It`s top versus bottom this weekend as two teams heading in completely different directions meet for what could be the last time for a while. QPR are in incandescent form, and the promotion charge sees no sign of slowing down. Rangers demolished Sheffield United in front of the Sky cameras on Monday in what was arguably the R`s best performance in terms of stylish attacking football. With 6 wins in their last 7, QPR are nearly there.
Scunthorpe on the other hand are in deep trouble and look destined for the drop, despite the appointment of former Bury manager Alan Knill. It will be Knill`s first home game in charge on Saturday, which coupled with the prospect of facing the league leaders will no doubt see his players rejuvenated after last week`s sorry defeat to Norwich.
Under Nigel Adkins, Scunthorpe played a nice brand of attacking football and were underestimated by several sides last season, notably beating Newcastle 2-1 at home last October. This season has been a struggle, especially when Adkins joined Southampton, replacement and former R Ian Baraclough failed to get his side to perform before getting sacked last month. The appointment of Alan Knill strikes me as a managerial decision of a club preparing for life in League One.
They have a couple of key players out at the moment and have consequently suffered since playmaker and top scorer Martyn Woolford signed for Bristol City in January. In all honesty, I can`t see Scunthorpe surviving this year. This does pose somewhat of a threat as they have nothing to lose which could enter each game with no fear. However, if the QPR of Monday night turn up then Scunthorpe dot have the resources to match the R`s attacking prowess.
QPR 3 (Routledge x2, Faurlin)
Sheffield United 0
Team: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Hall, Gorkss, Derry (Buzsaky), Faurlin, Routledge, Taarabt (Agyemang), Helguson, Smith (Miller)
Norwich 6 (Holt x3, Jackson x3)
Scunthorpe United 0
Team: Murphy, Gordon, Raynes, Nelson, Nolan, Reid (sent off), Nunez (Togwell), O`Connor, Hughes, Collins (Duffy), Garner (Dagnall)
Scunthorpe United Team News:
Scunthorpe will be boosted by the return of Marcus Williams, Michael Raynes and Lee Miller who have all recovered from knocks.
Cliff Byrne and Gary Thompson remain sidelined. Paul Reid is suspended after his sending off against Norwich.
Nolan – Raynes – Nelson – Gordon
Nunez – Wright – Hughes – O`Connor
Garner – Miller
Player to watch: Joe Garner
Joe Garner has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of Saturday`s match against Scunthorpe United.
For Daniel’s comprehensive review of the striker Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Adel Taarabt is a doubt with a stomach complaint that has been troubling the playmaker all week. Taarabt was substituted in the second half against Sheffield United after struggling with the mystery injury.
Wayne Routledge should recover in time after having trouble with an ankle injury. Jamie Mackie and Peter Ramage remain sidelined.
Possible line up:
Orr – Gorkss – Hall – Hill
Faurlin – Derry
Routledge – Taarabt (c) – Smith
Player to watch: Bradley Orr
The former Bristol City right-back has put in several notable performances of late. Orr made a bright start to his Rangers career, even managing to score his first goal ironically against Scunthorpe in August. However, after the arrival of Kyle Walker, Orr found it hard to regain his place in the team with Walker wowing the Loftus Road faithful with a string of top-quality outings.
Since the turn of the year Orr has regained his place in the team and has steadily raised his level of performance week-by-week. Orr has been one of our more consistent players in 2011, quietly going about his business with an air of assurance.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WLWWW
Scunthorpe United: LLLLL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 9
Scunthorpe United: 1
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 21/8/10
QPR 2 (Orr, Helguson)
Scunthorpe United 0
Team: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Gorkss, Connolly, Derry (Leigertwood), Faurlin, Taarabt (Buzsaky), Mackie, Ephraim, Helguson (German)
Referee: Mr E Ilderton
Assistants: Mr G Hart & Mr M Sutton
Fourth Official: Mr R Wigglesworth
Eddie Ilderton is the match official for Saturday`s game and has officiated 31 games this season. His most recent game was Rochdale`s impressive 2-0 win over misfiring Charlton.
Last season Ilderton issued 88 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 35 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
A new manager and a dodgy pitch could prove to be sticking points for the R`s this Saturday, although I think it says it all that the opposing players aren`t being mentioned as problematic factors in stopping the R`s from winning. The truth is that if QPR play as they have throughout this season then Scunthorpe simply do not possess the resources to withstand the impending attacking onslaught. I do think it could be a lot closer than how it reads on paper, as nothing is as straightforward as it appears in the Championship. But judging on recent form and how the teams have performed throughout the season I think most would bet on a QPR win.
0-2 Helguson brace.
When: 12/04/2011 – 1945