Category Archives: Queens Park Rangers

Championship weekend preview

As ever the Championship season is providing arguably the fiercest competition in world football as a host of clubs look to fight heir way to the promised land of the Premier League.

There has already been one game completed on Friday night as ground sharing Coventry City and Birmingham City played out a rather lacklustre 0-0 draw on Friday night.

Here is your preview of the rest of the big games over the weekend…

AFC Bournemouth v Reading Saturday 12.30pm

Fourth place Bournemouth welcome table toppers Reading to the Vitality Stadium with a chance of overtaking their visitors.

Reading had been unbeatable in thre league until recently, where they are now clinging on to dear life at the summit after losing their last three matches before the break.

Steve Tindall’s Cherries will be without Josh king who tested positive for COVID-19 whilst away on international duty as the relegated south coast club look to bounce back immediately.

QPR V Watford Saturday 3.00pm

An all London affair on Saturday afternoon as second place Watford travel to Loftus Road looking to go top of their table in their quest to make an instant return to the Premier League.

QPR meanwhile have been inconsistent at best during 2020/21 and will be looking to resolve their problems in order to start moving in the right direction and away from the threat of relegation.

Middlesbrough v Norwich City Saturday 3.00pm

Middlesbrough go into this match unbeaten in 10 and with October’s manager of the month, Neil Warnock, at the helm. The hosts are on the cusp of the play-off places but will need to turn a plethora of draws into wins if they are going to challenge.

High-flying Norwich are another side hoping to bounce straight back into he top flight and Daniel Farke’s side are making a decent fist of it as they sit third. Goal scorer Teemu Pukki will be pivotal to the Canaries chances.

Bristol City v Derby County Saturday 3.00pm

Bristol City in fifth are unlikely to be the story of this clash as bottom of the table Derby head to Ashton Gate with Wayne Rooney as their manaager.

Rooney is in temporary charge of the Rams after Phillip Cocu was sacked during the international break, giving Rooney his first role in senior management.

The former Manchester United striker has a huge job on his hands getting a talented Derby squad heading in the right direction.

Other Fixtures

Preston v Sheffield Wednesday Saturday 3.00pm

Stoke City v Huddersfield Saturday 3.00pm

Barnsley v Nottingham Forest Saturday 3.00pm

Millwall v Cardiff City Saturday 3.00pm

Luton Town v Blackburn Rovers Saturday 3.00pm

Swansea City v Rotherham United Saturday 3.00pm

Wycombe Wanderers v Brentford Saturday 3.00pm

Qpr v Cardiff Championship Preview

Cardiff look to continue their good away form as they visit London Saturday to face Queens Park Rangers. A team without a win since the opening round of the Championship. That opening day win over Nottingham Forest remains their only win, with four draws and three defeats. Cardiff come in to the game on the back of three 1-1 draws, but both of their wins have come on the road.

Last season meeting saw the Hoop’s humiliate Cardiff 6-1. Cardiff manager Neil Harris said at his press briefing that he hoped for a different outcome. Rangers will look forward to the visit of the Bluebirds having won the last three meetings between the side at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. Cardiff have not won at the ground since a 1-0 win in 2010.

Team News

Mark Warburton spoke about Lee Wallace during his pre match briefing saying:

“He’s out on the training pitch, there was some bruising but we’ll see how he is tomorrow”.

Bright Osayi-Samuel may also feature in the fixture (having missed the Barnsley game due to contract negotiations) vs Cardiff with Warburton saying:

“He trained very well today and we’ll see how he is for the weekend”.

Robert Dickie will, however, miss the game though suspension after his red card against Barnsley.

Neil Harris was positive about Harry Wilson, after the Liverpool loanee missed Cardiff trip to Derby.

At his press conference, Harris said:

“Positive developments. No muscle injury, just a hip impingement, which has come from the big spike in minutes he played in the first week”.

Saturday’s game may be too soon for Wilson but Harris expects him to be ready for next week at the latest. Filip Benkovic played 79 minutes for the under 23’s in midweek, whilst it is unlikely Lee Tomlin will be ready.

Managers Thoughts

Warburton has called for his team to be angry and respond against Cardiff. Speaking at his press conference the QPR manager said:

“We’ve had a bad fortnight and we can’t do that. You can talk about Bournemouth and being unlucky not to get all three points; irrelevant. The table doesn’t lie.

“We know what we face Against Cardiff – a very good team and a very physical test – and we have to make sure that we roll our sleeves up and deliver a performance”.

With a demanding run of games for Championship side Warburton talked about how a bad run of results could be costly. He said:

“That’s how it is, such are the demands of this schedule. We’ve had two very disappointing weeks and when the games come at you every three or four days, you can’t have periods like that because it costs you”.

Neil Harris, meanwhile, is wanting consistency both in his team selection and during the game from his players. Speaking to the press this morning he said:

“Consistency in team selection would be nice but with the amount of games we have got we can’t use the same team continuously.

“You want continuity because you want the team to get in a rhythm”.

Between the schedule and Covid testing, Harris says that is affecting his team selections:

“The injuries, ever-changing moments of Covid tests, nervousness around that, its always changing.

“It’s being dictated to by injuries and less than three days between games. Its challenging at the moment. I’d like to pick a settled team”.

Key Players

Defender Yoann Barbet will be in a battle this weekend with Cardiff’s strong set piece play. He will need to be on his game in aerial duels as Cardiff will look to play direct in to Kieffer Moore.

Sheyi Ojo has looked better and better every game and has two goals and an assist this season. Game time is proving good for the 23 year old who has been one of Cardiff’s best players in recent games.

Prediction: Queens Park Rangers 1 v 2 Cardiff City

Cardiff are proving had to beat and have a good record this season away from home. This will be a close game and hard fought but Cardiff should have the extra quality to take the three points back to Wales.

Plenty to play for in the Championship on midweek Wednesday

For the first time ever the final round of fixtures in the Championship will be completed midweek on a Wednesday evening.

Although Leeds United have been confirmed as champions, there is still a scrap for the one other automatic promotion spot.

West Brom, Brentford and their London rivals Fulham are the three sides in contention for the one place available.

The Baggies go into the final game only a point clear of Brentford and Fulham a further point behind.

On paper it looks likely that all three sides could win their final match, but as we know on the final day of the regular season there is always many surprises.

Brentford and Fulham will be praying that fellow London side QPR will be able to do them a favour by winning at The Hawthornes. West Brom’s form has slipped of late after not winning for three games. Despite a 4-3 victory against Millwall, Rangers form after lockdown has been poor with the club winning just twice in their last eight games.

Brentford, heading in to their final game looked the likely side who would go up with Leeds after a scintillating run of form which has seen the Bees win eight games in a row before suffering a setback with a 1-0 defeat against Stoke at the weekend.

The visitors to Griffin park are Barnsley who start the day one of the bottom of the table and two points from safety. The Tykes travel to London on the back of a fine victory at the weekend over Nottingham Forest. They know on Saturday they must win and hope other results go their way for them to be playing Championship football again next season.

Fulham make the long trip to Wigan on Wednesday and will be facing a resurgent Wigan side who are unbeaten in their last four matches. The Latics received  news this week that the EFL have confirmed that Wigan will have their twelve point deduction handed out after Wednesday nights final round of matches- provided the Latics appeal against the decision, due to be heard before 27th July, isn’t upheld.

In terms of the play-off picture it is much clearer with Forest  already guaranteed a play-off spot ,baring a 5 goal swing with Swansea,  either Cardiff or Swansea will join them .

Cardiff entertain Hull City at the Cardiff City Stadium with Swansea facing the trip to the Madjeski Stadium to face Reading.

As it stands The Swans will have to beat Reading and hope struggling Hull can beat Cardiff. A tough ask for the Tigers who are bottom of the table. However, if they could pull of a shock it would put pressure of the other sides facing the drop along with Barnsley.  Both Luton and Charlton are the two sides in most trouble, with Middlesbrough and Birmingham virtually safe.

The Hatters are at home to Blackburn Rovers, whilst Charlton travel to Leeds. Luton have hit good form of late with the Hatters unbeaten in their last four including a massive victory over Hull City on Saturday.

Charlton travel up to Yorkshire without a win in their last six games and won’t enjoy playing the newly crowned champions.

So, plenty for most teams to play for in the most competitive league in the world. Come around 9.30 on Wednesday evening we will have a clearer picture, with plenty of nails being chewed by nervous fans around the country.

Match preview: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN VS LEEDS UNITED

On the back of two polar opposite results at the weekend, will form go out the window in the West Yorkshire derby?

With Leeds United undoubtedly being the most successful West Yorkshire team so far this season it would be expected they would take all three points from The John Smiths stadium in the early kick off on Saturday. However, the last two contests between the two teams, all be it two seasons ago, saw bragging rights sway in Huddersfield’s direction with a 1-0 win at Elland Road and a 2-1 score line on home turf.

Leeds will be heading into the game on the back of an emphatic 4-0 win against Middlesbrough which continued an unbeaten run of eight games. Arguably Leeds’ strongest team in recent years, accompanied with a highly praised manager in Marcelo Bielsa has seen them excel through the season and sit second in the table closely behind West Bromich Albion.

However, a short trip down the M62 tells a much different story. Huddersfield have not had the most comfortable of returns to the Championship, recording just four wins since August but had seemed to find some form under new boss Danny Cowley in recent weeks. The Terriers were put to shame with a 5-2 defeat at Ashton Gate on Saturday, a place Huddersfield have never enjoyed visiting, which may dampen wishes of 3 points against their closest rivals on the 7th.

See the source image
Last time out; Michael Hefele secures a Terrier’s victory with last minute winner in an ugly derby game.

Due to the important stake of bragging rights surrounding the game, both sets of supporters will be reliant on their star players turning up. For the Lily Whites, Patrick Bamford will be who they are looking out for to make an impact, just as he has done in recent weeks with 7 goals to his name this season. With a misshapen Huddersfield defence of late, with both first choice full backs in Jaden Brown and Danny Simpson out with injury, it could be an area for Leeds to take advantage. Equally, Huddersfield with be hopeful prolific striker Karlan Grant maintains his impressive goal scoring record for the season, Grant is argued for be Town’s most important player this season and someone they do not want to let go of.

If anything is to go off the last outing against the two sides, the game is set to be a physical, highly fought and possibly ugly. However a game that will surely be enjoyed by both sides and entertaining for the neutral.

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town