In-form Newcastle United host strugglers QPR on the 22nd of November, in what could be a contest amongst teams with contrasting fortunes. After Newcastle United fans went ballistic over the management’s persistence with Alan Pardew despite terrible performances with the Sack Pardew campaign, things have turned around. They come off four consecutive victories against the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham to sit 2 points shy off the lucrative Champions League spot.
On the other hand, QPR have begun life in the Premier League on a tough note. Currently 19th, the Rangers have garnered just 5 points in the last 8 games and are already touted to be involved in yet another relegation battle. Their last game saw them put up a good fight against the mighty Manchester City to garner a very crucial point at Loftus Park. While that solitary point by itself might prove to be consequential, a morale boosting performance against the defending champions might just be the start of better things to come.
Alan Pardew recently stated that he was pleasantly surprised with Newcastle’s depth and he is not alone in that observation. The Magpies have a number of players sidelines for the Rangers game. The long term injury list at the St. James Park includes the likes of De Jong, Obertan and Santon . While it was believed that Cheik Tiote could be finally getting some action, he has been ruled out of the game by manager Pardew alongside Coloccini and Aarons, while classifying Taylor as a “big doubt”. With Mehdi Abeid getting injured over the International weekend, Pardew will need to mix up his resources. The injuries to Coloccini and Taylor means that Pardew will be going in with his second favourite Centre Back pairing against the Rangers.
Unlike their hosts, QPR have a relatively short list of potentially key players missing. While Adel Taarabt is still out with a groin Injury, Alejandro Faurlin is expected to be out till mid of 2015. Jordan Mutch is expected to be involved after recovering in time from his Hamstring injury.
QPR have the joint worst Goal Difference in the league at -11 alongside Aston Villa.
After having won none of their first 7 games, Newcastle United have won their last 4 games.
While QPR have managed to keep just 2 clean sheets in 11 games, Newcastle haven’t conceded on 4 occasions this season.
Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Dummet, Haidara, Colback,Cabella, Sissoko, Gouffran, Perez, Cisse
Green, Isla, Dunne, Caulker, Yun, Vargas, Barton, Sandro, Fer, Zamora, Austin
Colback, famously labelled “Ginger Pirlo” by English Manager Roy Hodgson will yet again be crucial to the fortunes of Newcastle. The holding midfielder has made the big step up and is probably the most vital cog in this Newcastle machinery with a lot of other key players missing out due to injury. The midfielder averages a passing accuracy of 89%, better than any other Newcastle player and would be looking to run the show from his deep lying midfield position. He has also contributed immensely to the attack of his team, having created 16 chances, just 3 shy of the leading chance creator Remy Cabella. He has the right mix of attack and defensive skills and these abilities could come handy against a QPR side that will look to garner anything out of an away tie.
The Netherlands international has been one of the key players in the QPR side this season. Deployed in an attacking midfield role, he has created the highest number of chances for his club. He has also shown good combative abilities, winning tackles and aerial duels and will need to rattle up the seemingly weakened Newcastle midfield. His ability to break play at regular intervals could frustrate the Magpies. Fer will, however, need to finish off any chances he gets as these could be the vital difference between a point and none.
Combative midfielder Joey Barton would be looking to play it rough to unsettle an inform midfield. Take a punt with Tailorbet and get Barton to be booked at 3.00: http://goo.gl/dARV9f.
A weakened Newcastle United, despite their recent incredible form are up against a relegation threatened QPR side and would find it tough against a team that would be more than happy with a point against an in-form team away from home.
Newcastle United 1-1 Queens Park Rangers