Hoops for supper tonight – Newcastle v QPR match preview.

Posted on September 30th, 2009 | 21 Comments |

Toon v QPR. Kick off 7:45PM
Toon v QPR. Kick off 7:45PM
Newcastle United have a great opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table but QPR will make for stiff opposition.

The three teams below us failed to win last night. West Brom suffered a surprise defeat by Barnsley, Preston lost at home to Reading and Middlesbrough lost at home to Leicester. Charmed results as far we’re concerned and if we can capitalise on them and get the win tonight we’ll go 5 points clear at the top of the table.

QPR are sitting in the middle of the table on 13 points but they have two games in hand over most of the teams above them and a win tonight would see them up amongst the play-off positions, so they have everything to play for.

QPR have only lost once in the league this season, which was away to Bristol City. They’ve notched up draws against Blackpool (H), Plymouth (A), Forest (H) and Peterborough (H) and wins against Scunthorpe (A), Cardiff (A) and Barnsley (H).

Arsenal loanee Jay Simpson is QPR’s top scorer in the league with 3 goals but there are plenty players capable of scoring for QPR and the season’s goals are shared around amongst 10 players. Winger Wayne Routledge – signed in January from Villa for £600,000 – is also one to watch out for having scored a hat-trick against Exeter in the Carling Cup earlier this season.

QPR have had their share of boardroom scandal this season as co-owner Flavio Briatore was recently removed from his post as the Renault Formula 1 team boss by the FIA for allegedly fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Apparently Briatore asked Nelson Piquet Jr to crash his car in order to help team-mate Fernando Alonso. According to Football League rules nobody can own a club if they are banned from another sporting body, so the Football League has asked the FIA for more details and will consider action against Briatore (I wonder if Mike Ashley is banned from his local darts league!).

As far as our team’s concerned, Joey Barton, Fabricio Coloccini and Shola Ameobi are definitely out, Ryan Taylor is likely to be out and Danny Simpson is doubtful. However, Danny Guthrie is back from suspension and Jonas Gutierrez is back from injury, although Hughton is unlikely to risk him for a full 90 minutes. The defence is the hardest hit section of the team at the moment and, depending on the availability of Ryan Taylor and Danny Simpson, we might have to call on James Tavernier or Ben Tozer to plug some of the holes.

As we’re at home I wouldn’t expect Hughton to mess about with any 4-5-1 nonsense and I’d guess Carroll will start up front with either Ranger or Harewood and I’m presuming Guthrie will replace the injured Ryan Taylor.

We’re bound to have periods when things don’t go too well for us this season, so let’s hope we can take advantage of the slip-ups by our main competitors and stretch our lead tonight.

Howay the lads!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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21 Responses

  1. So the pressure is on. Tonight we will see what the lads are made of. Tough game for sure and QPR will be well up for it, especially after their last result against Barnsley. May not be a clean sheet tonight with the defence in tatters, so lokking for the lads to push on and score plenty. Our forwards need to step up tonight. We need goals from strikers, not just midfield.
    Howay the Lads.

  2. I think it’ll be a bit closer than that batty. I’ll go 2-1 to us even though we rarely concede at home these days (I think we could be on a second-string defence tonight).

  3. I’m going for 2-1.

    Anyone know if the ‘noisy corner’ has spare seats? I was going to sit in my old seat again next to my mate but fancy getting in amongst it because it’s quieter where we sit these days.
    I’m going up at lunchtime anyway but just wondered if anyone knew?

  4. Could a good one, hard to call…

    With your injuries, bringing Harewood and messing with a settled side, well, I think we’ll get something out of the game tonight.

    In a rash moment, I even predicted a 2-3 win for Rangers…


  5. All things considered I think it will be 1-1.

    If QPR do win tonight and win their games in hand they will be level on points with us.

    So I don’t think it’s going to be easy tonight.

  6. We beat Barnsley 5-2 on Saturday – they beat West Brom 3-1 last night. After a difficult start, we’re beginning to find our feet.

    Buzacky is getting back to his best after a long lay-off, Routledge and Simpson provide a real threat, Rowlands and Watson are solid and creative in midfield and our defensive record is second only to Newcastle’s so far.

    Ramage hasn’t featured recently, but I hope he gets to at least make an appearance tonight.

  7. Ashdown_Ranger we drew at brom beat cardiff trashed ipswich who were unlucky at shef utd you have played shit teams m8

  8. oh and beat reading who won at preston as for the baggies losing last nite they havent won at barnsley for 60 odd years

  9. Ashdown, nice to see you joining in the banter! Personally I think QPR will cause us more problems than most, particularly with the injury-stricken defence we have, but I think the home advantage will swing it our way. If we were away I’d be a lot more cautious (although rumour has is QPR prefer playing away at the moment – not sure how true that rumour is).

  10. Definitely been underperforming at home until the Barnsley game on Saturday. The bo-boys have been out in force booing the team, he manager and the chairman – so yes, seem to be more relaxed away.

    The big differences in the last couple of weeks though are the addition of Watson in midfield, Buzacky at last getting back to his best (have a look at his second goal against Barnsley on the BBC web site), Jay Simpson coming in on loan from Arsenal (who, unlike Helgusson, seems to a: know where the goal is and b: knows the offide law) and our captain Martin Rowlands, back from injury adding some bite in midfield and leadership on the pitch.

    I know it could all go horribly wrong tonight, but I’m more optimistic about QPR than I have been for a few years…


  11. And the QPR strip is class. I was over the moon when I got it for my subutteo game AND I got the artifical turf too.

    Cheers for Big Les and Big Daz (I never thought I’d see the day I’d reflect favourably on Darren Peacock but we’ve had so many poor defenders since that relatively speaking he was canny).

    But Fancy selling us Wayne Fereday….

  12. I think the board must have felt guilty about selling you Frereday, so we sold you Sir Les to make up for it – and instantly got relegated (such foresight…)

    Our very own Glenn Roeder did his best to get you back down to play with us in the Championship, but didn’t succeed.

    Hughton’s doing a great job – do you think Shearer will get a look in if/when new owners finally arrive?

  13. Yes we do seem to be better away from home. We use the pace of Routledge and simpson to counter attack with speed. Saying that I think we will do well to get a draw but im hoping for a win to put us into the top six.

  14. Ashdown_Ranger – undoubtedly. But whether that’s both fair and in the best interests of the club is another matter I guess. And I’m an advocator of giving Shearer his chance here. It just seems a bit harsh if Hughton continues in this form.

  15. Ashdown_Ranger says:
    September 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm (Edit)

    “Hughton’s doing a great job – do you think Shearer will get a look in if/when new owners finally arrive?”

    If Barry Moat buys the club then that looks likely. Fans are divided about the Shearer issue to be honest. I’d have liked Curbishley out of all the realistic candidates put forward but it seems he’s not interested. Wasn’t really keen on the idea of O’Leary and I’m not a particular fan of Kinnear.