QPR v Blackburn Rovers – Match Preview

Neil Warnock will be expecting his QPR side to bounce back from their 6-0 thrashing at Fulham two weeks ago with victory over troubled Blackburn.

The R’s were on the receiving end of a 6-0 hiding at Craven Cottage two weeks ago with Warnock unhappy with his side’s lifeless display. His side have been poor in their last two fixtures and were gifted a point by a Richard Dunne own goal in the 1-1 draw against Villa last month. Progress up until that point had been encouraging and they were certainly reaping the benefits summer signings Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Luke Young ‘s Premier League experience. Tony Fernandes’ takeover and subsequent spending spree had afforded Warnock a luxury few teams had in the transfer window and his squad looks better for it. Alarmingly though they are yet to win at home this term and will see the game against Rovers as the perfect way opponent to get themselves off and running at Loftus Road. Goal scoring is also a problem and despite scoring three on the road against Wolves in mid-September Rangers have failed to hit the back of the net four times in their opening seven games. New recruits Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell have one goal between them and Warnock will need address this issue if they are to remain a top-flight side come May.

They shouldn’t have any problem scoring against Rovers though who continue to lurch from bad to worse under Steve Kean. They were torn apart by Manchester City in the last game going down without a whimper as the billionaires scored four without reply in a rampant display. Kean is under increasing pressure to turn things round but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon. Supporters are planning to protest again over the decision to keep Kean in the Ewood Park dugout. A mid-season trip to India failed to give the boss some much-needed respite. On a positive note though they do have a decent record against QPR and are unbeaten in 11 games against the Hoops. They’ve won the last three Premier League games 1-0 although those records do stretch back over 15 years when the R’s were last in the top flight. Eight defeats from the last 12 makes for painful reading for Rovers fans who must be wondering where their next point is going to come from.

Key Players

Joey Barton – Since his arrival from Newcastle on a free transfer the new captain has settled in quietly which is uncharacteristic to say the least. However his early performances have been dynamic and his experience will be key to securing another year in the top flight.

Junior Hoilett – Despite Blackburns shocking form the Candian winger has been in fine form and has been their main attacking threat so far this season. His pace and trickery down the flanks is key to Rovers offensive strategy and he’ll fancy his chances up against Young or Armand Traore depending where Kean intends to play him.

Verdict: 2-0

  • Joey Barton was once again QPR’s hardest working player, covering 10.9km, with an average speed of 5.56 miles per hour.
  • Barton has put himself forward for the Euro 2012 squad this week, and he is the 8th ranked English midfielder in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index having won 77% of tackles, got 60% of shots on target, and averaging a pass completed in his opponents half every 6 minutes 4 seconds
  • Blackburn’s Canadian striker David Hoillett has been the subject of transfer speculation this week, and is 10th most prolific crosser of the ball in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 20. He has also scored once from 4 shots on target, and is the 6th most successful dribbler of the ball having completed 22.
  • Hoillett is Blackburn’s highest ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in 74th place
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