Harry Redknapp takes charge of Queens Park Rangers for the first time tonight, as they make the long trip north to the Stadium Of Light, where they will face an out of form Sunderland side. The appointment of Redknapp has appeared to have united the fans and brought a feel good factor back to the club. Whether that has transcended onto the players that have grossly under performed remains to be seen, but i’m confident we’ll see an upturn in form. It’s fair to say, Redknapp is cut from a similar cloth to former gaffer Neil Warnock and will not allow any players to wear the famous blue and white shirt without putting in a 100%, so hopefully the days of Jose Bosingwa ambling about aimlessly are over. At United last Saturday, the players that were selected did put in a 100% and it left many fans feeling optimistic for the future, despite the 3-1 loss. History suggests that Redknapp is the man to turn Rangers’ fortune around. Let’s hope ‘the Redknapp effect’ starts tonight and if Saturday’s performance was anything to go by, QPR stand a very good chance of getting at least a point.
In all honesty, Sunderland are looking very poor at the moment. Martin O’Neill appears to be fighting against the current and if results don’t turn around for the Black Cats, the boyhood Sunderland fan could be the next manager to lose his job. Having spent a fair amount of money on the likes of Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson, O’Neill is expected to keep Sunderland around mid-table but performances haven’t been at that standard this year and they’ve just won once in their last seven league games (still better than QPR at the moment though). The form of Steven Fletcher will be one positive for them. The ever-improving striker has scored 6 goals this season and will be a dangerous aerial threat. Seb Larsson’s set-pieces are deadly and our boys will need to be working very hard if they are to buck that awful trend of conceding amateurish goals from corners.
Sunderland 2 (Gardner, Sessegnon)
West Brom 4 (Gera, Long, Lukaku pen, Fortune)
Team: Mignolet, Bardsley, O’Shea (McClean), Cuellar, Rose, Johnson, Larsson, Colback (Saha), Cattermole (Gardner), Sessegnon, Fletcher.
Manchester United 3 (Evans, Fletcher, Hernandez)
QPR 1 (Mackie)
Team: Cesar, Mbia, Nelsen, Hill. Traore (Ferdinand), Derry, Faurlin (Granero), Dyer, Mackie, Taarabt (Hoilett), Cisse.
Sunderland Team News:
Lee Cattermole is out with a knee injury. John O’Shea is out too after picking up a calf injury against West Brom.
Possible line up:
Bardsley – Cuellar – Kilgallon – Rose
Johnson – Larsson – Gardner – McClean
Player to watch: Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson has been identified as the player to watch ahead of tonight’s match against Sunderland.
For Vital QPR’s comprehensive review of the midfielderClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Jose Bosingwa and Park Ji-Sung are available having recovered from injury and illness. Harry Redknapp is expected to name a much changed side and it will intriguing to see which players he goes with.
Possible line up:
Mbia – Nelsen – Hill – Traore
Mackie – Faurlin – Derry – Granero – Taarabt
Player to watch: Jamie Mackie
I have a lot of time for Jamie Mackie. Not only is he a decent player but his work ethic, desire and passion for the game are outstanding. It leaves me wishing all of our current crop were like him in that respect. What he lacks in skill, he makes up for in other areas. His athleticism is extraordinary and his fitness levels must be one of the highest in the league. He’s also pretty useful in the box and comes up with the odd goal too. Mackie’s recent performances have highlighted how important it is to have grafters in the side. I would like to think Mackie will continue to improve as a player under Harry Redknapp and that the new gaffer will like the look of our Jamie.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LDLLL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 10
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 24/03/12
Stadium Of Light
Team: Kenny, Young, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Diakite (Buzsaky), Derry, Taarabt (Wright-Phillips), Mackie, Cisse (Sent Off), Zamora (Bothroyd)
Referee: A Marriner
Assistants: R West & P Bankes
Fourth Official: C Foy
Andre Marriner is the match official for tonight’s game. Last season Marriner issued 92 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 28 games.
I’ve got a good feeling about tonight. The appointment of Harry Redknapp will surely see the players try harder and fight a bit more on the field. It’s been embarrassing how poor the players have been, with the exception of Ryan Nelsen, Adel Taarabt and Julio Cesar. Tactically, I think if we hit Sunderland on the counter attack, we will hurt them. Against United, Taarabt, Cisse and Mackie broke excellently and I’d like to see something similar against this lot tonight. If we are adventurous enough, we can beat Sunderland. A draw would be a decent result considering our abysmal away record but with Harry Redknapp in charge, you never know. If we lose, it will be disappointing but Redknapp has only had two training sessions with the lads and we must remain realistic despite the hype that comes with Harry. Nevertheless, I remain confident we can get something tonight and faithfully, I’m going for a QPR win.
0-1QPR win. Jamie Mackie to score.
Who: Aston Villa
Where: Loftus Road