Tomorrow sees QPR travel to the midlands, where they will face an in-form West Brom at the Hawthorns. The R’s are struggling at the moment and sit bottom of the league, without a league win, without much confidence and thanks to injuries a depleted defence. It is not looking good at the moment and even the most positive supporter will be worrying a little. Of course, it would be completely short sighted to think sacking Hughes is the answer to all the the problems. Hypothetically, what if they sack Hughes, bring in a new guy and results don’t improve, do they sack him too? A potentially dangerous cycle reminiscent of the Flavio Briatore era. At the moment, Hughes needs more time but should results fail to improve then Tony Fernandes has a decision to make. If QPR can win tomorrow, they will head into the international break on a high and our form will surely turn around. A loss and morale will plummet to a new low and the Loftus Road faithful will start to seriously question the manager’s suitability for the job.
Like many, I predicted that Steve Clarke would struggle this year. What do I know? Just an opinion I guess. They’ve surprised me this year but when you look at their side in detail, you have to question why opinions like that are formed in the first place. They have a quality keeper in Ben Foster. Rugged, no nonsense centre backs in Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson who don’t get bullied often and read the game well. A mixture of athleticism, technical ability and invention in midfield and a wealth of striking options that can cover multiple styles. Particularly impressive is the versatile Shane Long. He possesses great pace, is happy to run channels, holds the ball up and is a great finisher. They are a solid and settled team that should avoid the relegation battle and look to finish in the top half.
QPR 1 (Taarabt)
West Ham 2 (Jarvis, Vaz Te)
Team: Cesar, Onuoha (Hoilett), Mbia, Nelsen, Hill, Wright-Phillips (Taarabt), Park Ji-Sung (Diakite sent off), Granero, Faurlin, Cisse, Zamora.
Aston Villa 1 (Bent)
West Brom 1 (Long)
Team: Foster, Jones (Tamas), McAuley, Popov, Olsson, Morrison, Gera, Brunt (Dorrans), Mulumbu, Yacob, Long (Lukaku).
West Brom Team News:
The Baggies will be without Chris Brunt and Billy Jones. Peter Odemwingie is back after a three-game ban. Defender Steven Reid is still out with a hamstring injury.
Possible line up:
Jara – McAuley – Olsson – Popov
Mulumbu – Yacob
Dorrans – Morrison – Gera
Player to watch: James Morrison
James Morrison has been identified as the player to watch ahead of tomorrow’s match against West Brom.
For Vital QPR’s comprehensive review of the attacking midfielderClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Samba Diakite is suspended after being sent off against West Ham. Jose Bosingwa and Anton Ferdinand are major doubts. Fabio and Armand Traore are ruled out.
My possible line up:
Onuoha – Nelsen – Mbia – Hill
Derry- Faurlin – Granero
Taarabt – Zamora – Hoilett
Player to watch: Adel Taarabt
Well it looks like he is back. What we saw against West Ham was the Adel Taarabt we all know and admire. He changed the momentum of the match in our favour and had Samba Diakite not been sent off, we may have snatched something out of the game. Taarabt was composed on the ball, he made forward, progressive passes with the intention of splitting the opposition defence apart to create chances for our strikers. He scored a wonder goal and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. His lack of match fitness might prevent him from starting tomorrow but no doubt he will feature. It would be a travesty if he didn’t play. Same goes for Junior Hoilett who was mysteriously dropped for the last match after two impressive performances.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LDLLL
West Brom: WLWLD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 13
West Brom: 16
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 14/04/12
West Brom 1 (Dorrans)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Taiwo (Traore), Ferdinand, Onuoha, Diakite, Derry (Wright-Phillips), Taarabt (Helguson), Barton, Mackie, Zamora
Referee: M Jones
Assistants: S Burt & D England
Fourth Official: R Madley
Mike Jones is the match official for tomorrow’s game. Last season Jones issued 112 yellow cards and 9 red cards in 33 games.
Mark Hughes has made some strange tactical decision of late. With his defensive selections, you can’t hammer him too much because he is playing with a limited deck. However, in midfield he is spoilt for options and this is where he is losing matches with his selections. Dropping Junior Hoilett and Jamie Mackie or Adel Taarabt in favour of Park Ji-Sung and Shaun Wright-Phillips is nothing short of baffling. Both of whom offer little in terms of invention and end product. I suspect Hughes is picking them for their work rate. Not recognising that we needed three centre midfielders against West Ham, who didn’t allow our midfield pair (who were outnumbered) any time on the ball and were very physical was disconcerting. I’m hoping we can get a result tomorrow but unfortunately I cant see it.
1-1 Score draw.
Where: Loftus Road