Preview - QPR v Coventry
For some strange reason the people at Sky saw fit to televise both fixtures between these two sides, and for the life of me I can't think why. If anyone with a shred of footballing knowledge has watched Coventry City this season, then they would realise televising a match involving an Aidy Boothroyd side renowned for the infamous long-ball tactic is not the best way to advertise the Championship.
All it does, however, is demonstrate the vast gulf in quality between the Premiership and the Championship. Not only is that particular brand of football depressing to watch, it is mind-numbingly boring too. Hopefully QPR can do their best to make the match as entertaining as possible and you never know Coventry might actually get sucked into a game of football.
After the injuries to Patrick Agyemang and Jamie Mackie and with Kyle Walker joining Aston Villa, an injection of pace was desperately needed with Wayne Routledge and Ishmael Miller certainly fitting the bill, both experienced professionals at Championship level.
According to reports, Coventry battered Sheffield United last week and were unlucky not to come away with all three points. The Sky blues hit the woodwork several times and managed 17 corners and 21 attempts on goal but failed to find a way past Blades keeper Steve Simonsen.
A change in tactics certainly made their last match more entertaining, and maybe Boothroyd will stick to his new-found passing tactic on Sunday. Coventry have gone seven league games without a win which unfortunately means for QPR they will no doubt end their baron spell live on Sky.
Team: Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill, Bradley Orr, Matt Connolly, Kaspars Gorkss, Shaun Derry, Petter Vaagan Moen, Adel Taarabt (Fitz Hall 89), Alejandro Faurlin (Leon Clarke 81), Tommy Smith, Rob Hulse (Heidar Helguson 81)
Coventry City 0
Sheffield United 0
Team: Keiren Westwood, Richard Keogh, Martin Cranie, Richard Wood, Stephen O'Halloran, Michael Doyle, Carl Baker, Aron Gunnarsson, Freddy Eastwood, Lukas Jutkiewicz (Clive Platt 86), Gary McSheffrey
QPR Team News:
QPR are without long-term injured quartet Patrick Agyemang, Akos Buzsaky, Peter Ramage and Jamie Mackie.
If Alejandro Faurlin is passed fit for the match, Neil Warnock is expected to name the same side that featured against Burnley.
Wayne Routledge, Pascal Chimbonda and Ishmael Miller are all available to Warnock but it remains to be seen who will start for Rangers this weekend.
Possible line up:
Orr-Connolly - Gorkss - Hill
Derry - Faurlin
Smith - Taarabt- Vaagan Moen
Player to watch: Petter Vaagan Moen
Attacking midfielder Petter Vaagan Moen will be the one to watch on Sunday. Providing he features, it will be the first time most fans would have seen the new man in action. The Norwegian International is a dead-ball expert who possesses a sweet left foot.
According to reports against Burnley and Blackburn, Vaagan Moen looks to be a decent acquisition and has adjusted to the English game well. It will be interesting to see how he copes in front of the Sky cameras and a first goal for the R`s would certainly go down a storm.
Vaagan Moen started his career at in HamKam and helped the club to promotion to the Tippeliga in 2003. His fine-form didn`t go unnoticed and the midfielder signed for SK Brann for a fee believed to be in the region of £1million. Vaagan Moen featured 123 times for Brann, scoring an impressive 31 goals. He has also represented Norway seven times scoring one goal.
Coventry City Team News:
Controversial striker Marlon King returns from suspension following his dismissal against Ipswich Town. Midfielder Sammy Clingan is fit for selection after coming through a recent reserve match.
Coventry captain Lee Carsley is currently expected to be out for three to four weeks with an Achilles and groin injury.
Keogh - McPake - Wood - O`Halloran
Bell - Gunnarsson - Clingan - McSheffrey
Eastwood - King
Player to watch: Freddy Eastwood
Freddy Eastwood has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this weekend's match against Coventry City.
To view all the stats on the One to Watch Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WLDLD
Coventry City: LDLWD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 35
Coventry City: 28
LAST TIME OUT
npower Championship - 28/12/10
Coventry City 0
< b>Queens Park Rangers 2 (Westwood og, Smith)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Connolly, Gorkss, Walker, Derry, Taarabt (Rowlands), Faurlin, Mackie, Smith (Clarke), Helguson (Orr)
Referee: Mr M Haywood
Assistants: Mr P Kettlewell & Mr G Stretton
Fourth Official: Mr J Adcock
Mark Haywood is the match official for Sunday's clash against Coventry. Haywood has officiated 21 games this season, one of those being QPR's match against Derby County which saw the R's make an impressive late comeback after going two goals down. His most recent game was the match between Brentford and Exeter. Last season Haywood issued 76 yellow cards and three red cards in 35 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
If the last match between the sides is anything to go by then I fully expect Coventry to bombard our backline with a direct passing game. Hopefully it proves to be as ineffective as it was in the previous encounter. I`m confident that Kaspars Gorkss and Matthew Connolly will cope with the inevitable aerial bombardment and we can build on their solidarity. As long as our defence doesn`t panic and remains composed then I think the match is ours for the taking.
Both teams have struggled for form of late which means this fixture represents a perfect opportunity for Rangers to kick-start their promotion charge as we head into the business end of the season. Adel Taarabt has been playing well so I expect him to revel in front of the adoring R`s faithful. Tommy Smith and Petter Vaagan Moen will need to put in a performance if they are to keep their places in the team, especially as rumours of new signings are rife.
I think Coventry will have their moments in the game just as they did in the previous fixture but once again I get the feeling Rangers will be too strong for the Sky Blues. An early goal will go a long way for the R`s confidence.
2-0 QPR. Tommy Smith and Adel Taarabt to score.
Who: Hull City
Where: KC Stadium
When: 29/01/11 - 15.00