Date:Friday February 1 2008
2nd February 2008
Rangers will be looking to bounceback after the disappointing midweek defeat in Cardiff. Rangers succumbed to a 3-1 deficit against the Bluebirds, but now coming back to the familiarity of home soil, they will look to pick up the maximum against promotion chasing Bristol City
A deflated Gigi De Canio spoke after the game:
'I'm very disappointed. We could and we should have played a better game,'
'We simply got it wrong on the night. We didn't have the right attention on the pitch, or the right determination."
"It was not the real QPR out there, but credit to Cardiff. They really surprised us and took full advantage of our mistakes."
'The first goal was a very disappointing one to concede and we never recovered.'
On the injuries picked up during the game:
'We will assess the injuries in the morning, but at this stage they look like they could be serious."
'The two injuries summed up our night, but we need to re-group ahead of the match against Bristol City on Saturday.'
Rangers go into the game with a defensive injury headache. Fitz Hall who has been instrumental in the Rangers revival limped off Tuesday night against Cardiff City with what was later determined to be a torn groin muscle. He will be looking at a lengthy period on the sidelines.
Another defender who will struggle to make the fixture will be Matthew Connolly. The defender was carried off during the Cardiff encounter midweek suffered heavy bruising on his knee, and it`ll be a race against time to make this weekend.
Rangers could go into Saturday with a new centre back partnership of Michael Mancienne and Damion Stewart, with Kieran Lee slotting in at right back, alternatively Mancienne could revert to right back with Damien Delaney moving into centre half and Lee moving to left back.
Other than the news above Rangers go into the encounter with a fully fit attacking line and will hope to score home goals to compensate for their possible defensive shortcomings.
Pat has been a revelation since his undisclosed move from Preston North End and has played a major part in the Rangers revolution. Three goals in three games have earned the big Ghanaian plaudits from Rangers players and fans alike.
He has made that starting place his own and will be looking to capitalise on any mistake made by the Robins backline.
The Robins can recall Ivan Sproule after a one-match ban for 5 bookings, served against Blackpool.
Bristol City can also call upon their new signing Dele Adebola for this weekends fixture at Loftus Road. The signing made before deadline day joined Australian Nick Carle as City`s second signing of the window.
The Robins will be without Louis Carey who is still recovering from an Achilles injury, and are still without long-term absentee Jordan Walker, who has a knee injury.
With the strike partnership chopping and changing in recent games, mainly revolving around Lee Trundle and Darren Byfield, and with Enoch Showunmi going out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday, Adebola may get a start at Loftus Road.
Adebola is an experienced professional, especially at this level with lengthy spells at Crewe, Birmingham and Coventry.
Dele has played 558 games, scoring 135 goals in all competitions, in a career spanning 15 years.
After a big money move from Crewe to Birmingham for £1million, Dele established himself at the Blues in a four year spell before moving to pastures new and Crystal Palace, after a poor season with the Eagles only managing 5 goals, he moved on once more to Coventry City.
After 5 years with the Sky Blues, Dele opted recently to move to pastures new, and Bristol for an undisclosed fee, and is set to make his debut this weekend. Dele has scored 6 goals this season, including an incredible effort against Premier League Blackburn, bullying off his marker on a sensational run before drilling a shot into the bottom right corner.
Dele scored against the R`s in a 3-2 loss for his side Crewe at Gresty Road, before his big money move to St. Andrews, in which he had his revenge on the R`s scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Blues back in 1998. The following season Adebola was at it again scoring against the R`s this time at Loftus Road, as the Blues took the points in a 1-0 win.
He then bagged 2 against the R`s at the first game at the Ricoh Arena in August 2005. His most recent goal against the R`s was at Loftus Road as the Sky Blues took all 3 points, to halt John Gregory`s revival. 6 goals against the R`s for 3 different clubs ensure that it will be a tough afternoon for the Rangers defence if this man is on song.
Rangers are undefeated at home since early December when Crystal Palace took all 3 points in W12. Since then Rangers have drawn 1 and embarked on a 3 match winning streak at home, scoring 7 goals and conceding 2 during this period.
The Robins only game on the road this year has ended in defeat away at Crystal Palace. Indifferent form in their last 5 away games has seen them lose at West Brom and the aforementioned Crystal Palace, draw in the West Country derby with Plymouth and a couple of impressive victories over Burnley and Watford.
Historically, Rangers have narrowly got the better of their ex-Promotion rivals Bristol City, with 26 wins, to City`s 24 with 19 draws in league competition. The last time Bristol City won at Loftus Road was way back in 1977, when a solitary goal was enough to see off the R`s in the old Division One.
Last time out
11th August 2007- Ashton Gate
Bristol City 2 (Johnson 33, Murray 90)
QPR 2 (Blackstock 34, Stewart 90)
Rangers Team: Camp, Rehman, Manciene, Stewart, Curtis, Rowlands, Bolder, Bailey, Moore, Nardiello (Ephraim 59) Blackstock (Nygaard 69)
Last time out
27th September 2003 - Loftus Road
QPR 1 (Padula 73)
Bristol City 1 (Miller 76)
Rangers Team: Day, Edghill (Ainsworth 44) Forbes, Gnohere, Padula, Rowlands, Bircham, Bean (Oli 82) McLeod (Palmer 56) Gallen, Furlong.
Referee- D Deadman
Assistants - PW Barnes & D Buck
Fourth official - CJ Berry
Mr. Deadman from Cheshunt has refereed the R`s on only one occasion, in John Gregory`s first game in charge in the 2-0 win over Hull City.
In 20 games this season Mr. Deadman has handed out 58 yellow cards and 2 reds, sending off Luton Town`s Alan Goodall in November.
It's going to be a tough encounter at Loftus Road, reminiscent of the 1-1 encounter back in 2003. City are in a great position at the moment and they won't relinquish it with ease.
Boxer's Prediction: 2-1 Rangers
For all the latest match odds click onwww.williamhill.com
Who- Southampton V QPR
Where- St. Mary`s
When- Saturday 9th February. 3:00pm
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