R’s looking to silence Pompey chimes
QUEENS PARK RANGERS have the opportunity to reach the FA Cup 5th Round for the first time in 22 years when facing League One leaders Portsmouth this weekend.
It’s well documented the struggles QPR have faced in this competition during recent years but a win against Leeds in the last round and drawing a team in a division below has given the QPR faithful hope of progression.
But that’s not to suggest that QPR’s task on Saturday will be an easy one – far from it! Portsmouth are having an excellent season and Kenny Jackett’s side are top of League One. The south-coast outfit have already pulled off a shock when they knocked the Championship's 2nd place side Norwich out in the last round and will fancy their chances against any opposition at their fortress Fratton Park.
Much like Rangers, Pompey will probably enjoy the distraction of a cup fixture. Their league form has dipped since the turn of the year and they were beaten by Oxford, who are in the relegation zone, last time out.
It’s almost eight years since the two teams met – a league match in which the R’s were comfortable 2-0 winners but this is the first time the two sides will compete in the FA Cup. It’s easy to forget that that Pompey were winners of this tournament back in 2008 under former QPR manager Harry Redknapp.
Head to Head
QPR wins 14
Portsmouth wins 10
Portsmouth 1-3 QPR – May 2000
Two late goals gave QPR victory over Portsmouth in what was the final day of the league season.
Richard Langley opened the scoring before Rory Allen equalised for the host. However, Kevin Gallen scored two minutes from time and a minute later Andy Myers put through his own net ensuring the R’s ended the campaign on a high.
Rangers ended the season in 10th place whilst Pompey finished in 18th – avoiding relegation by five points.
Man in the Middle
Gavin Ward – Has handed out 76 yellow cards, two red cards and three penalties in 24 games this season. He was last in charge of the R’s famous 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest earlier this season.
Steve McClaren: “This is going to be what I call a traditional FA Cup tie. It’ll be a full house and they are flying in the league. I fully expect them to be in the Championship next season. They have a great home record and after beating Norwich in the last round from what I hear they will be expecting to win this game. This is going to be a really tough one for us. We will have to show immense character and courage if we are to be in the hat for the next round.”
Kenny Jackett: “QPR have done very well under tough financial regulations, first under Ian Holloway and now Steve McClaren.They’ve developed a lot of young players and been in a healthy position in what is a very competitive league. We know they’ll want a good cup run themselves.”
News from the Treatment Room
Out: Angel Rangel, Tomer Hemed, Massimo Luongo (International Duty), Geoff Cameron
Doubtful: Ebere Eze
Out: Jamal Lowe (suspended), Oli Hawkins, Nathan Thompson, Andy Cannon (cup tied)
Doubtful: Lee Brown