The R’s continue their search for a league win this Saturday as they head to the DW Stadium to face Roberto Martinez’s free-flowing Wigan. Since Harry Redknapp took over at Loftus Road, the main positives have been the improved defence, the gathering team spirit and the willingness to put in a shift on the pitch. The only downside has been that they are still winless. Personally, I feel it is only a matter of time before our luck changes. Let’s face it our luck has been awful so far.
With the injuries mounting for Wigan, Martinez might struggle to have the personel available to fulfil the wing-back formation he has adopted in recent months. The Latics are very short at the back and with Rangers on the up they might find it more difficult than usual. The trouble with Wigan is that they are a Jekyll and Hyde side and can’t seem to get any consistency throughout the season. One week they will play magnificently and turnover a side like Man Utd and the next week they’ll struggle against mediocre opposition. Players like Franco Di Santo and Jordi Gomez continue to improve each week but for me Kone is the danger man. Having watched the Newcastle game, he didn’t get much service what with the sending off hindering Wigan’s ability to commit players forward, however, Kone still managed to cause the Newcastle defence problems and he looks a tricky customer. He’s got a trick and a decent turn of pace and will be a threat all game.
The R’s need a win to help kickstart their fight against relegation. Victory against Wigan would be the catalyst for them to push on. Not only would it crush that pathetic away record but it would give the players a real boost. The Redknapp effect is in motion and hopefully it continues to pick up pace tomorrow with our first win.
QPR 1 (Mackie)
Aston Villa 1 (Holma)
Team: Green, Bosingwa, Nelsen, Hill, Traore, Diakite (Hoilett), Mbia (Derry), Granero (Park Ji-Sung), Mackie, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips.
Newcastle 3 (Ba x2, Bigirimana)
Team: Al Habsi, Caldwell (Lopez), Boyce, Stam, Figueroa (Sent Off), McCarthy, Jones, Gomez (McArthur), Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo (McManaman).
Wigan Team News:
Wigan are reportedly without 8 players including four central defenders with Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Ivan Ramis (hamstring) are injured while captain Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa are both suspended.
Possible line up:
Stam – Boyce – Lopez – Beausejour
McCarthy – McArthur – Jones
Gomez – Di Santo – Kone
Player to watch: Arouna Kone
Arouna Kone has been identified as the player to watch ahead of the match against Wigan.
For Vital QPR’s comprehensive review of the strikerClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Julio Cesar is still a doubt with a groin injury.
Possible line up:
Bosingwa – Nelsen – Hill – Traore
Mbia – Diakite
Taarabt – Granero – Wright-Phillips
Player to watch: Stephane Mbia
Stephane Mbia’s recent development in a QPR shirt has been terrific. He’s finally being played in his preferred position (defensive midfield) and really looks the part. After we equalised against Villa, Mbia was running the show alongside Samba Diakite and they look like a partnership that can blossom. Worryingly, Mbia’s collision with Gabby Agbonlahor appeared nasty and the game never really recovered without him, which highlights his importance to the team right now. It’s great news that he is fit for Wigan because Mbia and Diakite look like they can dominate the opposition’s midfield. Also, Mbia’s openness on twitter and his clear commitment to QPR has won over the fans and he’s fast becoming a firm favourite, forming a strong bond with the R’s supporters.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LLLDD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 3
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 1/02/12
QPR 3 (Helguson pen, Buzsaky, Smith)
Wigan 1 (Rodallega)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Hall, Young, Ferdinand, Buzsaky (Derry), Barton, Wright-Phillips, Campbell (Smith), Mackie, Helguson.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Assistants: Jake Collin (Liverpool) & Lee Betts (Norfolk)
Fourth Official: Mike Dean (Merseyside)
Phil Dowd is the match official for tomorrow’s tough away game at Wigan. This season Dowd issued 54 yellow cards and 3 red cards in 14 games.
A very tough game to predict. It’s a safe bet that QPR might struggle due to their away form. However, the signs are there that the side is improving dramatically under Harry Redknapp and could produce the goods. Wigan are also a strange side to predict but with injuries mounting in defensive positions and a distinct lack of cover for their makeshift starting eleven they could struggle today. An early QPR goal could really do damage but looking at the R’s side it’s hard to see where the goals will come from.
Where: Loftus Road