R's head to the Welsh capital
IT'S back to league action this weekend as the R’s take on table topping Cardiff City in the Welsh capital city.
Both sides suffered disappointing results in the Carabao Cup with Burton Albion surprisingly beating Cardiff 2-1 and the R’s going out to Brentford.
But Ian Holloway and Neil Warnock will be happy with the way they have started the league campaign which is unquestionably the priority for both clubs this season.
Having finished mid-table last season, Cardiff have exploded out of the blocks this term winning four out of four league games including a thumping 3-0 victory against the much fancied Aston Villa.
Ex-Rangers manager Neil Warnock has done a fine job since taking over the managerial reigns at the Welsh club. He was appointed last October when they were in the relegation zone but went on to guide them to a comfortable 12th placed finish and has personally stated that his ambition is to get the club back into the Premier League.
It’s of course not that long ago since the Bluebirds were playing in the top tier of English football. They were promote in 2013 after convincingly winning the Championship but followed that with a disappointing league campaign in which they won just seven matches and finished bottom of the table.
They have since shown some consistency in the Championship finishing 11th, 8th and 12th but will feel they have the squad to push for promotion this season.
That belief would have been boosted by the fact that Cardiff have had a very productive transfer market. They have brought in total eight players, including Danny Ward who scored 12 goals for relegated Rotherham last year and Lee Tomlin who has proved his class multiple times in this division.
Rangers should be heading into this game feeling confident as Cardiff were one of two teams that the R’s did the double over last season. Not only that, but with seven points on the board it has been a positive start to the campaign from Ollie’s side who will want to carry this momentum on going into the international break.
When and Where
Saturday 26th August, Cardiff City Stadium, 3:00pm BST.
Last Time Out
QPR 2-1 Cardiff City 4th March 2017
One of the most memorable games of last season as QPR came from behind to beat Cardiff in what was a celebration of 50 years since we won the League Cup. Sol Bamba gave Cardiff the lead against the run of play but Rangers levelled when Yeni Ngbakoto smashed the ball in after a fine team move and fine pass from Jamie Mackie. Matt Smith headed the winner from Ngbakoto's corner with seven minutes to play to secure the victory.
Joel Lynch is doubtful with a hamstring injury, while it is hoped Josh Scowen (ankle) will be fit and Kazenga LuaLua is also expected to be available after missing Tuesday night’s game on compassionate leave. James Perch (knee) is out, along with Jordan Cousins (hamstring) and Grant Hall (tendonitis).
Cardiff have no fresh injury concerns ahead of QPR's visit. Boss Neil Warnock made 10 changes for this sides midweek defeat at Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup but is expected to reinstate the likes of Sean Morrison, Aron Gunnarsson, Kenneth Zohore and five-goal Nathaniel Mendez-Laing against the R's. Summer signing Callum Paterson has joined training for the first time since knee surgery but is still several weeks away from action.
- Rangers have lost just one of our last ten matches against Cardiff City
- Queens Park Rangers have never lost at the Cardiff City Stadium (P4,W2, L2)
- Cardiff have lost just one out of their last nine league games at home
Ian Holloway: “Neil has got Cardiff going and it’s going to be a totally different type of game. They put you under massive pressure and almost play a 2-4-4 formation with the new strike-force he has put together. They beat Wolves away and they have been outstanding so far, in their performances, not just their results. We have to go there and compete with what they are going to do.”
Neil Warnock: "It was a fabulous year (at QPR) I’ll never forget, one of the best in my life. Similar circumstances, they were struggling and then we had a great season, I still get plenty of messages from the QPR fans. It takes some beating. We were high up most of the season, had a good group and we had a nice blend. I think it’s the best team spirit since QPR, I don’t think you can compare the team but we have the same type of characters with good pros. And we didn’t spend much money."
Simon Hooper: Handed out nine yellow cards and one red in four games this season.