Hull City v QPR - Preview
QPR will be hoping for a long overdue away win when they travel to the KC Stadium on Saturday to face Nigel Pearson's Hull City. The Tigers are a hard team to break down at the KC and boast one of the meanest home defences in the league, conceding only six goals all season. Interestingly, on their travels, QPR have the best defensive record in the league, so on paper it doesn't look like there will be many goals...3-3 it is then.
After Sunday's impressive comeback, Rangers will be heading into the match on a high. There was a certain freshness about the R's team against Coventry, largely attributed by the signings of Wayne Routledge and Ishmael Miller. With both players impressing on their respective debuts, Neil Warnock once again must be applauded for his ability to bring in the right type of player, one which improves the squad yet doesn't upset the balance. Coupled by the defensive additions of Pascal Chimbonda and former R's legend Danny Shittu, the squad now looks in very good shape for the rest of the season.
Nigel Pearson has also been quite busy in the transfer market. The Tigers Boss quickly added to his depleted striking options with Leicester City's Matty Fryatt and Peterborough's Aaron McLean, both handy strikers at this level. Fryatt in particular has hit the ground running for his new club with two goals in as many starts.
Pearson also secured the signatures of James Chester and Corey Evans (loan) from Manchester United this month, while Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan also decided to join on loan until the end of February. Tunisian midfielder Tijani Belaid, who signed this week, has been cleared to play on Saturday. However, going in the opposite direction is Jimmy Bullard, who has agreed to join Ipswich Town on loan until the end of the season.
QPR 2 (Taarabt 45, Routledge 79)
Coventry City 1 (King 25)
Team: Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill, Matt Connolly, Kaspars Gorkss, Bradley Orr, Shaun Derry, Alejandro Faurlín, Tommy Smith (Fitz Hall 83), Adel Taarabt, Wayne Routledge (Hogan Ephraim 89), Heidar Helguson (Ishmael Miller 55)
Reading 1 (Harte 80pen)
Hull City 1 (Evans 51)
Team: Brad Guzan, Liam Rosenior, Anthony Gerrard, Andy Dawson, James Chester, Robert Koren, Iain Ashbee, Cameron Stewart (Corry Evans 45), James Harper, Aaron McLean (Nick Barmby 83), Matty Fryatt
Hull City Team News:
New signing Tijani Belaid goes straight into the squad. Jimmy Bullard is unavailable having joined Ipswich on loan.
Andy Dawson and Nolberto Solano will both need late fitness tests to see if they are available for the match. Dawson has been struggling with a groin injury whilst Solano has a thigh problem.
Rosenior -Chester- Gerrard - Dawson
Barmby - Koren- Harper - Stewart
Fryatt - McLean
Player to watch: Matty Fryatt
Matty Fryatt has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this weekend's match against Hull City
For Daniel's comprehensive review of the striker Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Heider Helguson is a doubt with a groin problem. New-boy Ishmael Miller has been troubled by a virus this week and is also doubtful. If both are deemed unfit Rob Hulse is expected to start. Danny Shittu is available for selection but is slightly short of fitness.
Ákos Buzsáky, Peter Ramage, Jamie Mackie and Patrick Agyemang are all out. However, Buzsáky has been given the go-ahead to resume full training next Monday.
Possible line up:
Orr - Connolly - Gorkss - Hill
Faurlín - Derry
Routledge - Taarabt (c) - Smith
Player to watch: Wayne Routledge
Wayne Routledge celebrated his second coming last week with the winner against Coventry City. The goal itself was one of pure class. Adel Taarabt's mesmerising pass was met by Routledge who controlled impeccably with his first touch and then finished with his second. For me it was a goal of the highest order and probably the best I've seen at Loftus Road this season.
Routledge's pace and trickery will be a huge boost to the Rangers attack especially after the loss of Jamie Mackie and Kyle Walker. Neil Warnock believes there are goals to come from Routledge and if I'm honest, I completely agree with him. There appears to be an understanding on the pitch between Adel Taarabt and Wayne Routledge and if they can keep reproducing moments like last week we are set for some exciting times.
Before Routldege left he was, in my opinion our most dangerous player and it's great to have him back, albeit on loan. With Routledge also able to play across the front three, Warnock has a very interchangeable and fluid attack which is not only very hard to mark but deadly on the counter.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LDLDW
Hull City: LWLWD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 15
Hull City: 13
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship - 12/04/08
Hull City 1(Turner 90)
QPR 1 (Blackstock 14)
Team: Lee Camp, Michael Mancienne, Damion Stewart, Fitz Hall, Damien Delaney, Hogan Ephraim, Gareth Ainsworth (Matt Connolly 89), Gavin Mahon, Martin Rowlands, Dexter Blackstock (Mikele Leigertwood 55), Patrick Agyemang (Angelo Balanta 80)
Referee: Mr K Hill
Assistants: Mr R Johnson & Mr S Oldham
Fourth Official: Mr D Plowright
Keith Hill is the match official for Saturday's game and has officiated 21 games this season. His most recent game was Bournemouth`s 1-0 win over League 1 leaders Brighton.
Last season Hill issued 97 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 30 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
Hull are now a much improved side compared to when Rangers were originally scheduled to play them. As previously mentioned Nigel Pearson has made some very astute signings this month and I could see Hull making a steady climb up the table. The same can be said for Neil Warnock who has also had a very successful transfer market, bringing in four players who will make a real difference to the squad.
I think the match will be a tight and cagey affair. Pearson and Warnock both supporters of a tight and organised defence that are hard to break down. I think it will be on the counter attack where QPR will have some joy. The R`s now have some much needed pace in their ranks with Wayne Routledge and Pascal Chimbonda (providing he is fit enough to play) and should be able to threaten on the break. I think a goal for each team is a realistic bet.
1-1 Jay Simpson and Wayne Routledge to score.
Where: Loftus Road
When: 01/02/2011 - 20.00