge looks set to start along with Mikele Leigertwood and Ben Watson in midfield, but Alejandro Faurlín may well be withdrawn at the expense of another forward if Hart is feeling adventurous.
Jay Simpson and Patrick Agyemang played some part in the win over Bristol City and may well an option together with Rowan Vine and Angelo Balanta waiting in the wings along with Alessandro Pellicori.
Martin Rowlands (knee), Gavin Mahon (knee), Gareth Ainsworth (calf) and Lee Cook (knee) remain sidelined.
Possible line up:
Ramage – Stewart – Gork?s – Williams
Routledge – Watson – Leigertwood – Simpson
Player to watch: Mikele Leigertwood
Mikele has been impressive on the goal count of late with goals in each of his last few games as he took his tally to four for the season.
Playing well in spells, the R’s midfielder has proven an influential player with regard to talent if not leadership as Rangers grind out points at home.
With space and time at his disposal he may well be a deadly weapon for Rangers as they look to play on the break at Portman Road.
To read his career profile Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Ipswich Town: W D D W L
Queens Park Rangers: L L D D W
HEAD 2 HEAD
Ipswich Town: 26
Queens Park Rangers: 21
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 21-02-2009
Queens Park Rangers 1 (Di Carmine 3)
Ipswich Town: 3 (Stead 14, Couñago 61, Walters 70)
Team: Lee Camp, Damien Delaney (Dexter Blackstock 67), Gavin Mahon, Fitz Hall, Mikele Leigertwood, Wayne Routledge, Kaspars Gork?s, Matt Connolly, Lee Cook, Liam Miller (Angelo Balanta 73), Samuel Di Carmine (Heidar Helguson 55)
Ipswich Town 0-2 QPR – 15-10-1983
Referee: Mr Steve Tanner (Somerset)
Assistants: Mr Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire) & Mr Paul Martin (Northants)
Fourth Official: Mr Glenn Hambling (Norfolk)
Newly demoted official Steve Tanner will take charge of Rangers away to Ipswich Town this Monday.
Oldham Atheltic, Swansea City, Sheffield United, Plymouth Argyle, Crewe Alexandra, Colchester United, Derby County and Hull City were all fixtures refereed by Tanner against QPR.
He has now been demoted from the Select List back to the National List for the beginning of this campaign as he takes charge of the R’s for the first time since 2007.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
The last prediction for the Bristol City clash was spot on and it is a similar slender score-line that I expect as the R’s travel to Ipswich.
Paul Hart’s style of play is vastly different from Jim Magilton in terms of restraint and more conscious defensive ability.
It should prove to be a tight encounter as it was at Portman Road last season – but both sets of supporters will be hoping for an improvement in entertainment.
jezza99: 2-0 Town
Superhoop50: 1-0 QPR
beforerodney: 2-1 QPR
Ranger1975: 0-0 Draw
Cartouche: 1-1 Draw
QPR4Me: 3-1 QPR
nomar: 1-0 QPR
LeeCookFan: 1-1 Draw
Sandydl: 2-1 QPR
ACE: 2-1 QPR
southernhoop: 1-1 Draw
danielqpr: 1-1 Draw
Lenny367: 1-1 Draw
Teams: Sheffield United v QPR (FA Cup)
Date: Sunday January 3, 2010
Ground: Bramall Lane, Sheffield.