QUEENS Park Rangers travel down to Exeter City with a view to emulating some heroic Carling Cup displays last season.
Rangers defeated Swindon Town and Carlisle United before getting the better of Aston Villa at Villa Park and eventually battling valiantly before being edged out by a Carlos Tevez penalty against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
While picking up a point on Saturday against Blackpool, Jim Magilton`s men looked highly-impressive in their build up and overall play – promising much for the remainder of a testing Championship campaign.
Alex Inglethorpe`s positive work in picking up an FA draw against the aforementioned Manchester United boosted the Grecians coffers at a crucial time, with Paul Tisdale coming in the following season and masterminding their ascent through two leagues.
The former Southampton midfielder led them to playoff glory at the second attempt, beating Cambridge United at Wembley, before Richard Logan`s strike saw them to two promotions on the bounce finishing runners up in League Two.
A baptism of fire for Tisdale`s man as they narrowly missed out against Leeds United at Elland Road, but nevertheless the signs are there that Exeter aren`t in the division merely to make up the numbers.
QPR 1 (Ramage 86)
Blackpool 1 (Burgess 37)
Team: Radek Cerny, Peter Ramage, Gavin Mahon, Fitz Hall, Wayne Routledge, Heidar Helguson (Rowan Vine 56), Kaspars Gorkss, Martin Rowlands (Patrick Agyemang 60), Angelo Balanta (Akos Buzsaky 56), Gary Borrowdale, Adel Taarabt.
Leeds United 2 (Beckford 13, 88)
Exeter City 1 (Russell 73)
Team: Paul Jones, Richard Duffy, Matthew Taylor, Daniel Seabourne, Scott Goldbourne, Rob Edwards (Craig McAllister 61), Ryan Harley, Alex Russell, Bertrand Cozic (Liam Sercombe 90), Marcus Stewart (James Norwood 70), Barry Corr (Sent Off 59).
Exeter City Team News:
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The striker woes of the Grecians will force Richard Logan back to action sooner than expected after a calf complaint. Barry Corr`s sending off at the weekend adds to a long list of attacking absentees for the clash against QPR.
Adam Stansfield is still suffering with an ankle complaint while another Ben Watson also looks set to sit out the Carling Cup game. The unreliable veteran Marcus Stewart played 70 minutes against Leeds at the weekend and looks set to start for the Grecians against Rangers.
Craig McAlister, who replaced Rob Edwards against Leeds, could be set to partner him, but the aforementioned Logan and youngster James Norwood are also in contention.
Former QPR target and Welsh international Richard Duffy will continue at full back following his summer capture from Millwall, while former Bristol City and Reading defender Scott Golbourne is also set for his second start.
The core of the squad such as Alex Russell and Ryan Harley have seen them to their current position and have proved key players in the Grecians rise under Paul Tisdale.
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Player to watch: Richard Logan
Former Ipswich Town and Peterborough United striker Richard Logan looks set to return to the Exeter side after missing the opening day with a calf complaint.
Logan has also had spells with Cambridge United, Boston United, Shrewsbury Town, Lincoln City and Weymouth before rejuvenating his career at Exeter City.
To read our profile of the striker Click Here >>>
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Queens Park Rangers look set to use their squad as they travel to Exeter City tomorrow evening, with Jim Magilton set to ring the changes despite a positive display against Blackpool.
Magilton has a large squad to keep happy but with no realistic deputy brought in for Radek Cerny the Czech stopper looks to continue in goal. The back four should include the returning Matthew Connolly and Damion Stewart, but where Magilton looks to accommodate the former Arsenal man is open for debate as he is able to play anywhere across the back-line.
Martin Rowlands will miss the clash after picking up minor ankle ligament damage against Blackpool but Hogan Ephraim, Matteo Alberti or even Joe Oastler could get a call to replace him after a classy display in midfield during pre-season against non-league Kettering.
The most likely to line-up in the middle is Mikele Leigertwood after he returned to training on Thursday following a similar thigh complaint to Akos Buzsaky, another option at the heart of midfield.
Ephraim could also line up on the flank if Wayne Routledge is deemed worthy of a rest after picking up a slight knock against the Tangerines. While Buzsaky is considered by many the best attacking midfielder at the club it is more likely he could line-up wide left if Magilton decides to rest Angelo Balanta.
After impressing from the bench Patrick Agyemang will look to start at St James` Park, after the mystery surrounding Alessandro Pellicori`s omission continue to gather pace – sections of support believing that he does not yet have international clearance to play.
There will be no place for Lee Cook (knee) or Alejandro Faurlín (thigh) as they continue to rest, with the Argentinean more likely to be targeting Plymouth on Saturday in the R`s West Country triple-header.
There is also no place for Heidar Helguson or Adel Taarabt who are both away on international duty with Iceland and Morocco respectively.
Player to watch: Akos Buzsaky
Buzsaky must be in line to start at St James` Park after his brief cameo from the bench at Blackpool sparked hope of a revival and ultimately paid dividends with an equalising goal – though it didn`t come from the Magical Magyar he was instrumental in the build up to many attacks.
A catalogue of injury has curtailed his spell at Loftus Road so far, with excellent potential not quite being fulfilled on a consistent basis. His 2008-09 season came to an end prematurely with an anterior cruciate ligament injury at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Widely regarded as one of the biggest talents at the club for a number of years, Buzsaky will be looking to get back on the goalscoring trail against the Grecians with the Exeter defence in for a torrid time if Buzsaky gets the nod.
The Stat Attack
HEAD 2 HEAD
Exeter City: 14
Queens Park Rangers: 27
LAST TIME OUT
Football League Third Division (South) – 12-03-1966
Queens Park Rangers: 1 (Allen)
Exeter City: 0
Team: Peter Springett, Ian Watson, Jim Langley, Mike Keen (c), Ron Hunt, Frank Sibley, Mark Lazarus, John Collins, Les Allen, Mick Leach, Roger Morgan.
Exeter City 0-4 Queens Park Rangers – 16-04-1938
Referee: Mr S J Bratt
Assistants: Mr L M Collins & Mr A S Watts
Fourth Official: Mr W Barratt
Mr Bratt from the West Midlands will take charge of his first game of the season as Queens Park Rangers travel down to Exeter City in the Carling Cup.
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
While drawing there is a general consensus among supporters that Rangers played very well at the weekend, giving supporters ample reason to be perched on the edge of their seat.
The attacking craft and guile of the Rangers players was something which the fans have craved since the departure of Luigi De Canio – and while the goals didn`t flow along with the football, there is reason to be eternally optimistic for life under Jim.
His side travels to League One Exeter City and were well prepared by the recent friendly test against Wycombe Wanderers with the side expected to have comparable fortunes this season.
Rangers looked a cut-above on that occasion with a relatively full strength side, and they will seek to continue in that vein against the Grecians tomorrow night.
Boxer: 2-1 QPR
Teams: Plymouth Argyle v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday August 15, 2009 – 3:00pm
Ground: Home Park, Plymouth Argyle.