Scunthorpe Match Preview
by, 08-04-2011 at 10:55 PM (595 Views)
Saturday 9th April 2011
Npower Football League Championship
Glanford Park Stadium
Referee: E L Ilderton
S****horpe United (24th) V Queens Park Rangers (1st)
By The Godfather
Monday night's 3-0 victory over Sheffield United meant that QPR extended their lead to nine points at the top of the table. Queens Park Rangers produced a superb performance in front of the Sky cameras and an abysmal Blades team simply couldn't cope. Promotion to the Premiership is now very close - and with Swansea and Norwich playing each other on Saturday evening - Warnock's men have a fantastic opportunity to go even further ahead.
S****horpe United look like they will be relegated this season, despite the arrival of a new coach, Alan Knill. Let's hope that the Super Hoops can smash the Iron by several goals to Knill (ha ha ha) on Saturday afternoon.
Manager: Alan Knill
When talented manager, Nigel Adkins, left S****horpe in September to join Southampton, one sensed that the Iron would struggle to stay up. The Board announced former QPR defender, Iain Baraclough, as the new boss, a man who, like Adkins, had no prior managerial experience. However, unlike his predecessor, Baraclough really struggled to pick up points, particularly at Glanford Park. In fact, they only won four times at home, conceding 34 goals, the worst record in the league. Baraclough was eventually sacked, simply not being up to the job. Alan Knill, a manager who has achieved success with Bury this season, has taken charge.
Knill will need his players to produce a miraculous run of form if the Iron are to escape the drop. S****horpe currently lie bottom of the league table, eight points from safety. Knill's first game ended in disaster - a 6-0 defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road. The new manager will be desperate to gain a more positive result against the league leaders on Saturday. Scunny's rare home wins have actually come against promotion contenders (Nottingham Forest and Swansea), so they must not be underestimated by Warnock's men.
Man to watch
Up front, Alan Knill will be relying upon the talented Chris Dagnall. When he joined the club during the summer, the 24 year-old was 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. This year, he has netted seven times in all competitions for Scunny. Dagnall possesses an abundance of pace and skill: let's hope that the likes of Fitz Hall and Kaspars Gorkss mark him properly.
Queens Park Rangers won this match comfortably at Loftus Road in August 2010. Bradley Orr opened the scoring early in the first half, heading home the magnificent Taarabt's corner. Then, the Rs produced a contender for goal of the season when Taarabt picked out Helguson with a fine lob, with the Icelandic chipping the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Warnock's men dominated the game from start to finish and were unlucky not to extend their lead, with the S****horpe goalkeeper pulling off a string of fine saves.
Queens Park Rangers 2-0 S****horpe United
The big match in the Championship this weekend will be Swansea V Norwich. A victory for Paul Lambert's team would put the Canaries seven points clear in 2nd place. A win for the Swans, on the other hand, would really open up the promotion race. Cardiff, who face Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium, will probably be hoping for a draw at the Liberty Stadium.
Another interesting fixture is Nottingham Forest V Reading. The Royals currently sit in 6th place, three points ahead of Billy Davies' men, who have suffered a poor run of form recently. I must say I have found Forest's recent results absolutely hilarious after having watched their fans celebrate their team's 1-1 draw at Loftus Road like they had won the European Cup again.
QPR Team News
Worryingly, QPR may be without two of their key players, Adel Taarabt and Wayne Routledge. The former has been complaining of abdominal pain and could be rested, whilst the latter picked up a knock on Tuesday night and will be examined prior to the match. Jamie Mackie, Peter Ramage and Lee Cook remain long-term absentees.
I very much doubt that S****horpe United's strikeforce, which has struggled all season, is going to reap much success against QPR's back four, who have kept 22 clean sheets this campaign. Even without Taarabt and Routledge, the Super Hoops should have enough to win this match comfortably.
S****horpe 1-3 Queens Park Rangers