WITH Rangers six points adrift from safety and games running out, a tricky looking away fixture against Swansea is now a dreaded ‘must win’ match for the Super Hoops.
After Rangers impressively held the champions Man City to a 0-0 draw, they were unable follow that up and put the sword to the Canaries, drawing 0-0. Adel Taarabt had the chance to convert from the spot but his weak effort was saved by the in-form Mark Bunn. Swansea, could do with a win to kickstart their league form again after enduring a mini-slump, winning once in their last five.
The last time the two clubs met, Rangers were humiliated 5-0 at home. The early warning signs were there despite it being the opening game of the season. Rangers were unorganised in defence and toothless attack, and subsequently exposed by the Swans, who have built on a terrific first season in the top flight and sit pretty in 8th.
Since then, Mark Hughes’ awful tenure eventually ended, paving the way for Harry Redknapp. ‘Arry has improved the defence unquestionably, but the attacking frailties remain, two goals in five Premier League games is not the type of goalscoring form that will keep QPR up.
With the teams around them winning regularly, QPR need to start picking up points and fast. Two wins from twenty fives games is appalling. Six or seven wins from thirteen could keep us up. We’ve beaten Swansea before, we can do it again.
Swansea Team News:
The Swans could welcome back Michel Vorm from injury. Leon Britton is a doubt with a knee problem.
Possible line up:
Rangel – Williams – Chico – Davies
Briton – De Guzman
Pablo – Routledge – Dyer
Player to watch: Michu
Michu has been identified as the player to watch ahead of the match against Swansea.
For Vital QPR’s comprehensive review of the strikerClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Harry Redknapp could hand Jermaine Jenas his first start. Chris Samba is expected to continue at the back after his super debut. Junior Hoilett and Jose Bosingwa are doubts.
Possible line up:
Onuoha – Hill – Samba – Fabio
Jenas – Derry – Mbia
Taarabt – Zamora – Mackie
Player to watch: Bobby Zamora
When he came off the bench against Norwich, his impact was immediate. He gave the team a focal point with his physical presence and intelligent hold up play. He also relieved the pressure on Jamie Mackie, who looked a different player when Bobby came on. With Zamora winning the first ball or making the defenders skew their clearances, Mackie was haring about picking up the scraps and this led to the penalty. If Zamora is fit enough, he needs to start. He will cause the Swansea defence problems, potentially leading to opportunities for Taarabt and Mackie (who has three goals in his last four games versus the Swans). With Zamora on the pitch and players buzzing around him, we might see the R’s score a few more.
The Stat Attack
QPR: W D L D D
Swansea City: L W D D L
Barclays Premier League – 18/08/12
Swansea City 5 (Michu x2, Dyer x2, Sinclair)
Team: Green, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill (Wright-Phillips), Fabio, Diakite (Derry), Park, Taarabt, Hoilett, Cisse (Johnson), Mackie.
HEAD 2 HEAD:
Swansea City: 11
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Assistants:Andy Halliday & Lee Betts
Fourth Official: Keith Stroud
Neil Swarbrick is the match official for Saturday’s game against Swansea. This season Swarbrick has issued 73 yellow cards and 1 red card in 20 games.
When the chips are down QPR always seem to respond in the right way. The R’s have mastered the defensive side of Premier League football and now need to take their goalscoring opportunities as and when they arise. Adel Taarabt missed a good chance in each of the last two games, which hypothetically could’ve given us six points and we’d now be on our way to safety but instead we remain bottom of the table. The margins are that thin. It is worth noting the goalkeeping heroics of Julio Cesar that have kept us in contention in recent games too. If we try to dominate the match, they will pick us off like they did at Loftus Road. With Loic Remy out, one of the other strikers desperately needs to take on the challenge of scoring goals too.
WHO: Manchester United
WHERE: Loftus Road
WHEN: 23/02/2013 – 15.00