Newcastle vs QPR: Preview

Sunday 1.20pm, St James’ Park

Newcastle 1.72 Draw 3.50 QPR 5.00

All odds courtesy of Paddy Power – sign-up for your £20 welcome bonus today.

A strange time for both clubs. QPR for obvious reasons; a new manager and new faces imminent. For Newcastle though, the kick of the Africa Cup of Nations is about to be felt, as Chiek Tiote and Demba Ba are both absent.

Danny Guthrie and Leon Best(f/g) will likely replace the notable absentees for the home side, and their ability to offer the same kind of contribution will obviously be key to how Newcastle cope with this January period.

Mark Hughes’ first team selection will tell us a lot about who has a future at Loftus Road and who doesn’t. It’s always dangerous to second-guess the impact of a new manager on a club, but expect – this weekend at least – the team to retain a Warnock-like feel to it. Bids have already been lodged for Alex and Chris Samba, which suggests that the future may not be bright for Danny Gabbidon – the Welshman is also expected to bolster his front-line at some point this month, so whichever forwards don’t start on Sunday probably need to be placing calls with their agents sharpish.

The loss of Demba Ba and Tiote is an obvious, yet pertinent, point. I don’t think Newcastle have enough substance without them. Certainly, if you take Ba out of the equation, you’re removing 15 of the 29 total goals that they’ve scored this season. That’s a concern, because while Leon Best is a decent player, he doesn’t offer anything like the presence of his Senegalese teammate. Danny Guthrie? A blue-collared player for sure, but with a Championship feel to him – if Yohan Cabaye(f/g) is to continue to prosper, Guthrie needs to play above himself in anchoring that midfield.

I think QPR will get something on Sunday. They’re obviously not a huge attacking threat, but they’ll be competitive – and they are marginally better away from Loftus Road. I don’t expect Bothroyd and Helguson to get much change out of Coloccini(f/g) and Williamson, but then neither do I think that Newcastle have enough edge up the other end to do any damage.

Rangers to be competitive enough for a stalemate – 0-0.

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Game Preview and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I think the final comment was way off the mark “but then neither do I think that Newcastle have enough edge up the other end to do any damage.” excuse me, Ben Arfa , Cabaye, both have proved that they are a considerable threat, considering Ben Arfa has found his feet somewhat. I expect 2-0 for the toon. Haway the Lads

  2. I think you are forgetting about Ben Arfa for Newcastle. Great goal last weekend and I think he has too much pace for the QPR defence to handle.

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