R’s face tough Blades encounter
QUEENS PARK RANGERS face a difficult trip to Bramall Lane on Saturday to face Sheffield United as the Sky Bet Championship returns.
The R’s took a break from league action last week and ended up advancing into the FA Cup 4th round. Meanwhile, Sheffield United were on the end of a cup shock having been defeated 1-0 by non-league side Barnet.
It should be stated that it was a much changed Sheffield United side from the one that has seen them rise to third in the league.
United are enjoying another fine season under Chris Wilder and find themselves just four points off the leaders Leeds United.
The Blades, being led by Billy Sharp up top with 16 goals, have won their last three league matches and have bounced back well from consecutive home defeats against West Brom and Leeds United.
It means Saturday’s encounter will be a testing one for McClaren’s side but one they will go into in a confident manner given their current form.
When the two sides met earlier this campaign a controversial penalty from David McGoldrick settled the game but both teams have heavily improved since then.
QPR’s last victory against Sheffield United came in the promotion season when the R’s were 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Hogan Ephraim, Jamie Mackie and Adel Taarabt.
Head to Head
QPR wins: 18
Sheffield United wins: 17
Sheffield United 2-3 QPR – February 2006
QPR completed a double over Sheffield United with a famous win at Bramall Lane. Marc Nygaard raced clear to put the R’s ahead after only six minutes, but Ade Akinbiyi quickly equalised. Marc Bircham headed a corner into his own net after 29 minutes but Craig Morgan’s own goal levelled the score-line. Paul Furlong's fine left-foot finish sealed a shock victory with 16 minutes left.
Man in the Middle
Andy Woolmer – Has handed out 20 yellow cards, one red card and one penalty in five Championship games this season. He was last in charge of the R’s 2-2 draw against Rotherham United back in December.
Steve McClaren: "This game is probably one of the toughest ones of the season. They are doing so well and I love the way they play their football. They have a great balance, good experience and goalscorers in Sharp, McGoldrick, Clarke and now Madine as well."
Chris Wilder: "They have some talented players at the top of the pitch. Luke Freeman and Nahki Wells. They have some good young players. Loftus Road is always a difficult place to go but their away record has been good this season also with wins at Forest and draws at Villa. They will fancy themselves to put some results together with an experienced manager to be involved in the end of season scrap.
News from the Treatment Room
Out: Angel Rangel, Tomer Hemed, Massimo Luongo (International Duty), Geoff Cameron
Out: No injury concerns