Venue: Loftus Road, London.
Date: Sun 12th May, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wilts).
UK TV: None.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our penultimate “match banter” for the season.
This time of course, the Magpies face Queens Park Rangers and with Alan Pardew once again seemingly unable to find a win for love or money, each game becomes ever more crucial in the Toon’s bid to stave off yet another relegation. With our next opponents being Champions League chasing Arsenal, this clash with one of the three teams who have actually managed to be worse than us so far this season has assumed even more importance.
One bad omen for the Silver Supremo himself is that Newcastle United have never won their final away game in the Premiership (P18, W0, D8, L10), the most notable of course being that away game at Aston Villa in the 2008-9 season, which saw Newcastle relegated. Thankfully, Newcastle United didn’t heed the advice of Aston Villa fans and appoint Ant and Dec as joint managers, relying instead on Chris Hughton to guide us back to the top tier without too much fuss. Saving the worst until last, we would actually have to go back as far as 1976 to find the Magpies winning their last away game! I will return to more recent times and take a look at the recent Premier League form of todays protagonists, but before I do that, a reminder that you’re looking for the best match odds on Newcastle United and other teams, plaese don’t forget to check out Unibet first!
QPR and NUFC’s last six Premier League results (latest first).
|Queens Park Rangers||L | D | L | L | D | L||2|
|Newcastle United||D | L | D | L | W | L||5|
So, on a better note, although our last six games have yielded very poor results overall, especially the 0-3 loss to Sunderland and the even worse 0-6 capitulation to Liverpool, QPR have been so bad that they even make the Magpies look good by comparison! Hence, despite our lowly league position, we should still go into this game as favourites against a team who are currently rock bottom of the division and already certainly relegated.
Queens Park Rangers.
Chris Samba and Andrew Johnson (both knee) and
Arnold Jackson Shaun Wright-Phillips (ankle) are all knacked. Meanwhile, defender Tal Ben Haim has already signed for MLS side Toronto and goalkeeper Julio Cesar won’t be considered for selection.
Tim Krul (shoulder) along with Moussa Sissoko and Shola Ameobi (both knacked knees) will be out. Sylvain Marveaux (groin / pelvis) and Davide Santon (hamstring) have been in training but remain pretty doubtful, as does Steven Taylor. Finally, there’s Haris Vuckic and Ryan Taylor, who have been out since the early Jurassic period.
On the other side, miscreant, Mathieu Debuchy will be available for selction after serving his one game suspension. Also, Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson have returned from their loan spells at Middlesbrough and Birmingham City respectively and will also be available.
What the managers have been saying.
Harry Redknapp: “We won’t roll over this weekend. We will give it our best shot and I will pick my best available team. Newcastle have been hit hard by injuries this season to players like Coloccini, Taylor and Cabaye. Those are big losses throughout the season but I think they will be fine.”
Alan Pardew: “They’re professionals and any professional team is difficult to beat. Sometimes it’s about falling on teams; I think QPR three or four weeks ago have had some tricky games but they’ve got themselves together a little bit better. Certainly against Arsenal they were a lot more disciplined and I think that’s the team we’ll face, so it’s not going to be easy.
“They’ve got goalscorers – Bobby Zamora who I’ve worked with (at West Ham), Loic Remy who we tried to bring here, so we know the two strikers very well and we’re going to need to be on our guard against them because they can get goals.
“And obviously they have (Adel) Taarabt who is their Hatem Ben Arfa. He can create something out of nothing. I can’t say that this game is a game that we’re confident of winning but we’re positive in our attitude to go there and try and win.”
So that just leaves my usual reminders that I will be putting the team sheets up soon, along with some links to watch the game online as it isn’t being broadcast live in the UK. As always, I will also be posting highlights, post match interviews and even a video of the whole match when it’s all over, which only leaves it for me to say:
Howay the Lads!
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Robert Green (G), Jose Bosingwa, Nedum Onuoha, Clint Hill (C), Armand Traore, Andros Townsend, Jermaine Jenas, Stephane M’Bia, Junior Hoilett, Loic Remy, Bobby Zamora.
Subs: Brian Murphy (G), Fabio da Silva, Esteban Granero, Shaun Derry, Ji-Sung Park, Adel Taarabt, Jamie Mackie.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Rob Elliot (G), Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran.
Subs: Steve Harper (G), Danny Simpson, James Perch, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Adam Campbell.