Date:Monday August 27 2012
Mark Hughes is set to name a strong team for League Cup tie against Walsall. New signing Jose Bosingwa is set for his home debut as the R`s look to progress to the next round. After the draw at Norwich, QPR will be hoping for a more positive attacking performance with the likes of Andrew Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips vying for starting spots and looking to impress. In the last few seasons QPR have been shocking in the cup. Early exits to Port Vale and Rochdale, both of which were at home indicated that Neil Warnock never took the cup seriously. However, this year Hughes has gone on record to say that he wants the club to do well and approach the competition with respect.
QPR haven`t played Walsall since March 2000 and that ended in a 3-2 QPR win. In fact, QPR haven`t lost to Walsall since 1967, although, I must add, there have been very few meetings between the sides over the years. This season Walsall have made a steady start with 4 points from 9. On Saturday, they registered their first league victory beating Notts County 1-0 courtesy of a late Andy Butler goal. In the first round of the cup they knocked out Brentford and were probably hoping for one of the Premier League heavy weights. Instead, they face a stuttering QPR side struggling to gel and play as a team. Couple that with the R`s recent record in the competition, it all leads me to believe there is definite potential for an upset.
Norwich 1 (Jackson)
Team: Green, Fabio, Traore (Bosingwa), Hill (Onuoha), Ferdinand, Diakite (Derry), Park, Hoilett, Mackie, Zamore, Cisse.
Notts County 0
Walsall 1 (Butler)
Team: Grof, Butler, Holden, Purkiss, Chambers, Featherstone (Bowerman), Chambers, Cuvelier, Hemmings, Grigg, Paterson.
Bobby Zamora misses out due to the head injury he sustained against Norwich. Alejandro Faurlin was hoping to play a part but Mark Hughes feels the midfielder isn`t quite ready. Andrew Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips will be hoping for starts. Youngsters Michael Doughty and Max Ehmer could feature.
Possible line up:
Arguably our best player in pre-season, Wright-Phillips could count himself slightly unlucky not to be playing more so far this season. The former England international looks more confident and after scoring a few goals over the summer looks to have recaptured a bit of end product to his game. I expect him to do well tomorrow night and if QPR are to progress then I feel Wright-Phillips might have a lot to do with that success.
Richard Taundry is pushing for a return but striker Febian Brandy is unavailable due to a hamstring strain.
Possible line up:
Florent Cuvelier has been identified as the player to watch ahead of Tuesday`s match against Walsall.
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HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 29
LAST TIME OUT
Football League Division 1 - 18/03/00
Walsall 2 (Barras, Hall)
QPR 3 (Larusson og, Wardley, Kiwomya)
Team: Harper, Baraclough, Ready, Darlington (Kulcsar), Plummer (Perry), Rose, Wardley, Langley, Murray, Beck (Taylor), Kiwomya.
Referee: M Naylor
Assistants: C Brook & M Bull
Fourth Official: W Linden
Michael Naylor is the match official for Tuesday`s cup game. Last season Naylor issued 101 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 31 games.
At the moment QPR are not playing very well. Certain players look unfit, ten-yard passes are going astray and the continuous revolving door of playing staff can`t be anything but unsettling at this stage of the season. However, I firmly believe once the window shuts and Hughes can select a steady side QPR`s play will drastically improve. Personally, I think we`re only 2 or 3 additions away from being a very competitive side at this level. Unfortunately, 2 or 3 additions will yet again unsettle the side as more players will be making their debuts. Nevertheless, games like Walsall represent a chance for fringe players to stake a claim for the 25-man squad and such is the turnover of our squad, players like Shaun Wright-Phillips who were considered first-teamers last season are now squad players this year. That is a sign that we are heading in the right direction but after this window I`d like to see QPR reign in the transfer activity and maintain a bit of continuity.
It will be interesting to see, if selected, how players like Hogan Ephraim, Andrew Johnson, Ryan Nelsen (should he be fit) perform. I like the look of Ephraim this pre-season and I feel he could add something to the squad. Johnson will be looking to open his R`s account tomorrow as well. Walsall will be a tough opponent and one that QPR should treat with the utmost respect. They are coming off the back of a very good win over Notts County will be up for this match. That said, QPR should just about edge through owing to that extra bit of quality that they possess.
1-0 Scrappy home win.
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Date:Monday August 27 2012
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