QUEENS Park Rangers host their final game at Loftus Road this season as Plymouth Argyle visit the nation`s capital.
Argyle are still in danger of relegation from the Championship following a disappointing home defeat to Doncaster Rovers last weekend.
Their plight was somewhat eased yesterday when relegation rivals Southampton were docked points and subsequently relegated owing the holding company falling into administration.
Criticism has been levelled at current chairman Paul Stapleton in the past owing to what supporters believe is a lack of ambition. This is epitomised by the deal that took Akos Buzsaky to QPR from Plymouth just over a year ago.
Now Argyle appear to be entering a brave new era under foreign ownership, with Japanese businessman Yasuaki Kagami closing in on completing his take-over of the Pilgrims.
It appears that Rangers` promotion partners aren`t faring as anticipated under the guidance of returning boss Paul Sturrock, with sections of supporters critical of his management in his second spell.
Struggling Argyle`s sporadic form hasn`t helped their present with a tremendous 4-0 victory over Coventry City and a useful point against Birmingham City was followed up with the weekend`s disappointment, losing 3-0 at home to Doncaster Rovers.
Sturrock has rallied the troops following the display and will be hoping that they put pay to this season`s relegation fears and pick up maximum points at Loftus Road.
View From The Bench
‘It’s unfortunate that it’s been an uncharacteristic mistake from Damion (Stewart) that’s let them in, and he’s devastated.
‘He’s been fantastic all season, and the only time he’s made a real error, it’s cost us the win.
‘We’ll be going again next season and what we’ve seen today (against Wolves) is what we want as well.’
‘There will not be many changes to the team for this Saturday’s game at QPR.
‘I think it’s only appropriate that these people, who took us through a pretty difficult time, are given a second chance.
‘There might be one or even two changes, but the team will be along the same lines (as the Doncaster line-up).
‘I’m not a great believer that I should be castigating my players,
‘But in the heat of the moment it can be exasperating and left me feeling annoyed.’
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Gareth Ainsworth will have a selection headache tomorrow afternoon with Patrick Agyemang once again available for selection after an extended period on the sidelines.
Radek Cerny will once again appear in goal with his only competition coming from the youth ranks in the shape of American Reece Crowther and Latvian youngster Elvijs Putnins.
In front of the Czech stopper will be the formidable Kaspars Gorkss alongside Damion Stewart, a defender looking to recover from a poor mistake against Wolverhampton Wanderers. In the full back area will be former Newcastle United man Peter Ramage and should he not replace Stewart in the middle, Matthew Connolly will take the left-back berth.
Rangers will line-up with four across the midfield with Wayne Routledge and Lee Cook on the flanks and Gavin Mahon partnering Jordi López in the middle. Pressure will come from Hogan Ephraim and Mikele Leigertwood on the veteran pairing, but after a decent performance against the table-toppers they will look to retain their place.
Upfront Rangers have the option of Patrick Agyemang who is once again available for selection, although he is likely to start on the bench. Rowan Vine and Heidar Helguson are the available options at present with Samuel Di Carmine and Angelo Balanta seemingly not fit for purpose.
The only players sidelined are over skipper Martin Rowlands and former Pilgrim Akos Buzsaky who both have long-term injuries.
Player to watch: Lee Cook
Rangers left winger hasn`t managed to recapture the form that saw him move to the Premier League a few season`s ago, but the crowd has seen shoots of recovery as the self-professed Rangers fan did what he did best against Sheffield Wednesday.
Two outstanding crosses to the far post saw the R`s draw level before grabbing a sensational winner against the Owls sparking dramatic scenes at Loftus Road. So much so that a streaker opted to do us all a favour and pop his clothes back on.
A brief foray into Premier League football saw Lee Cook pick up a knee injury he couldn`t shake and his journey down the road was over as soon as it truly began, with Rangers coming into new-found wealth and able to purchase the dynamic winger.
To view Lee`s profile Click Here >>>
Plymouth Argyle Team News:
Paul Sturrock is looking to keep faith with the side that has picked up some positive results in recent fixtures despite a disappointing defeat against Doncaster Rovers at the weekend.
Frenchman Romain Larrieu will once again retain his place in goal with the surprise partnership of former QPR full back Chris Barker and Marcel Seip keeping out last year`s players of the season Krisztian Timar in the centre of defence for the time being. Manchester United loanee David Gray and Gary Sawyer continue in the full back region.
Blackburn Rovers loanee Alan Judge will be looking to retain his place on the right, while Paul Gallagher will support the forward pairing from the left wing. Another loan player Carl Fletcher will look to retain his central midfield berth alongside former Colchester United man Karl Duguid.
Cameroon international and former Sporting Lisbon forward Roudolphe Douala came through a reserve fixture against Swansea City and will be pushing for a starting spot, as will forwards Rory Fallon and George Donnelly who bagged a brace a-piece in the game.
They will have the task of displacing duo Jamie Mackie and Ashley Barnes who have the backing of boss Paul Sturrock to show signs of improvement this weekend.
Team v Doncaster Romain Larrieu, David Gray, Marcel Seip, Chris Barker, Gary Sawyer, Alan Judge (Rory Fallon 71), Carl Fletcher, Karl Duguid, Paul Gallagher (Chris Clark 79), Ashley Barnes (George Donnelly 65), Jamie Mackie.
Player to watch: Paul Gallagher
Vital QPR has singled out forward Paul Gallager as the One to Watch as the R`s host Plymouth Argyle tomorrow.
To view all the stats on the One To Watch Click Here >>>
LAST FIVE GAMES
QPR: W D L W L
Plymouth Argyle: L W W D L
HEAD 2 HEAD
Plymouth Argyle: 24
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship
Saturday December 6, 2008 – Loftus Road
Plymouth Argyle 1 (McLean 83)
QPR 1 (Helguson 16)
Team: Radek Cerny, Damien Delaney, Damion Stewart, Gavin Mahon, Mikele Leigertwood, Martin Rowlands, Patrick Agyemang (Dexter Blackstock 77), Kaspars Gorkss, Peter Ramagen (Fitz Hall 81), Heidar Helguson, Lee Cook (Hogan Ephraim 68).
Plymout Argyle 0-1 QPR – 26-12-1967
QPR 4-1 Plymouth Argyle – 30-12-1967
Referee– Mr N Miller
Assistants – Mr B C Holderness and Mr K G Yeo
Fourth official – Mr I F Bentley
Mr Nigel Miller from County Durham will officiate the R`s clash with Wolves tomorrow afternoon.
To get all the stats on the official Click Here >>>
Queens Park Rangers will be looking to end their season at Loftus Road on a high after what has been an indifferent season in front of their home crowd.
Plymouth come to W12 with every reason to pick up a victory as they are not yet safe in the Championship relegation battle.
This will be a very different test to Wolves with Plymouth fighting for a very different cause, and Rangers will be expected to name a more attacking line-up, formation and style of play to overcome the challenge of Argyle this weekend.; Which is why I predict:
Boxer`s Prediction: 2-0 QPR
Superhoop50`s Prediction: 1-0 QPR
Ranger1975`s Prediction: 2-1 QPR.
The Final Game
Who– Preston North End
When– Sunday 3rd May 2009 – 3:00pm