Date:Wednesday December 24 2008
Rangers fan Daniel Clingbine looks ahead to the R`s clash with Charlton Athletic.
The perspective of QPR fan Daniel Clingbine, which takes in the recent positive tactics of QPR, all the early team news, and his choice to face the Addicks.
THE GAME AHEAD - A MERRY CHRISTMAS?
Both teams will meet at the Valley on Boxing Day, desperate for 3 points for different reasons! With Rangers starting to pick up some good form and gain some confidence, we will be looking to take all 3 points away from home.
Our home form has been excellent in general but we have struggled away from home all season. Our first away goal for many games against Plymouth however, was a major boost and with new loan signing Heidar Helguson on form, we go to the Valley confident of winning the game.
Charlton however are desperate for 3 points for reasons very different from the R`s. With only a goal difference of 2 separating them from Doncaster at the foot of the table, Charlton will be desperate to pick up their first win for 14 games.
2 more games without a win would equal their forgettable record in 1955, where it was 16! With a daunting trip to Sheffield Utd just a couple of days later, it makes a win a must for Phil Parkinson`s side.
NEVER TOO MANY COOKS!
Paulo Sousa`s new side however will not be giving Charlton any chances, and his positive tactics have paid off in recent weeks, with fantastic results notably against Wolves and Preston at the weekend.
If Iain Dowie was in charge, some would argue that we would have played for draws, but in Sousa`s mind, there is only one outcome, and that`s 3 points.
The morale has improved amongst the players, and fans some players are really starting to pick up some good form. Lee Cook played arguably his best performance against Preston, since rejoining the club on loan from neighbours Fulham.
If the lifelong QPR fan can keep up this kind of form, we will continue creating chances and scoring goals. For a figure of Paulo Sousa to praise Cook so highly, will only help the tricky winger who would love to end his career at Loftus Road.
"From a personal standpoint, I love this place. For me to commit my future here is very much something I want to do. I`ve had to take a step back because I missed a year. The aim is still Premier League football but I`d like it to be with this team".
HOW DO THE TEAMS COMPARE?
Last time the 2 teams met, Rangers ran out winners with a 1-0 victory at Loftus Road, which ended the spell of Alan Pardew as Charlton boss.
The Addicks played better than their league position suggested and could have even nicked a point, however Dexter Blackstock`s goal was enough to see them off. With the score being 1-0 to the R`s at the Valley last season, we will be looking to continue our good recent record. With the stats being so close between the teams however, anything could happen with 20 draws between the clubs, 22 wins for the home side, and just 1 less for QPR - who have won 21 times.
The outcome is anyone`s guess, but on recent form, you would like to think that Rangers have what it takes to take the points. Charlton have exactly half the points that QPR have at this stage, sitting joint bottom with only 18 points from 24 games and a goal difference of -15.
A win for the R`s would move them into closer range of the playoffs, depending on results elsewhere. It is also clear that Paulo Sousa`s men will not be waiting another 800 minutes to score an away goal this time round, after finally breaking the duck against Plymouth last time on their travels!
TEAM NEWS AHEAD
Charltons recent 1-0 defeat to Norwich may mean that changes are made to the starting line up to face the Super Hoops. Elliot is most likely to continue in goals ahead of Nicky Weaver, and former R`s loanee Martin Cranie will be hoping to continue at right back against the side he made such a good impression at.
Many fans would love to see Cranie back at Loftus Road, after an impressive spell was ended by a major injury to the England under 21 star. With Linvoy Primus`s loan spell coming to an end, it looks likely that Jonathan Fortune and Mark Hudson will pair up at the back.
Experienced winger Keith Gillespie will also be hoping to start on the right hand side ahead of fellow midfielder Lloyd Sam. Jay McEveley will join Zheng Zhi and Therry Racon on the sidelines after carrying a shoulder injury.
QPR are likely to continue with the same side that saw off Preston in the 5 goal thriller at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Matt Connolly was still out injured and is likely to sit out once again at the Valley. Fitz Hall came off the bench, but with the back 4 performing so well recently, it is very difficult to see Sousa breaking up the impressive pairing of Damon Stewart and Kaspars Gorkss - who is starting to show why we waited to sign him all summer!
One change that could happen is seeing Dexter Blackstock come into the starting lineup. The big striker bagged his 10th goal of the season after coming off the bench to score the winner against Preston on Saturday and will be hoping to earn a start ahead of Patrick Agyemang.
I have not been very confident this year of getting any points away from home, but with our recent results, and numerous chances we are creating - I personally think we will win this game.
A win away from home would be an extra boost of confidence to the side, and there is no reason why 3 points cannot be picked up. We have the players on the field, and we have a strong bench, and with a manager who seems tactically supreme so far, we have various options to have a good go at Charlton.
For me, it`s about getting a consistent starting line-up and getting all of the players to play as a team, and not just individually. The whole squad has been excellent as of late, and there is no reason to change the side against Charlton. It is tempting to play Leigertwood ahead of Mahon, however Mahon has invaluable experience and protects the back four very well, especially away from home
Dan`s selected 11...
RAMAGE STEWART GORKSS DELANEY
........ HELGUSON AGYEMANG
BENCH - Cole, Hall, Blackstock, Leigertwood, Ledesma
Let`s hope Rangers can pick up a win, and get ready for what we hope to be an exciting January ahead.
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