Date:Friday March 9 2012
For the last two months every game has been hailed as the proverbial 6-pointer and a "must win game" and with each passing defeat to a relegation rival, the pressure has been increased and therefore transferred into the next game. This week is no different, the R`s need three points for a number of reasons, not only could they pull away from the teams in the relegation zone, but a win would further enhance Bolton`s already precarious position. In my opinion, every game is a "must win game". However, the tension surrounding this match means a defeat would just add pressure onto the next game. After last week`s impressive performance against Everton, it appears that the tide against Rangers has turned slightly and should Mark Hughes` men snatch a win this weekend, the Rs could well be on their way towards Premiership survival.
In truth, Bolton have struggled all season and despite Owen Coyle`s best attempts their form hasn`t changed and they have hovered in and around the relegation zone all campaign. On paper, Bolton and QPR should not be where they are this year but football matches are not won on paper. An unsettled side has certainly hindered QPR`s progress this season. As for Bolton, it is hard to tell, it could be down to complacency. After several years of mid-table security, it is a possibility that the standard of the bottom half sides has increased recently and Bolton have failed to keep pace. That said though, I think Bolton have the players to pull away from the relegation zone but they are lacking confidence and Owen Coyle can`t seem to raise morale which doesn`t bode well for them. A win tomorrow could see their fortunes change. It`s fair to say their run-in is much better on paper than ours but as highlighted, football is not won on paper.
QPR 1 (Zamora)
Everton 1 (Drenthe)
Team: Kenny, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Traore, Taarabt (Mackie), Barton, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Buzsaky, Zamora, Mackie
Manchester City 2 (Steinsson og, Balotelli)
Team: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Ricketts, Wheater, Ream, Davies, Reo-Coker, Pratley (Muamba), Ngog, Miyaichi
Kevin Davies returns to the squad after a knee injury against Wigan last month. Marcus Alonso is unavailable after returning to Spain following a family bereavement.
Vital QPR has singled out Ryo Miyaichi as the One to Watch
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Mark Hughes` selection process is boosted by the availability of Djibril Cisse and Samba Diakite who both return from suspension. Strikers Heider Helguson and DJ Campbell both miss out. Adel Taarabt is a doubt with a tight hamstring. Fitz Hall and Federico Macheda are both unavailable.
Possible line up:
After his inexcusable sending off against Wolves, Djibril Cisse has a point to prove. The experienced striker reacted badly to a cumbersome Roger Johnson challenge and consequently missed three key games against relegation rivals. Cisse has promised everyone associated with the club that he will deliver and feels he owes the fans some goals. Cisse has all the attributes to cause the Bolton defence damage this weekend and it will be fascinating to watch the Zamora/Cisse partnership in action once again.
Queens Park Rangers: DLLLD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 12
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League - 13/08/11
Bolton 4 (Cahill, Gabbidon og, Klasnic, Muamba)
Team: Kenny, Gabbidon, Hall, Hill, Dyer (Orr ), Faurlin, Derry, Taarabt (Buzsaky) , Bothroyd, Campbell, Smith (Helguson)
Referee: M Atkinson
Assistants: J Collin & R Pollock
Fourth Official: L Probert
Martin Atkinson is the match official for tomorrow`s game. This season Atkinson has issued 110 yellow cards and 9 red cards in 30 games.
Bolton have looked a little toothless upfront but the return of the talismanic Kevin Davies should give them a lift and more of a focal point going forward. QPR need to go for the win as games are running out and the need for points is getting greater by the week. Much of the pre-match talk has been focused on the return of Djibril Cisse, who is back with a huge point to prove. If the injury news about Adel Taarabt is true then he could be the one to make way for Cisse. It will be interesting to see if Samba Diakite returns but I can`t see him being thrown straight back into the team unlike Cisse.
If QPR can score early then the home crowd may become frustrated or failing that if we can keep a clean sheet in the opening period of the game, then our confidence will grow. QPR are notoriously poor starters to games this year. We need to kick that habit if we are to get anything out of the game. It should be an entertaining match, especially as it is being billed as a relegation 6-pointer. I think QPR`s confidence is higher than Bolton`s which could prove to be vital.
1-2 Cisse brace.
When:21/03/12 - 20:00
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Date:Friday March 9 2012
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