Date:Tuesday March 8 2011
With eleven games left, the pressure on each match increases. Every game is considered the most important or toughest yet. Saturday's result against Leicester felt significant, almost season defining, with several promotion rivals dropping points as QPR strengthened their hold at the top, courtesy of a late Ishmael Miller goal. Neil Warnock's men showed great resilience and determination to overcome this season`s most impressive visitors, and it will be with those same characteristics that will see us through the next two games, both being London derbies against two hard-working sides.
Tuesday night's London derby comes at a good time for the R's. However, a midweek journey across London to Millwall will be no walk in the park. The New Den is a hostile place that generates plenty of atmosphere making it especially intimidating for visiting teams. Interestingly, Danny Shittu could make his first appearance at the New Den since leaving in January to sign for rivals QPR and could be greeted accordingly.
Kenny Jackett has done a fine job this season, guiding Millwall to a safe mid-table position, with a slim chance of making the play-offs. Jackett has had limited funds but has managed to create a team capable of competing at this level. Players like James Henry and Steve Morison have excelled under Jackett`s stewardship and summer signing Tamika Mkandawire has been a consistent performer this campaign.
Judging by the form guide the match points to an away win, QPR are unbeaten in 11, winning 6, whereas Millwall haven't won in 5, their last win was over a month ago. However, the last time the two teams met QPR were in similar form, as were Millwall and the match ended in a stalemate. I think the same will happen again Tuesday night as Millwall are fairly solid at home and we aren`t as adventurous away from home as we are at Loftus Road.
QPR 1 (Miller)
Leicester City 0
Team: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Shittu, Hall (Connolly), Derry, Faurlin, Buzsaky (Ephraim), Taarabt (Miller), Routledge, Helguson
Watford 1 (Graham)
Team: Forde, Dunne, Eastmond (Lisbie), Robinson, Craig (Barron), Mkandawire, Purse, Trotter, Schofield, Henry (Harris), Morison
Spurs winger Andros Townsend goes straight into the team after signing on loan for the remainder of the season. Fellow loanee Martin Rowlands is ineligible owing to the terms of his loan agreement with his parent club QPR.
Centre-back Darren Purse is suspended for two matches after he picked up his 10th booking of the season last week. Hameur Bouazza is a doubt after missing the match against Watford. The winger is suffering from a knee injury sustained in training.
James Henry has been identified by DanielQPR as the player to watch ahead of this week's match against Millwall.
For Daniel's comprehensive review of the wide-man Click Here >>>
Fitz Hall will face a late fitness test to see whether he is fit for action after coming off in the first half on Saturday. Tommy Smith has fully recovered from a hamstring injury and will be looking to start.
Akos Buzsaky could drop to the bench. The Hungarian has only recently come back from injury and after playing 90 minutes against Leicester, it is possible that he could be suffering from fatigue.
Possible line up:
A man of the match performance against Leicester saw Paddy Kenny share the headlines with super-sub Ishmael Miller. Kenny was in fine form on Saturday making two or three top class saves that wouldn`t have looked out of place in any top division.
Neil Warnock made it his mission to highlight Kenny`s superb performances this season, the experienced manager said, "There isn't a goalkeeper in the Premier League who's better than him. I wouldn't swap him for any keeper in the country." High praise indeed for the R`s goalkeeper, who for me, other than Shaun Derry has been our most consistent performer this season.
In his debut season for the R`s, Paddy Kenny has kept 19 clean sheets which is already a superb record and even more impressive when you think there are still 11 games to go. 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.
Queens Park Rangers: DDWWW
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 19
LAST TIME OUT
Coca Cola Championship - 28/9/10
Team: Kenny, Walker, Hill, Connolly, Gorkss, Derry, Buzsaky (Leigertwood), Mackie, Ephraim (Agyemang), Taarabt, Helguson
Referee: Mr S Tanner
Assistants: Mr M George & Mr M Scholes
Fourth Official: Mr T Robinson
Steve Tanner is the match official for Tuesday's game and has officiated 33 games this season. His most recent game was the League 1 clash between Swindon and Walsall. The game ended 0-0 and was fairly unspectacular with Tanner issuing just two yellow cards.
Last season Tanner issued 111 yellow cards and 9 red cards in 34 games.
QPR will be going into the match full of confidence whereas Millwall might not be as buoyant following their defeat against Watford. I really like the look of their winger James Henry, who is a good player with an eye for a goal. Steve Morison will be an obvious threat, although the Welsh International has been suffering a dry spell in front of goal of late. QPR have several players playing very well at the moment, Heider Helguson, Alejandro Faurlin and Shaun Derry have turned out many good performances recently and will be once again need to put in a shift in what should be a fiercely competitive derby match.
I think a draw is the most likely outcome here. I would like to think because of both teams recent form, QPR could edge it but an away fixture against Millwall is a tough game regardless of form and the R`s will need to guard against complacency and dig in if they are to get anything out of the match.
1-1 Townsend and Helguson to score.
Who: CRYSTAL PALACE
Where: LOFTUS ROAD
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Date:Tuesday March 8 2011
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|3. Derby County||33||18||7||8||18||61|
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