New Year, new QPR?
QUEENS Park Rangers first game of 2018 will be on home soil against Cardiff City as the R’s look to get back to winning ways.
The festive period has seen the men from W12 earn creditable draws with Bristol City and Ipswich Town but lost a tight match against Millwall on Friday night at The Den.
Our visitors Cardiff City have endured a disappointing last ten days. Going into the Christmas games they were neck and neck with Wolves in 1st and 2nd in the league table. But three successive defeats has seen them drop out of the top two and into the play-off positions.
Neil Warnock would probably have been satisfied if you offered him this position when the season started however. The former R’s boss has done an excellent job with the Bluebirds. He took over when they were in the relegation zone in October 2016 but comfortably guided them to a 12th place finish.
They added a few players to bolster their squad last summer but in truth it’s mostly the players they had last season that have shined for the Welsh side. Sol Bamba has been a rock at the back, Junior Hoilett has been at his creative best and Joe Ralls has kept things ticking over in the midfield.
Defensively Cardiff have been excellent with only Wolves and Derby conceding fewer goals, although Fulham did score four past them on Boxing Day. They’ve picked up 20 points on the road which has included victories against Middlesbrough, Wolves and Nottingham Forest.
When and Where?
Monday, 1st January 2018 - kick-off 3pm - Loftus Road
Last Time Out
Cardiff City beat Rangers to stay top of the Championship table. Matt Smith nodded the R’s in front from another Luke Freeman assist before former winger Junior Hoilett equalised by blocking Alex Smithies' clearance. Sol Bamba's header gave Cardiff the victory.
- Cardiff have lost three consecutive games for the first time under Neil Warnock
- QPR have only not scored in one home league game this season
- Cardiff have only won one of their last five games at Loftus Road
Ian Holloway: “They’ve lost three in a row so it shows you how difficult this league is. Every Championship game is massive. We’ve got to try and win the next game to get us closer to where we want to be rather than where we don’t want to be. We’ve got a chance on Monday to get three points.”
Neil Warnock: “We’ll have a good following at QPR and the lads will be ready when I’m finished with them because we’re better than that (performance against PNE). Even with the problems we’ve got injury-wise I think we can do more, but it’s down to me and I have to do something different.”
QPR: QPR will assess defenders Jack Robinson and Grant Hall. Robinson missed the last game with illness whilst the R’s have to make sure Grant Hall has fully recovered from playing his first 90 minutes of the season against Millwall. Josh Scowen returns following his one game ban. Jamie Mackie remains out.
Cardiff: Defender Sean Morrison (Groin) and Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson (ankle) are both sidelined. Joe Bennett and Craig Bryson missed out on Friday and remains unclear as to whether they will return for this match.
Tim Robinson: Has handed out nine red cards in 26 games this season.