QUEENS Park Rangers search for their third successive away win as they travel to St James’ Park for the first time in over 12 years.
Despite a positive start to life in the Coca Cola Championship, the league leaders are still to rectify their profound problems behind the scenes.
Mike Ashley still sits at the helm of Newcastle United despite furious protestations by the fans, evident even during their thumping win over Ipswich Town at the weekend.
Chris Hughton remains at the helm in caretaker charge of the Magpies, overseeing a new era of prosperity in a club which has been dragged through the mud in recent times.
They face a resurgent Queens Park Rangers side who under the guidance of Jim Magilton have begun to display their playoff credentials after turning performances into victories.
Victories away at Scunthorpe United and Cardiff City combined with the annihilation of Barnsley at home on Saturday puts the R’s firmly in contention for a top six finish.
The R’s are one of six teams to have lost only once this season as they sit nine points of their opposition tomorrow night – with the Toon Army sitting pretty at the top of the pile.
QPR 5 (Leigertwood 7, Buzsaky 15, 39, Watson 67, Simpson 79)
Barnsley 2 (Foster 51, Gray 56)
Team: Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Damion Stewart, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge (Alejandro Faurlín 69), Martin Rowlands, Ben Watson, Akos Buzsaky, Rowan Vine (Adel Taarabt 69), Jay Simpson (Alessandro Pellicori 79).
Ipswich Town 0
Newcastle United 4 (Nolan 30, 32, 51, Taylor R. 34)
Team: Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor (Ryan Donaldson 78), Steven Taylor, José Enriqué, Fabricio Coloccini (Peter Løvenkrands 68), Zurab Khizanishvili, Nicky Butt, Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll, Nile Ranger (Marlon Harewood 65), Alan Smith
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Caretaker boss Chris Hughton will have decisions to make in defence with his side missing key players going into the clash with Queens Park Rangers tomorrow night.
Steve Harper will once again continue in goal after moving from Shay Given’s shadow last season, but the defence infront of his will not include Fabricio Coloccini (groin), with doubts also over Ryan Taylor (calf) and Manchester United loanee Danny Simpson (ankle).
Ryan Donaldson could be set slot into the back four in place of the former Wigan Athletic man with Steven Taylor and José Enriqué.
Danny Guthrie looks set to remain on the sidelines despite returning from suspension with Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan surpassing themselves against Ipswich Town. The latter in particular bagging a hatrick from the heart of midfield.
Argentinean Jonás Gutiérrez could return to the side following injury, with Joey Barton missing the game owing to a foot injury. Andy Carroll and Nile Ranger will fight to keep their places despite Marlon Harewood’s arrival on loan.
Player to watch: TBA
QPR Team News:
Jim Magilton will be reluctant to change his side following a thumping home win over Barnsley at the weekend with Radek Cerny set to sit behind goalscorer Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Damion Stewart and Gary Borrowdale.
Unfortunately for Peter Ramage he looks set to miss out on his homecoming to St James’ Park, with Leigertwood’s performances proving formidable at full back. Matthew Connolly (glandular fever) and Fitz Hall (groin) remain sidelined.
Wayne Routledge will be key for QPR on the right wing, with Akos Buzsaky looking to continue his outstanding form on the opposite wing. Goalscorer Ben Watson and skipper Martin Rowlands will look to rekindle their partnership in the middle, with Gareth Ainsworth (tendonitis) unavailable.
Rowan Vine will sit behind loanee Jay Simpson in attack with Angelo Balanta (groin) still unavailable for selection. Adel Taarabt should once again take his place on the bench despite a display of petulance on Saturday.
Player to watch: Wayne Routledge
With space at his disposal and a below-strength back-line Wayne Routledge could prove to be the difference between the two sides tomorrow evening.
The winger has displayed his vast talent this season to put the fear of god into many defenders – and indeed bagging goals and assists to cap off some excellent performances.
The former Spurs and Aston Villa wide-man is finally realising his potential with the R’s and will be looking to improve his side’s promotion credentials tomorrow night.
To read his career profile Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Newcastle United: W L W L W
Queens Park Rangers: D W D W W
HEAD 2 HEAD
Newcastle United: 18
Queens Park Rangers: 16
LAST TIME OUT
FA Premier League – 06-04-1996
St James’ Park
Newcastle United: 2 (Beardsley 77, 81)
Queens Park Rangers: 1 (Holloway 53)
Team: Jurgen Sommer, David Bardsley, Alan McDonald, Steve Yates, Rufus Brevett, Ray Wilkins, Ian Holloway, Andrew Impey, Trevor Sinclair, Danny Dichio (Mark Hateley 76), Kevin Gallen.
Newcastle United 0-3 Queens Park Rangers – 22-04-1988
Referee: Mr R L Shoebridge
Assistants: Mr R M Clark & Mr R L Metcalfe
Fourth Official: Mr B Khatib
Rob Shoebridge from Derbyshire will be the man in the middle for the clash between Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers tomorrow evening.
The official caused controversy earlier on this season when he didn’t allow a Crystal Palace goal despite the ball hitting the back of the net.
He will be assisted by Richard Clark (Northumberland) and Lee Metcalfe (Lancashire) with the fourth official Billy Khatib (Tyne and Wear).
To read our report on the official Click Here >>>
Should QPR pull off what would be an astounding away win, it would be their third in succession and with the new-found belief in his side Magilton will be looking for all three points at St James’.
Rangers should look to deploy similar tactics as at Cardiff – stifle the few key players that they have at their disposal while striking with their immense talent on the counter attack.
A crowd that can become extremely volatile will work against the side if QPR can get an early lead then hold it tight, and while it is the less likely of all outcomes it has been proven that it can be done.
Teams: Swansea City v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday October 3, 2009 – 3:00pm
Ground: Liberty Stadium, Swansea