by, 20-08-2010 at 08:14 PM (249 Views)
Saturday 21st August 2010
Npower Football League Championship
Loftus Road Stadium
Referee: G Salisbury
Queens Park Rangers V S****horpe United
By The Godfather
Over the last week or so, Warnock has desperately tried to strengthen his frontline. According to several media outlets, Rangers very nearly secured the services of Ipswich forward, Jonathan Walters, for a fee of around £3 million. However, he eventually chose to sign for Stoke City instead. In a way, I was pleased to hear that the deal had fallen through. Although Walters is clearly a talented player, it did seem like an awful lot of money to spend on someone who has an unremarkable scoring record. I'd much rather the Rs made similar efforts to purchase the experienced Jason Roberts, who I am absolutely certain would offer an attacking threat in the Championship.
With the exception of that embarrassing defeat in the Carling Cup, Queens Park Rangers have enjoyed a very successful start to the season. Despite their lack of a proven goalscorer up front, the Rs have scored seven goals in two matches, without yet conceding. On Saturday, Warnock's men will face S****horpe United, one of the favourites for relegation. It is vital that the Super Hoops do not let complacency creep into their performance: the Iron must not be underestimated.
Manager: Nigel Adkins
Season 2009-10 finish: 20th position.
To be perfectly frank, I was surprised to see S****horpe United avoid relegation last season. Much of this was due to the striking partnership of Gary Hooper and Paul Hayes, both of whom wreaked havoc among Championship defences. However, the two strikers left during the summer and it is difficult to see how Scunny are going to be able to cope without them.
In Nigel Adkins' credit, S****horpe play some very attractive football and are capable of nicking decent results. On the first day of the campaign, for instance, they beat potential play-off candidates, Reading, at the Madejski Stadium. However, they followed that up with a disappointing home defeat against Norwich City (although, having read various reports of the match, they were probably a little unlucky).
Men to watch
Up front, Nigel Adkins will be relying upon the talented Chris Dagnall. Having joined the club during the summer, the 24 year-old is widely viewed as Gary Hooper's replacement. During his four-year spell with Rochdale, he netted an impressive total of 51 goals in 135 appearances. He will be hoping to replicate that success in the Championship this season. Dagnall possesses an abundance of pace and skill: let's hope that the likes of Fitz Hall and Kaspars Gorkss mark him properly.
Meanwhile, Martyn Woolford is expected to retain his place in the starting line-up. The 24 year-old winger joined Scunny in 2008 and has since become popular with the supporters. His versatility makes him a major asset to the Iron: he can operate in the fullback position or in a 'free' role. He could cause problems for Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
At the back, Rob Jones is likely to start. A former PE teacher, the 30 year-old signed for S****horpe in 2009 and has since made 28 appearances, producing some impressive performances in the process. The centre-half lists Stockport, Grimsby and Hibernian among his former clubs.
Goalkeeper, Joe Murphy, will provide a stern test for the QPR frontline on Saturday afternoon. The 28 year-old is a talented shot-stopper, who has bags of experience in the Football League. He previously played for Tranmere Rovers, West Brom, Sunderland and Walsall.
January 2010 - QPR's abysmal run of form under the Mick Harford continued with this dreadful 1-0 defeat to S****horpe United at Loftus Road. As usual, the home team missed several clear-cut opportunities, allowing Scunny to take the advantage. In the second-half, Gary Hooper's cross found Thompson in the penalty area, who slotted the ball into the back of the net. Simpson did have a chance to equaliser for the Super Hoops, but sent his close-range header wide of the target.
QPR Caretaker Boss, Mick Harford: "I'm very disappointed with the result, but there were positives to take from it. I asked for an effort from the players and I certainly got that. If we play like that in every game between now and the end of the season then we'll be fine. The last couple of results have not helped my cause, but they have made me stronger and more determined to improve the team."
Queens Park Rangers 0-1 S****horpe United
QPR Team News
Martin Rowlands has resumed full training after his lengthy spell on the sidelines. However, it may be a couple of weeks before he starts to compete for a place in the starting line-up. Fitz Hall was substituted due to injury in the Sheffield United match and could be replaced by either Peter Ramage or Matthew Connolly. Akos Buzsaky has yet to feature for the Rs this season - he is available for Saturday's game. Lee Cook, however, remains a long-term absentee.
On paper, Queens Park Rangers should destroy S****horpe United. However, the Rs do seem to have the irritating habit of producing lacklustre performances against lower quality opposition. Therefore, I am a little concerned about this match. I saw a thread on the message board today entitled 'I feel a scunny hammering is on the cards'. I really don't think it is going to be that easy. Expect a scrappy encounter, with Rangers probably coming out on top by a single goal.
Godfather's Prediction: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 S****horpe United