All eyes on the cup
WATFORD await the winners of tonight’s 4th Round FA Cup draw as QPR host League One side Portsmouth.
The two teams could not be separated 10 days ago at Fratton Park meaning there’s all to play for in this evening’s replay for a place in the 5th Round of the world’s most famous cup competition.
Portsmouth are no longer the league leaders in League One following a poor run of form that has seen them lose three of their last four league games.
Kenny Jackett’s side have dropped down to 3rd place with Luton and Barnsley leapfrogging them in the table and need to quickly rediscover the form they showed before the turn of the year.
To help their cause they have recruited two new forwards during the January transfer market with James Vaughan and Omar Bogle joining on loan from Wigan and Cardiff respectively. The latter has already found the net on two occasions but is ineligible for tonight’s match.
The last time Pompey visited Loftus Road was just over eight years ago when goals from Adel Taarabt and Clint Hill secured a victory for Neil Warnock’s side.
But Portsmouth have a great pedigree in this competition, having beaten Cardiff in the final 11 years ago and also crowned winners back in 1939.
Head to Head
QPR wins 14
Portsmouth wins 10
QPR 2-0 Portsmouth – February 2011
The Hoops maintained our title push with victory over strugglers Portsmouth at Loftus Road. Adel Taarabt broke the deadlock for the home side with a long-range shot that slipped through keeper Jamie Ashdown's hands. And defender Clint Hill clinched it when he rose to head Taarabt's corner into the net from close range.
Man in the Middle
David Coote – Has handed out 46 yellow cards, two red cards and three penalties in the 17 FA Cup games that he has taken charge of throughout his career. Coote has not refereed QPR this season but has been the man in the middle for seven Premier League fixtures.
Steve McClaren: "We want to go through in the Cup. As much for the supporters than anything, it’s going to be a great atmosphere with plenty of fans. It’s again what I called before the first match, a real cup tie and one which will test our players to the end. It’s going to be a cracking game and we have to make sure we play a major part in that and get the result.”
Kenny Jackett: “It's a game we're looking forward to and we want to be doing everything we can to get through to the next round and keep our cup run going.”
News from the Treatment Room
Out: Angel Rangel and Geoff Cameron
Out: James Vaughan (ineligible), Omar Bogle (ineligible), Lloyd Isgrove (ineligible), Viv Solomon Otabor (ineligible), Andy Cannon (ineligible), Luke McGee, Jack Whatmough
Doubtful: Anton Walkes, Dion Donohue.