Preston North End v QPR - Preview
It's top versus bottom this weekend with Neil Warnock's men travelling to Deepdale to play Phil Brown's Preston. Victory would consolidate the R's position at the summit and put pressure on the chasing pack. Defeat for Preston will only enhance supporters' fears of relegation.
A change in manager usually means a change in fortune. Players tend to perform to a higher level in search of approval from their new gaffer, however, no such luck for newly-appointed Preston manager Phil Brown. Brown has continued where former boss Darren Ferguson left off and has had a miserable time in charge of the Lilywhites (so far). Brown has yet to record a win in seven attempts. That said, trying to instil belief into a team severely lacking confidence is easier said than done.
Neil Warnock has threatened to make changes to his defence ahead of the match against Preston. The R's gaffer has complained to the media several times this year over moments of school-boy defending and several errors against Forest might mean a change in personnel. Rangers will be cast-iron favourites on Saturday, however, if history dictates, an upset is more than likely, especially when top play bottom. QPR will need a professional performance on Saturday if they are to get anything out of the match.
QPR 1 (Smith 16)
Nottingham Forest 1 (McGoldrick 26)
Team: Paddy Kenny, Bradley Orr, Clint Hill, Kaspars Gorkss (Pascal Chimbonda 73), Matt Connolly, Shaun Derry, Alejandro Faurlín (Petter Vaagan Moen 79), Tommy Smith (Ishmael Miller 46), Adel Taarabt, Wayne Routledge, Rob Hulse
Watford 2 (Whichelow 69, Thompson 79)
Preston 2 (St. Ledger 1, Clarke 37)
Team: Iain Turner, Sean St Ledger, David Gray, Billy Jones, Leon Cort, Barry Nicholson, Keith Treacy (Darel Russell 74), Adam Barton (Danny Mayor 78), Ian Ashbee, Leon Clarke, Eddie Johnson (Jamie Proctor 65)
Preston North End Team News:
On loan striker Leon Clarke is unavailable owing to the terms of his loan agreement from QPR. Strikers Iain Hume and Chris Brown are in contention after recovering from recent injuries.
Jones - St. Ledger - Cort - Gray
Parry - Barton - Ashbee - Treacy
Hayes - Johnson
Player to watch: Keith Treacy
Keith Treacy has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this weekend's match against Preston.
For Daniel's comprehensive review of the wide-man Click Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Neil Warnock could make several changes to the R's back four this weekend, after conceding that his centre backs Matt Connolly and Kaspars Gorkss played poorly last weekend.
Akos Buzsáky told QPRplayer that he hopes to be involved this weekend after recovering from injury. Tommy Smith will be out for two weeks with another hamstring injury.
Hogan Ephraim is suspended after being sent off against Reading. Long term absentees Jamie Mackie, Patrick Agyemang and Peter Ramage remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Possible line up:
Chimbonda - Hall - Gorkss - Hill
Faurlin - Derry
Routledge - Taarabt (c) - Vaagan Moen
Player to watch: Paddy Kenny
After making his 500th career appearance last weekend, Kenny will be hoping that this time he will keep a clean sheet after a slightly fortuitous goal denied Kenny celebrating his landmark appearance with a win. The former Ireland international has been my personal favourite out of the summer signings. The shot-stopper is in my opinion the best goalkeeper we`ve had since David Seaman.
In his debut season for the R`s, Paddy Kenny has kept an astonishing 16 clean sheets and with 15 games to go, he will be hoping for a few more at least. What impresses me about him is the way he organises the back four. Kenny knows when to criticise and when to encourage. At times it`s fair to say he has single-handedly kept us in games with some unbelievable reflex saves. With him in goal I always feel confident that we can keep a clean sheet.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WDWWD
Preston North End: LLLLD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 10
Preston North End: 11
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship - 20/11/2010
QPR 3 (Hulse 4, Taarabt 56, 84)
Preston 1 (Connolly 88og)
Team: Paddy Kenny, Kyle Walker, Clint Hill, Kaspars Gorkss, Fitz Hall (Martin Rowlands 81), Matt Connolly, Alejandro Faurlín, Jamie Mackie (Bruno Andrade 88), Adel Taarabt, Leon Clarke, Rob Hulse (Patrick Agyemang 80)
Referee: Mr A Haines
Assistants: Mr C Harwood & Mr P Kettlewell
Fourth Official: Mr G Johnson
Andy Haines is the match official for Saturday's game and has officiated 21 games this season. His most recent game was the match between Doncaster and Portsmouth.
Last season Haines issued 98 yellow cards and 6 red cards in 31 games.
I think QPR will prove to be strong for Preston and without sounding too over-confident, I think the R's should win, in what fashion, I couldn't say. Preston have been woeful this season and after throwing away a two goal lead against Watford, morale will be very low amongst the players. At best, I can't see them getting anything more than a point against us.
Quality players are few and far between at Preston at the moment, although Keith Treacy, Adam Barton and Sean St. Ledger do provide the Lilywhites with some ammunition. Losing Jon Parkin in the January transfer window would've been a big blow for them and it remains to be seen whether Eddie Johnson and Iain Hume will fill the rather large void left by the Beast.
0-2 Routledge and Hill to score.
Who: IPSWICH TOWN
Where: LOFTUS ROAD
When: 22/02/2011 - 20.00