Peterborough Match Preview
by, 05-02-2010 at 01:08 AM (1167 Views)
Saturday 6th February 2010
The Coca Cola Championship
London Road Stadium
Referee: D S McDermid
Peterborough United (24th) V Queens Park Rangers (14th)
By The Godfather
The mood amongst Queens Park Rangers supporters has lightened slightly since the S****horpe defeat, with the news that Mick Harford has brought in a new strikeforce - Tamas Priskin and Marcus Bent on loan. I've asked a number of my Watford supporting friends about the Hungarian and the overwhelming response has been "skilful, but lazy". Bent, meanwhile, is a proven goalscorer at this level, but whether he still has what it takes remains to be seen. Still, they have got to be better than the likes of Patrick Agyemang and Alessandro Pellicori.
This Saturday, Rangers face Peterborough United at London Road in what is a must-win fixture. In my view, failure to pick up three points could signal the end of the Rs' play-off bid.
Manager: Jim Gannon
Season 2008-09 finish: 2nd place (League One)
Peterborough United are perhaps the only team that could rival Queens Park Rangers in the "number of managers in the 2009/10 campaign" league table. Darren Ferguson and Mark Cooper have both departed the club this season, leading to the appointment of former Motherwell boss, Jim Gannon, last Tuesday. This will be his first game in charge of the Posh.
Club Chairman, Darragh MacAnthony, recently published a detailed article on the official website, addressing each of the fans' concerns (something that, let's face it, would not happen at Loftus Road). In it, he states that the last four months have been "the worst of (his) Posh career". That statement is not surprising, given that Peterborough lie at the bottom of the Championship, having lost their last four league matches. It was this dreadful run of form that saw Mark Cooper lose his job on transfer deadline day.
However, Jim Gannon will be hoping to get his Posh career off to a good start, and he will certainly fancy his chances against a QPR team that has not won since Boxing Day.
Men to watch
1. Peterborough's star man is the skilful George Boyd, who has netted an impressive total of 12 goals in all competitions this season. The left-winger is a very talented player, as we all saw in the fixture between the two sides at Loftus Road earlier this season. The 24 year-old started his career at Stevenage Borough, where he enjoyed a successful seven-year spell. His excellent performances attracted the interest of the Posh, who purchased him for a Conference-record fee of £260,000 in 2007. Since then, he has become a favourite with the fans, acting as the main source of creativity for the team and making a huge contribution to the club's successive promotions under Darren Ferguson. He has also been appointed as the first team captain. Expect him to pose a real threat on Saturday afternoon.
2. Up front, Gannon has the talented Craig Mackail-Smith at his disposal. The 25 year-old also signed for the club in 2007 from Dagenham and Redbridge and has since made a real impact at London Road. His hard-working attitude has earned him praise from the supporters and has attracted interest from other Championship teams. Mackail-Smith, who made seven appearances for the England C team in the 2005/06 campaign, has netted eight goals this season.
3. Gannon could also select Aaron McLean in his starting line-up. The prolific striker, who enjoyed an excellent partnership with Mackail-Smith under Ferguson, handed in a transfer request in December and has since struggled to hold down a place in the first team. The 26 year-old boasts an impressive record of 55 goals in 122 appearances. If he is involved on Saturday afternoon, he could cause problems for Queens Park Rangers.
September 2009 - Jim Magilton's side were held by a hard-working Peterborough team in this entertaining encounter at Loftus Road. McLean headed in Tommy Williams' curling cross in the 16th minute. However, Rangers responded when a wonderful move involving Taraabt and Simpson allowed Routledge to slot home. Both sides had chances to win the match after the break: Simpson smashed wide from close-range, before a late Peterborough goal was ruled out for offside.
QPR Manager, Jim Magilton: "Any successful campaign is built around your home form. Our play at times is good but that's not enough, especially at home where expectation levels rise. You've got to be able to handle that and maybe some can't."
Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Peterborough United
QPR Team News
Marcus Bent and Tamas Priskin are likely to make their Queens Park Rangers debuts. Lee Cook could start after coming on as a substitute against S****horpe United and producing an impressive performance. Gavin Mahon and Martin Rowlands remain long-term absentees.
A new manager often wins his first match. The players are usually "up" for the game, eager to impress the new man in charge. It doesn't always work that way, though. Peterborough have struggled all season and defensively they are very poor. Hopefully QPR's new strikers will be able to exploit their weaknesses at the back. In truth, I can see this being a high-scoring match, probably ending a draw. However, Rangers are more than capable of winning if the players show energy, creativity and passion for the shirt, things that have been missing from the previous games.
Peterborough United 2-2 Queens Park Rangers