Date:Monday March 16 2009
17th March 2009
Swansea City slumped to their first home defeat since November 21st on Saturday as Neil Warnock's Crystal Palace side beat us 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium.
Roberto Martinez has gone 106 League games as Swansea City manager without suffering back to back defeats and he'll be looking to extend that impressive record on Tuesday night.
We missed an opportunity to maintain the pressure on our play-off rivals as the likes of Burnley, Sheffield United and Preston all experienced wins on the weekend. We're still in with a shout of a top 6 place though, we're 3 points adrift of Cardiff City and Preston but we need to show a huge improvement from Saturday plus more consistency if we want to play a few more games in May.
QPR are currently 12th and despite 10 points adrift of 6th, boss Paulo Sousa is not willing to rule out their play-off chances until it's mathematically impossible.
QPR boss Paulo Sousa:
'Until the maths gives us other ideas, we will keep believing, keep thinking, keep working and keep motivating our players to try and reach the top-six.
'But, the board have expectations and I have expectations and next season we will be stronger and more focused on achieving promotion.'
'It is important we react positively after Saturday's defeat and it is our game in hand.
'It will be a great opportunity to get rid of the horrible feeling that we felt on Saturday.'
'They are not far away from a win, they are still a very dangerous team because there are huge expectation.
'They have good players and it is only a matter of time when they click and it will all come into place, hopefully we work hard enough on Tuesday that they don't click until after we play them.'
QPR have been boosted with the return of Rowan Vine who has been out for nearly a year with a broken leg, an injury he suffered during a training session.
He's in the squad to face us tomorrow but is highly unlikely to feature in the starting line-up.
Sousa will also welcome back strikers Heider Helguson and Samuel Di Carmine who both missed Saturday's 0-0 draw against Southampton.
Martin Rowlands, Akos Buzsaky and Patrick Agyemang are all unavailable because of injuries.
The Tottenham Hotspur loanee could make his first start for Rangers after impressing on Saturday after coming on from the subs bench. He has a lot of skill and ability and has been dubbed 'The Moroccan Zidance' but sections of the Loftus Road crowd.
Following Saturday's lacklustre showing at the Liberty Stadium against Crystal Palace, it wouldn't surprise me if Roberto Martinez made a number of required changes to his first team.
Skipper Garry Monk could return from a back injury to partner Ashley Williams at the back, with Albert Serran dropping to the bench.
Alan Tate is definitely out with an ankle injury which leaves Matty Collins and Fede Bessone to compete for the vacant left back spot.
In midfield, Martinez has been alternating between Tom Butler and Mark Gower on the left wing and I wouldn't rule out Butler starting again tomorrow night. Joe Allen has been unfairly dropped recently so will be keen to return.
No doubts that Jason Scotland will start up front on his own, although Gorka Pintado has scored twice since a recent return from a hernia operation. It's good going after only having a few appearances from the bench lately.
I've mentioned it a few times in our previews now but left winger Andrea Orlandi is struggling to get any sort of game time at the moment. I don't think Martinez has got anything to lose by finally giving a chance to impress for at least 60-70 minutes tomorrow evening.
He won't start but if we're struggling again, he's the man to turn to to get us back in a game with a goal. The striker has scored 3 League goals this year in 6 substitute appearances, not bad form and he got another on Saturday. Monk also deserves a mention. Sometimes he doesn't get the credit he deserves at the back, ever since his injury we've looked a different team in defence. We've struggled immensely without his experience and hopefully he's fit to make a vital return to the starting line-up.
Head to Head: QPR Wins - 15, Draws - 9, Swansea Wins 9.
Swansea City have never won away in their 15 games at QPR, hopefully tomorrow will be our first ever at Loftus Road.
Swansea City have won 1 game in the last 6, QPR have failed to win in the last 9 games. Their last win at home was on 20th December 2008.
A poor drop in form as seen QPR drop from 7th to 12th in the last 8 games, and almost out of the play-off run in.
QPR are struggling to find goals and wins at home and with Monk's possible return, we should be stronger at the back. Martinez could make some benefitial changes to get some much needed improvements and with that, we should at least avoid back-to-back League defeats for the first time in 107 games. Swans to draw 1-1
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Date:Monday March 16 2009
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