RANGERS travel to The Hawthorns – home of West Bromwich Albion – this weekend in their latest bid to pick up a first Barclays Premier League win of the season.
Monday night’s defeat against West Ham United means that QPR are still winless after the opening six matches of campaign.
Mark Hughes will hope his side can put an end to that run but they will no doubt face a stern test in the Baggies, who’ve enjoyed an excellent start to the season.
Indeed, West Brom have won all three of their league fixtures on home soil thus far and currently sit in sixth spot – just a point outside the Champions League places.
Hughes will make late calls on the fitness of Jose Bosingwa, Anton Ferdinand, Fabio da Silva (all hamstring) and Armand Traore (leg).
Adel Taarabt, meanwhile, is pushing for a start after netting a spectacular individual effort just a minute after coming from the substitutes’ bench in Monday’s 2-1 defeat.
Baggies manager Steve Clarke – who took over at The Hawthorns in the summer and was a team-mate of Hughes at Chelsea – has been forced to rule out a quartet of players for Saturday’s contest.
But Gareth McAuley has been passed fit and Liam Ridgewell has returned to training.
The fixture will come too soon for Chris Brunt (hamstring) and Billy Jones (knee) after they both limped off in the closing stages of the first half in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.
Steven Reid (hamstring) will miss his fifth successive game and Boaz Myhill remains sidelined after a minor thumb operation.
West Bromwich Albion – Likely Starting XI (4-4-2) … Foster; Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Morrison, Mulumbu, Yacob, Gera; Lukaku, Long.
Star Man … Shane Long (Striker)
Shane Long became an overnight success at The Hawthorns after scoring on his debut against Manchester United - before netting another at Chelsea a week later.
The former Reading striker joined Albion on a three-year deal in August 2011 and would go on to earn a place in the Republic of Ireland squad for this summer's European Championships.
Long featured as a second-half substitute in Ireland's group-stage defeats to both Croatia and Italy, as Giovanni Trapattoni's men failed to make the knockout stages.
Following the Euros, Long had scored seven goals in 27 appearances for his country.
Former club Reading plucked Long from Cork City's youth system in 2005 and although he was initially viewed by the Royals as 'one for the future', his rapid progression in the first half of the 2005/06 campaign meant he soon earned a first-team debut.
The Numbers Game
*26,484 - The capacity of the Baggies' Hawthorns home
*1920 – The year West Brom won their only-ever top-flight title
*£4,700,000 - The fee paid for record signing Borja Valero from Real Mallorca in August 2008
*1520 - The number of games overseen by former manager and secretary Fred Everiss, between 1902 and 1948
*5 - The number of FA Cup successes the Albion have enjoyed
*10th - The position WBA finished in the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League season
The Pre-Match Talk
R’s gaffer, Mark Hughes: “We haven’t picked up as many results as we’d have hoped. But there’s real belief in what we’re doing. Once we get more games under our belts, we’ll be fine.
“We’ve been encouraged by what we’ve produced in a number of games and we know we’re capable of winning Premier League matches.
“He’s (Steve Clarke) not surprised me with the job he’s done. He’s done really well. I’m pleased for Steve.
“He’s always been acknowledged as a good coach and now he’s been able to show people that he can be a top-class manager.”
Baggies boss, Steve Clarke: “You go to a club, they invest in a number of players, sometimes it gels quickly, other times it takes a little bit longer.
“That is the case with QPR.
“They've got some really good players. It hasn't quite clicked for them.
“It is up to us to make sure tomorrow it doesn't click for them and they are still struggling going into the international break - that is our job.”
Match Odds with Bet Victor
WBA win: 20/23
QPR win: 17/5
West Bromwich Albion 1, QPR 0 – Premier League – Saturday 14th April 2012
Scorers: West Brom – Dorrans
Referee: M Jones
Assistants: S Burt, D England
Fourth Official: R Madley
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Premier League – Weekend Fixtures
Kick-offs 3pm unless stated
Saturday 6th October 2012
Manchester City v Sunderland (12.45pm)
Chelsea v Norwich City
Swansea City v Reading
West Bromwich Albion v Queens Park Rangers
Wigan Athletic v Everton
West Ham United v Arsenal (5.30pm)
Sunday 7th October 2012
Southampton v Fulham (1.30pm)
Liverpool v Stoke City
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa
Newcastle United v Manchester United (4pm)
Following QPR Fixture
Everton (H) – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 21st October, kick-off 3pm