AFTER a rest from action during the week the R`s are back in action as they travel to the City Ground to face a resurgent Nottingham Forest.
Owing to the inclement weather conditions in W12 Rangers midweek clash with Swansea City was postponed with surrounding roads providing a problem for any potential supporters.
Forest will still be reeling from a crushing midweek defeat in the FA Cup against rivals Derby County, despite being two goals up against their neighbours down Brian Clough Way.
QPR full back Damien Delaney spoke to QPR.co.uk ahead of this Saturday`s clash with Nottingham Forest.
He said: “It’s going to be a tough match,
“Maybe under Colin Calderwood they (Forest) were struggling a little bit, but Billy Davies has come in and they’re working their way up the table.
“They’re in fantastic form and you know when you play against a Billy Davies side that you’ll be in for a rough ride
“It’s a tough place to go. They’ll be fit, strong and very well organised, but we’ll be ready for them and there’s a good buzz about the place at the moment.”
He continued: “Every week you play you come up against good strikers in this division, like we did against Kevin Doyle on Saturday, and Rob Earnshaw is a similar player,
“You can’t afford to give players like him an inch because they’ll have pot-shots and punish you, but we’re defending well as a team, from back to front, and we head to The City Ground full of confidence.”
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Following the defeat against Derby County there are worries over a number of players going into this weekend`s fixture.
Skipper James Perch will not feature at the City Ground after he forced to withdraw with concussion against the Rams. There were a number of young players named on the bench for their cup exit and it is feared in the light of an injury crisis one or two may be thrown in.
Other absentees include midfielders Guy Moussi (ankle) and Paul Anderson (arm) along with defensive duo Julian Bennett (knee) and Joel Lynch (back).
Live-wire forward Rob Earnshaw missed out on Wednesday evening owing to a hamstring injury and joins a long list of injury woes that meant everyone on the bench against Derby were aged 20 or under.
Chris Cohen started alongside Nathan Tyson in a unorthodox forward role and the latter will certainly be a danger to the Rangers defensive unit should he hit top form this Saturday.
Player to watch: Nathan Tyson
Vital QPR has singled out international striker Nathan Tyson as the One to Watch ahead of tomorrow`s clash with Nottingham Forest.
To view all the stats on the one to watch Click Here >>>.
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Rangers will be without left-winger Lee Cook who picked up his fifth yellow card against Blackpool last Tuesday. His ludicrous decision to kick the ball from the goalkeeper`s arms earned him an easy booking from substitute referee Mr Bond. He was due to be suspended for the Swansea game but owing to its postponement he will now miss the trip to the City Ground.
Lee Camp is due to retain his place between the sticks with first choice stopper Radek Cerny allegedly still nursing a hamstring strain despite doing a vigorous warm-up before the Reading game.
The back four will remain the same with from right to left, Matthew Connolly, Damion Stewart, Kaspars Gorkss and Damien Delaney. The defensive department have put in some accomplished performances of late and will be looking for a fourth successive clean sheet.
The remainder of the side will depend on which system Paulo Sousa chooses to adopt. As the R`s are the hosts he may well employ a 4-4-2 formation or even revert to the diamond formation in light of the omission of Cook.
Wayne Routledge, Gavin Mahon, Mikele Leigertwood along with Liam Miller, Hogan Ephraim and Matteo Alberti make up the current midfield crop, and in all likeliness Sousa will want to keep a couple in reserve and opt to play four across the middle.
Heidar Helguson is destined to retain his starting berth, and he may well have a strike partner if Dexter Blackstock is deemed worthy of a start. Samuel Di Carmine will also prowl the periphery in search of first team action.
Rangers will also be without long-term absentees Rowan Vine, Akos Buzsaky and Martin Rowlands, despite positive news from Vine this week that he is now looking to retain his fitness for the upcoming fixtures.
Player to watch: Heidar Helguson
Heidar will be looking for an improvement to his game from last Saturday as he missed a guilt-edge chance in the first period that would have set Rangers on their way to a half time lead against Reading.
The Icelandic international latched onto a cross from Damien Delaney but having lost the ball during flight he glanced it wide of the near post rather than testing Adam Federici or better scoring.
Heidar`s goals in recent games have helped propel the R`s into the playoff frame, and he appears the only player in the forward line that is capable of scoring crucial goals, with Dexter Blackstock and Samuel Di Carmine off the boil.
His aerial prowess is a definitive plus point in the Rangers line-up as he creates a lot of chances for Rangers purely from flick ons for onrushing wingers and midfielders. Indeed Mikele Leigertwood`s strike against Derby came from a Helguson header to Routledge.
The striker that signed from Bolton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee has began to rediscover his form while remaining injury-free, and he could be the man to step up and put the Forest defence to the sword.
Match Facts & Stats
Nottingham Forest: Last 5 Games: W D W L L
QPR: Last 5 Games: D D W W D
Rangers have started to perform under a delighted Paulo Sousa who has only incurred one league defeat in 12 outings and are currently undefeated in eight games. Back to back away wins have propelled Rangers into playoff contention, before being held by promotion chasing Reading.
Forest have now lost two in a row after a run of six unbeaten. While they have scored five goals in their last four games, they haven`t kept a clean sheet during that period. Following the sacking of Colin Calderwood, Billy Davies has steered the Tricky Trees three points and five place away from the relegation zone.
HEAD 2 HEAD
Nottingham Forest: 24
Lenny367 has all the stats in The Stat Attack
Last Time Out.
Tuesday 18th October 2008 – Loftus Road
Coca Cola Championship
QPR 2 (Angelo Balanta 48, Akos Buzsaky 60)
Nottingham Forest 1 (Lewis McGugan 84)
Rangers Team: Radek Cerny, Damien Delaney, Damion Stewart, Fitz Hall (Matthew Connolly 65), Peter Ramage, Akos Buzsaky (Gavin Mahon 89), Mikele Leigertwood, Martin Rowlands, Lee Cook, Angelo Balanta (Samuel Di Carmine 76), Dexter Blackstock.
See also: QPR 2-1 Nottingham Forest – 1968-69.
See also: Nottingham Forest 0-0 QPR – 1988-89.
Referee– Mr D Deadman
Assistants – Mr A McCallum & Mr D Unsworth
Fourth official – Mr W E Grunnill
Mr Darren Deadman from Cheshunt will officiate the R`s clash with Forest at the City Ground tomorrow.
To get all the stats concerning the official Click Here >>>.
Forest are depleted in numbers, and despite being a good force on their day, they are spent of energy and bereft of confidence after the defeat at home to Derby. The R`s have a chance to take advantage of the circumstances and in my opinion Sousa`s men will show their professionalism and run out confident winners; Which is why I predict:
Boxer`s Prediction: 2-0 Rangers
southernhoop`s Prediction: 1-0 Rangers
Who– Ipswich Town – Live on Sky
Where– Loftus Road
When– Saturday 21st February 2009 – 5:20pm