In what has felt like an eternity waiting for this match, QPR have yet another chance to claim a place in the Premier league when they make the short journey to Vicarage Road on Saturday to play Watford. After Hull`s late equaliser and Norwich`s 100th last minute goal of the season, QPR were denied promotion for the time being. Neil Warnock`s men need only a point from their remaining two games to win the league but if Clint Hill`s latest interview with QPRplayer is anything to go by, the R`s will not be content with playing for the point. They want to win it in style.
Way back in December, QPR suffered back to back defeats for the only time this season against Watford and Leeds. Interestingly, the way the fixture list has panned out, Rangers have a great chance to avenge the disappointing results starting with Watford on Saturday. In recent weeks, QPR have struggled to kill teams off. Derby and Hull were both there for the taking but the R`s squandered several chances. If we had Danny Graham up front, I can`t help but feel we would`ve been home and dry by now.
Realistically, Watford won`t make the play-offs but they have had an excellent season considering they were amongst the favourites for relegation. Malky McKay has done a terrific job blending youth and experience to build a team that relies on the pace of the youngsters and guile of the experienced pros. If the Hornets lose Danny Graham in the summer, they could be in for a tough season, although I`m sure they will have enough about them to survive. Graham has led the line superbly and has proven to be a real handle for most defences this season and he will certainly be a thorn in the R`s backline this Saturday.
QPR 1 (Routledge)
Hull 1 (Amoo)
Team: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Gorkss, Hall, Derry, Faurlin, Taarabt, Smith (Ephraim), Routledge, Helguson (Agyemang)
Leicester City 4 (Bruma x2, Yakubu x2)
Watford 2 (Sordell x2)
Team: Loach, Hodson, Taylor (Bennett), Mariappa, Doyley, Eustace, Cowie, Mingoia (Drinkwater), Deeney, Graham, Weimann (Sordell)
Watford Team News:
The Hornets will be without on-loan striker Andreas Weimann. The Austrian will miss the match after sustaining a foot injury in the match against Leicester City.
Unfortunately for Malky McKay, midfielder Ross Jenkins will have to sit out the rest of the season with an ankle injury. McKay will be boosted by the news that winger Matt Whichelow could return from his ankle problem.
Hodson – Taylor – Mariappa – Doyley
Deeney – Eustace – Drinkwater – Cowie
Graham – Sordell
Player to watch: Danny Graham
Danny Graham has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of Saturday`s match against Watford.
For Daniel’s comprehensive review of the striker Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Fitz Hall could be out with a hamstring injury. The towering centre-back struggled towards the end of the game against Hull and could miss the Watford match.
Should Hall miss the match, Matt Connolly is most likely to deputise.
Possible line up:
Orr – Gorkss – Hall – Hill
Faurlin – Derry
Routledge – Taarabt – Smith
Player to watch: Tommy Smith
In recent games, Smith has underperformed, possibly a result of fatigue and lack of confidence. Saturday`s match should see Smith raise his game. Personally, I like Tommy Smith. I think he has several good qualities as a footballer. He is industrious, doesn`t lose the ball, has a decent cross on him and scores every now and then. Although I feel he should score more given the talent he possesses. It`s no secret that we have missed Jamie Mackie but Smith and Wayne Routledge have played well since his horror injury against Blackburn. I could see Smith scoring against his former employers and wouldn`t it be fitting if it proved to be the goal to take us up.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LWDDD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 47
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship – 10/12/10
QPR 1 (Smith)
Watford 3 (Graham x2, Mutch)
Team: Kenny, Walker, Hill, Gorkss, Connolly, Derry, Faurlin (Orr), Taarabt (Clarke), Helguson (Hulse), Mackie, Smith
Referee: Mr N Swarbrick
Assistants: Ms S Massey & Mr P Kelly
Fourth Official: Mr O Saliy
Neil Swarbrick is the match official for Saturday`s game and has officiated 37 games this season. His most recent game was Crystal Palace`s crucial win over Leeds United.
Last season Swarbrick issued 104 yellow cards and 8 red cards in 35 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
If QPR attack from the off, it is well within their capabilities to win the match at a canter. Unfortunately, as the season draws to a close, QPR`s attacking confidence has diminished. There have been flashes of the expansive two-touch passing game that saw us demolish Swansea and co but for some reason we have gone direct on too many occasions. Heider Helguson, who is usually an expert at bringing others into play, is looking leggy and this has without a doubt stifled our attacking play. Helguson is the point man that brings others into play but in recent games he has struggled and looks knackered. This means relying on Smith, Routlege and Taarabt and possibly Agyemang to drive the team into the top flight.
I think the match will be very open. Watford on their own patch will be looking for all three points to stop the R`s celebrating promotion. I`m not sure Gorkss and Hall will be able to deal with Graham and Sordell and I think we will concede at some stage of the game. Likewise, I don`t think Watford will be able to contain our front four, so I`m going for a score draw.
Who: LEEDS UNITED
Where: LOFTUS ROAD
When: 07/05/2011 – 12.45