Venue: St James’ Park.
Date: Sun 15th Jan 2011.
Referee: Chris Foy.
QPR are in a bit of a pickle lately, having had a terrible string of results which ultimately led to the demise of Neil Warnock as manager and the inauguration of Mark Hughes as his replacement. Typically, Warnock has had things to say about being hoyed oot on his ear and there was more than a little bitterness when Warnock said:
“While I accept the owner’s decision, I do feel, if there were more people at the club in positions of power with experience in the game, they would have understood how well we have done in the circumstances.
“And they would have realised that, once we brought in the players I had identified, there would have been no problem securing a Premier League future. But no doubt the chairman has had a string of agents in touch telling them their man could do a better job.“
The question, though, is how the change in QPR’s management might affect us. It will make our research harder because with a new manager will come new ideas and new styles of play, and there’s also often a bit of ‘new manager syndrome’ where players can lift their performance for the new man in charge, whoever it may be.
Nevertheless, with this being a home fixture on the back of our recent victory over Man Utd – and against a QPR that’s been performing poorly recently – you’d have to say we’re favourites to come out winners in this one.
Unfortunately I can’t see Liverpool dropping points at home to Stoke on Saturday, so I think we’re unlikely to leapfrog them into 6th place if we win but it might at least put some more distance between us in 7th and Stoke in 8th.
We have to win this game before we can think about leapfrogging anyone though and I suspect the QPR we get on Sunday will be a bit different to the one that’s been playing the last few games. I think we’ll edge it but I’m expecting a close game, particularly without our top goalscorer.
Back in September we played out a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road but you have to go back to 1995/1996 to find the season before that when we played QPR in the Premier League, and that season we did the double over them, winning 2-1 at home (a brace from Beardsley) and 3-2 away (2 from Kieth Gillespie and 1 from Les Ferdinand). We played them when we were in the Championship in the 2009/2010 season of course, drawing 1-1 at home (Marlon Harewood) and winning 1-0 away (Peter Lovenkrands). The last time QPR beat us in the league was the 1994/1995 season when we went down 3-0 at Loftus Road.
|Played||Newcastle Wins||QPR Wins||Draws|
|All Premier League||7||4||2||1|
|PL At St James’ Park||3||2||1||0|
If you go beyond the meagre Premier League meetings, we’ve played QPR 43 times, won 19, lost 18 and drawn 8, although they lead us in the goals stakes having scored 66 against us compared to our 62 against them.
We of course come into this after giving Manchester United a 3-0 stuffing and on the back of a 2-1 win over Blackburn in the FA Cup. It certainly looks like we’re getting things together a bit more after our poor run and I hope our recovery continues this weekend.
QPR are, as has been mentioned, not having a brilliant time at the moment. They’re still in the FA Cup though after scraping a replay from a 1-1 draw against MK Dons.
|Last 6 League Games||Pts|
Some Random Stats
Our average possession this season is 47.2%.
After Demba Ba’s 60 shots on goal, Yohan Cabaye and Ryan Taylor share second place with 29 shots on goal a piece.
Dan Gosling has the highest percentage of shots on target with 75% but he’s only played 5 games (4 of those as a sub). Of those with a game count in double figures Demba Ba leads with 63%, Yohan Cabaye has 57% and Cheick Tiote has 44%.
Mike Williamson and Davide Santon are the most accurate passers at 85% successful completion, but they’ve only played a few games each. Of those with a double figure game count, Coloccini leads the way at 84% successful pass completion.
Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote are of course away at the Africa Cup of Nations and Steve Taylor and Silvain Marveaux are both crocked by long-term injuries. The latest on the NUFC official site still has Sammy Ameobi out for months, although some press reports suggest the injury is nowhere near as bad as it looked and he could be back within days. Either way, he won’t be in contention this weekend and Peter Lovenkrands is definitely out with a calf problem.
Newcastle’s official site reports that Danny Simpson should be available but stops short of saying that he will, so we’ll have to wait and see on that one. Danny Guthrie is reported to be back in contention after his groin injury though.
Newcastle (from): Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson, R Taylor, Santon, Ferguson, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Kadar, Cabaye, Guthrie, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Gosling, Abeid, Vuckic, Smith, Best, Shola Ameobi.
We won’t be facing ex-Toon Joey Barton as he’s serving a ban (details on Twitty, no doubt) and Alejandro Faurlin is likely to be out with a knee injury for the rest of the season. Kieron Dyer is also out with an injury, and Armand Traore and Adel Taarabt are at the Africa Cup of Nations.
QPR (from): Cerny, Young, Gabbidon, Hall, Hill, Mackie, Derry, Buzsaky, Ferdinand, Smith, Macheda, Bothroyd, Campbell, Helguson, Wright-Phillips, Murphy, Connolly, Orr, Andrade.
What The Managers Say
Alan Pardew: “Winning three successive matches against Premier League opposition in no easy task, and QPR will make it hard for us as they will be eager to impress their new manager and clamber clear of the relegation zone. Results are all-important whatever level you are working at, and our aim is to make sure we continue to move in an upward curve, and cement our position in the upper echelons of the Premier League.“
With Mark Hughes still getting his feet under the table, Shaun Derry provides the match quote from QPR: “It’s a difficult place to go. Newcastle have had a fantastic start to the season. They have probably exceeded their own expectations. It’s going to be a difficult game for us, but we are hoping that our new manager can have the same impact that Martin O’Neill has had on Newcastle’s near-neighbours Sunderland.“
Mark Hughes did talk about his appointment though, saying: “I’m looking to stay in this position for an amount of time where I can really make an impression. We’ve got a really fantastic opportunity to build something here from the ground up. In my last couple of positions I’ve not stayed as long as I would have liked to. So I’m looking for longevity. It’s been frustrating putting things in place and not seeing the conclusion of them. I don’t want that to happen here.“
Final Reminder About The Prediction Competition
The second NUFC Blog Prediction Competition gets underway this weekend and there’s £175 up for grabs. You can of course join at any time during the competition but if you want to be in from the start, you can make the first week’s predictions now.
Howay The Lads!