Queens Park Rangers will be vying for back to back Premier League away victories this Saturday, as they travel to the DW Stadium to face Roberto Martinez`s Wigan Athletic. Neil Warnock has a defensive crisis on his hands with Clint Hill suspended and Bradley Orr and Kieron Dyer out injured. The R`s gaffer will look to adjust the pack by placing Matt Connolly and Danny Gabbidon in the full back positions, with Danny Shittu or Bruno Perone to fill in at centre half.
Following, the R`s industrious victory over Everton, Warnock fielded a reserve side against Rochdale, and was duly punished as the Dale progressed into the next round with a 2-0 victory. The R`s could yet be with new signings for the match, although time is certainly running out. Joey Barton and Shaun Wight-Phillips have been heavily tipped to join, with Barton undergoing a medical and likely to make a decision on whether to join the R`s today. Both players would be terrific additions to the squad should they join and look set to be followed by several quality additions before the window closes.
Martinez pulled off one of the great escapes last season by avoiding relegation and he is looking to build on that survival with a year of consolidation. It was a great achievement for the former Latics player, as he never compromised his footballing philosophy, even when relegation threatened. This season, Wigan have managed two draws against fellow promoted sides Swansea and Norwich and remain unbeaten. Martinez will play a fluid brand of attacking football, which will provide a different test to Everton who were quite narrow at Goodison Park.
Rochdale 2(Akpa Akpro, Jones)
Team: Murphy, Orr (Harriman), Shittu, Perone, Connolly, Rowlands (Derry), Ephraim, Taarabt, Andrade, Cook (Hewitt), Bothroyd
Team: Al Habsi, Alcaraz (Stam), Caldwell, Boyce, Figueroa, McCarthy (McArthur), Watson, Moses, Gomez, Diame, Santo (Rodallega)
Wigan Team News:
Defender Antolin Alcaraz is out for 6 weeks after sustaining an injury last week against Swansea. Winger Victor Moses faces a late fitness test on his groin. Defender Steve Gohouri is also absent with a calf problem.
Stam – Caldwell – Boyce – Figueroa
Diame – Watson – McCarthy
Moses – Santo – Rodallega
Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega
Hugo Rodallega has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of Saturday`s match against Wigan.
To read his comprehensive review of the strikerClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Neil Warnock faces a defensive headache after Bradley Orr injured his groin against Rochdale on Tuesday. Clint Hill is still suspended and Kieron Dyer is still several weeks away from a comeback.
Jamie Mackie is still unavailable and Rob Hulse is a doubt.
Possible line up:
Connolly – Shittu – Hall – Gabbidon
Faurlin – Derry
Taarabt – Buzsaky – Smith
Player to watch: Shaun Derry
When Shaun Derry signed last summer, many including myself were sceptical and doubted the former Crystal Palace man’s ability to last 90 minutes, let alone a full season. Derry proved his doubters wrong and performed like a captain, leading the troops, organising the midfield and turning in a series of combative midfield displays that relieved the pressure on the back four. Derry provided the midfield with the grit that seemed to make the difference in countless matches, the extra bit of determination to win those 50/50 challenges which led to counter attacks or a chance to retain possession. This season, has seen Shaun Derry play in the top flight, a first in his career. This has reflected in his performances, with Derry playing with the enthusiasm and energy of a man ten years his junior. Even though we are only two games into the league season, Derry has been the standout performer. Hopefully, the fans favourite can stay fit and continue his rich vein of form.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WLLWL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 2
LAST TIME OUT
Championship – 23/04/05
Team: Rossi, Bignot, Shittu, Padula, Santos, Bean, Miller (Edghill), Cook (Brown), Cureton, Gallen, Baidoo (Townsend)
Referee: Mr M Oliver
Assistants: Mr A Halliday & Mr B Pollock
Fourth Official: Mr H Webb
Michael Oliver is the match official for Saturday`s game. Last season Oliver issued 83 yellow cards and 6 red cards in 29 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
I think Wigan v QPR is a fascinating fixture, one that will be entertaining and full of goal-mouth action. Wigan have a certain style of football that encourages attacking football, whereas QPR are more of a counter-attack team. Although, against Everton, the R`s had several spells of dominant possession football and the opposition couldn`t get near the ball. This is something that Warnock has worked on over the summer, and it will pay dividends in this league, where possession is intrinsic to any success.
QPR are without a few first teamers and are looking light along the backline, Wigan`s strength is in their forward area, which is full of pace and trickery. Hugo Rodallega and Victor Moses will be huge threats to our defence. Rangers do possess attacking talent of their own, which will concern Martinez. Jay Bothroyd, DJ Campbell, Adel Taarabt and Tommy Smith is an attack line to threaten any lower Premiership defence. Therefore, I think there will be goals a plenty in this game with both defences being stretched.
2-2 Score Draw.
When:12/09/11 – 20:00