*
match previews

Cock of the Hoops? – QPR preview

The Rovers squad helped turn on the Christmas lights in Doncaster this week, and event which would set up a lesser football website into making a pun based on less than illuminating performances. Lucky for you Viva Rovers is above that so we just heavily imply it before soldiering on with this match preview. Rovers welcome Queens Park Rangers to the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend, a match which will put many folk in mind of January 1985 and Doncaster’s last great FA Cup upset. Rangers played on plastic back then, but times have changed and the only plastic in QPR’s structure these days is that burning a hole in their owner’s wallet.

Touted as the money men of the division thanks to their illustrious set of owners Rangers have enjoyed an impressive run of form of late with just one defeat in six games between the two Autumn international breaks enabling them to rise to fourth place in the Championship. Indeed they even managed to notch four goals in three successive victories at the end of last month as they dispatched Reading, Preston and Derby with impressive ease.

Whilst many QPR fans will reasonably suggest their talent is being loaned rather than bought, as Rovers fans will testify in light of news from our own club, having money still plays a high factor in who you can borrow as well as buy. Steven Reid joined Rangers this week and is a big name to help bolster an already impressive squad, though man of the moment at Loftus Road is another loan signing Adel Taarabt.

The Moroccan midfielder currently with the Rangers from parent club Tottenham has been in fantastic form over the past month and has had a hand in a large percentage of QPR’s goals. He is the man Rovers will need to shut down if they are to get the better of their opponents this weekend. Though the threat begins with Taarabt it does not end there with forward Jay Simpson on-loan from Arsenal and midfield potential too in Wayne Routledge and Akos Buzsaky to contend with.

Whilst QPR have been edging up the table Rovers have been moving in the other direction. Just two wins in sixteen games, no matter how many draws there have been, is not great form and it has plunged Rovers into 20th place. Such is the Championship they remain just two points from a much more respectable 14th, but that gap needs to be breached sooner rather than later. A result against in-form Rangers would be welcome, for both substance and psychology.

Team News

The Rovers medical room is a curious scene this week. An eerie silence permeates the room, on a table rests a cup of tea left half drunk, the indentation of a man’s figure remains on one of the beds, and stray bags which recently held new training kit drift around the room in the breeze through the open door. Emptiness defined by the absence of one previously constant presence. Yes, the day has come… Steve Brooker is back in light training.

The forgotten forward however is still some way off first team availability, as indeed is his former medical room companion Sean McDaid. However other players have also escaped the captivity of physio John Dickens this past week and they are likely to feature against Queens Park Rangers. Central defensive trio Adam Lockwood, Byron Webster and on loan Jason Shackell are all expected to be available, though the BBC report there is doubt over both Shackell and the in-form Dean Shiels.

Rovers will however be without two key midfielders for this match. Brian Stock of course remains sidelined after ankle surgery and won’t be back in a Rovers shirt until the New Year. His successor as captain Martin Woods is also unavailable as he is suspended for this fixture after the red card he collected at Plymouth a fortnight ago. John Spicer would be the likely man to step into the void.

Queens Park Rangers have been boosted today by the capture of Irish international midfielder Steven Reid on-loan from Blackburn Rovers. Reid is expected to go straight into the Rangers midfield for this fixture whilst fellow loan signing Tommy Williams could also feature. Rangers do have a number of injuries to contend with though with the experienced trio of Fitz Hall, Gavin Mahon and Rowan Vine all unfit for selection.

Predicted Rovers Line-up

(4-3-2-1) Neil Sullivan; James Chambers, Sam Hird, Jason Shackell, Gareth Roberts; John Oster, Simon Gillett, John Spicer; Jamie Coppinger, Dean Shiels; Billy Sharp

subs: Gary Woods, Gareth Roberts, Adam Lockwood, Lewis Guy, James  Hayter, Quinton Fortune, Paul Heffernan

Travelling to the Game

Though you’ll find little of help on the official Rovers website away fans can get a wealth of information on Doncaster’s ground from us by clicking on the ‘Keepmoat Stadium’ tab at the top of the page. On there, Rangers fans will find not only directions and parking advice for those travelling car but also directions (both on foot and via public transport) from Doncaster station. Suggested matchday pubs and advice on where to collect tickets can also be found here.

Match Coverage

The legendary Viva Rovers twitter feed will sadly only be broadcasting second hand information for this fixture, but if that kind of thing floats your boat then follow @vivarovers on twitter or check the updates on the right hand side of this page. If you want match commentary your best bet is going to be RoversPlayer accessible via the Doncaster website for a price, though Paul Mayfield is always worth spending money on and he is now contributing to this service. Elsewhere the BBC website’s live text service can be relied on for up to date fact based information and there will no doubt be regular updates on local radio.

Advertisements

About glen wilson

Former schoolboy, Glen Wilson writes on football and travel and has been editor of the award-winning popular STAND fanzine since before the award.

Discussion

One thought on “Cock of the Hoops? – QPR preview

  1. I cannot believe you have done a match preview on QPR and not mentioned quite possibly the best nickname i have ever heard in football – ‘one size’ Fitz Hall. Genius!

    Posted by Matt | November 23, 2009, 9:39 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Viva Archives

Viva Categories

FURTHER READING…

If you've enjoyed Viva Rovers then the chances are you will also enjoy one of the many fine websites linked below...

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: