After doing enough in the first half to kill the game off against Sheffield United, Rangers came away with nothing from Bramall Lane, a game that promised so much more for the R`s. With the entrances and exits occurring in the past week and rumours of more to come, Loftus Road will be in anticipation come Saturday against last season`s relegation rivals, Barnsley.
Joe Dunbar spoke after the game stating:
‘I thought we deserved a point. To coin a phrase, it was a game of two halves.
‘We looked very comfortable in the first half and deservedly took the lead, but we allowed them far too much time and space in the second period.
‘Credit to them, they took full advantage.’
There was special praise for striker Patrick Agyemang:
‘We’re delighted for Pat.”
‘He worked tirelessly and it is always nice to see strikers open their accounts on their full debuts.”
‘He almost broke the net, he hit it that hard.”
Dunbar though was seething about the late penalty appeal for the R`s:
‘I have seen the video and it’s a penalty.”
‘Matt Kilgallon was laughing when the referee didn’t give it, and that says everything you need to know.”
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Gigi De Canio has a fully fit squad at his disposal for the first time in his time at Rangers. Mikele Leigertwood returns from a Four-Match Suspension.
Rangers can also call upon new signing Damien Delaney from Hull City. The defender is set to start at left back in place of Chris Barker, who was run ragged up at Bramall Lane.
There will be competition for a place up front with De Canio having to pick from Agyemang, Blackstock, Vine and supporting striker Akos Buzsaky.
Player to watch: Akos Buzsaky
The Magical Magyar is in top form for the R`s at the moment. He created the majority of the chances at the weekend, and several strikes had to be palmed away by Paddy Kenny. On another day Buzsaky would have had a hat-rick, with some creative wizardry and incisive passing.
The midfielder has scored 6 goals from 13 games for the R`s, but is yet to score as a permanent signing.
Barnsley Team News:
Long-term absentee Dwayne Mattis is unavailable following his rehab on a broken leg.
Barnsley also look set to introduce new signings Diego Leon and Miguel Tininho into the starting line-up at Loftus Road. While Istvan Ferenczi will also be pushing for a place in the starting line-up.
Ferenczi has yet to rediscover his goalscoring form of last season with only 4 League goals to his name this season. The most recent being in early December.
Player to watch: Jamal Campbell-Ryce
The live-wire midfielder is a constant thorn in the side to any team, with his direct running and skilful dribbling.
If the Jamaican winger is on his game, the Rangers full back will have a lot to handle. He has scored one goal this season against Southampton, and will have to be watched carefully and dealt with appropriately if Rangers are to stem the tide of conceding.
Rangers have met Campbell-Ryce before several times. During his time at Charlton he played against the R`s in a pre-season Friendly. He knocked Rangers out of the Carling Cup whilst playing for Leyton Orient. He suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the R`s whilst playing for Rotherham, and he played for Southend last season in the 5-0 humbling of the R`s.
So it`s fair to say we`ve met before!
Match Facts & Stats
Rangers are unbeaten are at home in 3, most recently in the New Years Day defeat of Ian Holloway`s Leicester City. Home performances and attendances are picking up, with a bumper crowd expected this weekend.
In the last 10 Home games Rangers have only suffered 2 defeats, with 4 wins and 4 draws, and they shall be looking to stick another one in the wins column following this weekends fixture.
With Barnsley expecting to struggle this season as they did in segments last season, they surprised a few by picking up some good early results with only one defeat in September and 3 victories in the month of November.
Barnsley have not won away from Home since September when they beat Southampton at St. Mary`s Stadium 3-2, and after a home defeat at the weekend at the hands of relegation rivals Norwich, the Tykes find themselves in 15th place. 7 points off both a Playoff place, and a relegation place.
Historically QPR have the better of the record against the Tykes with 17 League wins to Barnsley`s 12, with the teams drawing 9 times. Loftus Road is not a happy hunting ground for the Tykes having not won in W12 since the 5-0 drubbing on the 21st January 1950, and I`m sure you were all there!
Last time out
23rd December 2006 – Loftus Road
QPR 1 (Rowlands 15)
Rangers Team: Royce, Bignot, Manciene, Stewart, Milanese (Rehman 68) Rowlands, Lomas, Smith (Bircham 70) Cook, Jones (Furlong 80) Blackstock.
Referee– R J Beeby
Assistants – A Sainsbury & PC Martin
Fourth official – MD Rowley
Mr. Beeby officiated QPR`s 0-0 home draw at Sheffield Wednesday, and booked on loan defender Bob Malcolm.
In 22 games Mr. Beeby has handed out 40 yellow cards and 2 reds, most recently sending off Southend`s Nick Bailey.
For the latest match odds, click on www.williamhill.com
Who– Cardiff City V QPR
Where– Ninian Park
When– Tuesday 19th January 2008. 7:45pm