Date: 26th September 2014 at 7:18pm
Written by:

Harry Redknapp takes QPR side down to the South Coast tomorrow to face his old club Southampton, where he will desperately hoping his current charges can avoid another away day thrashing. Rangers have been shockingly poor on the road this season, losing 4-0 to Spurs and Manchester United, as well as enduring a 1-0 humbling away at Burton in the Cup. However, Redknapp and co will have fond memories of their last trip to St Mary`s, a 2-1 win courtesy of goals from Loic Remy and Jay Bothroyd. A repeat scoreline would be most welcome indeed.

Despite losing several integral players and their manager over the summer, the Saints have regrouped tremendously well. Credit has to go to Ronald Koeman who has guided his Southampton side to second in the Premier League table, three points behind leaders Chelsea – not bad at all but it`s early days still. The Saints` summer recruits – Dusan Tadic, Fraser Forster and in particular Graziano Pelle have taken to the English top flight quickly, with the latter scoring three goals in his last three PL games.

For QPR, they`ve yet again suffered from the injury curse that has haunted them in recent seasons. Key midfielders Joey Barton and Jordan Mutch join Alejandro Faurlin on the sidelines, while Niko Kranjcar and Adel Taarabt are rumoured to be unavailable. Redknapp will probably look to pack the midfield with which ever players are fit and I expect a three of Leroy Fer, Sandro and Karl Henry to be selected tomorrow.

In terms of general play, if QPR can quicken the tempo when they have the ball, especially in attacking areas and play more precise passes in between the defensive lines then they`ll be in business. Having seen all of Eduardo Vargas` cameo appearances so far this season, I`m confident his intelligent movement and pace can really stretch Southampton`s defence should the service be there for him.

Southampton Team News:

Toby Alderweireld and Maya Yoshida are nursing respective hamstring and ankle problems and will be assessed. James Ward-Prowse is out long term with a fractured foot.

Possible line up:

FORSTER

CLYNE – FONTE – YOSHIDA – BERTRAND

SCHNEIDERLIN – CORK – WANYAMA

TADIC – PELLE – LONG

Player to watch: –

QPR Team News:

Joey Barton and Jordan Mutch miss out with hamstring injuries but Sandro is passed fit.

Possible line up:

GREEN

ISLA – FERDINAND – CAULKER – TRAORE

PHILLIPS – SANDRO – FER – HENRY – VARGAS

AUSTIN

Player to watch: –

Match Facts & Stats

HEAD 2 HEAD

Southampton: 27
QPR: 27
Draw: 21



LAST TIME OUT

Premier League – 12/01/13
St Mary`s Stadium

Southampton 1 (Ramirez)
QPR 2 (Remy, Bothroyd)

Team: Cesar (Green), Samba, Hill, Traore, Bosingwa, Mbia, Park, Granero (Jenas), Hoilett, Remy, Bothroyd (Fabio).

Attendance: 31,728


PREVIEW FACTS

Queens Park Rangers have had more shots from outside the box than any other Premier League team this season (27).

Southampton have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season (3). The Saints are the only PL team yet to concede a home goal this season.

QPR have failed to score in each of their last five Premier League away games.

Harry Redknapp has overseen just 11 goals in 14 Premier League away games as The R`s boss.

Ref Watch:

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistants: Simon Beck & Jake Collin
Fourth Official: James Linington

Mark Clattenburg is the match official for Saturday`s clash with Southampton. Last season, Clattenburg issued 145 yellow cards and 6 red cards in 42 games.

Match Prediction:


2-1 Home win.

Next Fixture

Who: West Ham
Where: Boleyn Ground
When: 05/10/2014