Manchester City v QPR
At the time of writing this (18.30), by this time tomorrow we will know our fate. I`m sure this week has dragged immensely for every QPR. For me, I just want to get this weekend out of the way so that we know one way or another which way we are heading and to move on accordingly. In my opinion, Mark Hughes has made a difference to side, it may not be that noticeable but from the outside looking in, he appears to be managing the squad better and the team (at least at home) appear to be more prepared tactically. Our home form has given us a fighting chance of survival and that is all we can ask for at this stage, especially when you consider how difficult our run-in has been. Such is our away form and lack of confidence on the road, our fate rests just as much, if not more on the Stoke/Bolton game than it does on our own fixture. A point against City would guarantee our safety as would a Stoke win or draw.
The Stoke game will ultimately go a long way to deciding our future. At Loftus Road, Tony Pulis` men were very resilient but extremely uncreative going forward, relying heavily on the much criticised long-throw tactic. That said, Owen Coyle takes his injury-hit squad to the Britannia for what will be a fascinating match especially as they are missing leading centre-half David Wheater through injury. Should Stoke score first then their resilience and ability to defend whilst teetering around the boundaries of the law should be enough to tip the balance in favour of QPR. Bolton are always good for goal which worries me greatly as Stoke`s finishing was poor against us. Peter Crouch could play a huge part in QPR`s survival, come on Crouchy lad, grab a goal or two.
QPR 1 (Cisse)
Team: Kenny, Onuoha, Hill, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Derry (Wright-Phillips), Buzsaky (Cisse), Barton, Mackie, Zamora (Bothroyd).
Newcastle United 0
Manchester City 2 (Toure x2)
Team: Hart, Zabaleta, Clichy, Lescott, Kompany, Barry, Nasri (De Jong), Silva (Richards), Toure, Aguero, Tevez (Dzeko).
Manchester City Team News:
Manchester City have no injury concerns for their final fixture against the R`s.
Zabaleta - Kompany - Lescott - Clichy
Barry - Toure
Nasri - Tevez - Silva
Player to watch: TBA
QPR Team News:
Unfortunately, the industrious Samba Diakite is a huge doubt to miss tomorrow`s match due to the same virus that has sidelined him for two weeks. Fellow midfielders Shaun Derry (dead leg) and Akos Buzsaky (hamstring) are both struggling to be fit.
Possible line up:
Onuoha - Hill - Ferdinand - Taiwo
Mackie - Barton - Buzsaky - Derry - Taarabt
Player to watch: Paddy Kenny
One thing is for sure, Paddy Kenny is going to be very busy tomorrow afternoon. We all expect an onslaught on the QPR goal as City go all out to claim the title in front of their home fans. I`m sure Mark Hughes has prepared the midfield and defence to give Paddy as much protection as possible. Against the bigger clubs, Kenny has stepped up and the former Sheffield United stopper will once again need to produce a top performance and possibly the best in his career if QPR are to stand a chance of taking anything out of the game.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WLWLW
Man City: WWWWW
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 12
Man City: 20
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League - 05/11/11
QPR 2 (Bothroyd, Helguson)
Man City 3 (Dzeko, Silva, Toure)
Team: Kenny,Gabbidon, Traore (Hill), Young, Ferdinand, Faurlin, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd (Puncheon), Mackie (Smith), Helguson.
Referee: M Dean
Assistants: S Burt & A Garratt
Fourth Official: N Swarbrick
Mike Dean is the match official for tomorrow`s game. This season Dean has issued 143 yellow cards and 4 red cards in 42 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
Tactically, it would be a huge surprise to see Mark Hughes adopt an attacking approach against City. Hughes has been cautious in almost all of his games in charge. Even at home we packed the midfield which leads me to believe why would he change that formation against the best attacking side in the league and risk being caught out? Our best bet is to play counter-attacking football with Djibril Cisse up top ready to chase any loose ends and hope for the best. On our day we can trouble any defence but such is the attacking power of City, parking the bus maybe the best option even if it entices wave after wave of City pressure.
3-0 Comprehensive home win but Bolton to drop points.