QPR head to Oakwell
QUEENS Park Rangers will head north on Wednesday evening to face newly-promoted Barnsley for a mid-week Championship clash.
The Tykes were in the relegation zone on Christmas day of last year but a remarkable turnaround in 2016 saw them grab a play-off positon and consequently win promotion to the Championship.
Current manager Paul Heckingbottom can take a lot of credit for guiding Barnsley into the play-offs. He took over on an interim basis back in February this year and has managed to get the best out of a talented group of players.
As well as success in the league, Barnsley were also crowned winners of the EFL Trophy, defeating Oxford 3-2 at Wembley. In June 2016 Heckingbottom signed a new contract.
They began this season’s league campaign with an entertaining 4-2 defeat at the hands of Ipswich Town and on Saturday caused a bit of a shock when they produced a fantastic performance to beat much fancied Derby County 2-0. In between these two games they were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Northampton Town.
Barnsley play an attractive style of football with technical and creative wingers. At the back Alfie Mawson and Marc Roberts have developed a fantastic defensive partnership.
They have brought in Welsh international Tom Bradshaw from Walsall and will hope he can transform his goal-scoring form from League One to the Championship. Exciting young midfielder George Moncur has also joined the club from Colchester.
QPR: Defender Joel Lynch is unavailable with a abdominal injury whilst Ben Gladwin is a doubt after limping off in Sunday's 2-0 win at Cardiff City with an ankle injury.
Barnsley: Sam Winnall is missing with a hamstring injury whilst Reds winger Adam Hammill could be a late withdraw from the fixture due to the impending birth of his child.
Predicted line up: (4-4-2) Davies, Bree, Roberts, Mawson, White, Kent, Scowen, Hourihane, Hammill, Bradshaw, Watkins
Key Player: Adam Hammill – Capable of magical moments, the right-footed left-winger is brilliant at running at defences and can hit an excellent shot from range.
PRE MATCH TALK
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “They are a threat, and they have confidence from last year.
“They are a side with a lot of energy, and one who likes to put you under pressure. We have to be able to cope with that pressure and bring that pressure to them.”
Tom Bradshaw: "Obviously they (QPR) are a big club and they were in the Premiership not too long ago.
"They are a big club at this level so undoubtedly they will be a good team tomorrow and we’ve just got to make sure that we’re ready to do ourselves justice and give them a tough game. It’s an exciting time for everyone at the Club so hopefully we can get the three points.”
QPR win: 17/10
Cardiff Win: 17/10
QPR first goal scorer: Sebastian Polter 11/2
Cardiff first goal scorer: Tom Bradshaw 11/2
LAST TIME OUT
Barnsley 2, QPR 3 – Championship – Saturday 3rd May 2014
QPR scorers: Austin, Mvoto (OG), Yun Suk-Young
Barnsley scorers: O'Grady x2
HEAD TO HEAD
(In all competitions)
QPR wins: 26
Barnsley wins: 14
Referee: Darren Bond
Assistant Referees: David Avent & Mark Jones
Fourth Official: David Coote.