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Friday, August 25, 2006

QPR vs Ipswich

The Times -QPR to enjoy Friday night out

QUEENS PARK RANGERS have made an encouraging start to the new season and look a good bet to breach Ipswich Town’s wobbly defence sooner rather than later when the clubs meet in a Championship clash at Loftus Road on Friday night.

*Sporting Index quote the time of QPR’s first goal in the match at between 50 and 53 minutes, and the evidence of this season suggests that is well worth a sell.

QPR scored twice before half-time in their win over Southend United a fortnight ago and followed that up by taking a fifth-minute lead away to Preston North End, only to be pegged back near the finish. Then, on Tuesday night, Lee Cook scored in the eighteenth minute to lay the foundations for a 3-2 win over Northampton Town in the Carling Cup.

Ipswich should, of course, be stronger than Northampton, but the Tractor Boys have yet to get out of first gear this campaign. One point from their first four league matches (gained at home against lowly Hull City) suggests new manager Jim Magilton has his work cut out and, on Tuesday, Town suffered the indignation of being knocked out of the Carling Cup by Peterborough United. The game ended 2-2 after extra-time, before Posh won on penalties.

Ipswich had four players booked and that, perhaps, indicates that tempers in Suffolk are already becoming a little frayed. With that in mind, a buy of the bookings at 38 could also be in order in a market that awards ten points per booking and 25 for each sending off.

Ipswich Official Site
ll black for Blues

Town will be wearing an all black kit for Friday night's visit to QPR.

Blues' home and away shirts clash with QPR's blue and white hoops so a one-off black kit has been produced.

New look

Town have worn black before in similar circumstances, against Blackburn in the 2001/02 Premiership season.

A limited number of the shirts will go on sale in Planet Blue stores and on-line in October and will be sold on a first come first served basis. No facility to pre-order will be available.

Trio back for Rangers

Simon Walton, Mark Noble and Gavin Williams return to the squad for Friday's trip to QPR after missing the midweek Carling Cup defeat at Peterborough.

Gavin has recovered from a toe injury while loanees Mark and Simon were both left out of the Cup-tie at the request of their clubs, West Ham and Charlton.

Nick Forster misses the visit to Loftus Road though with a groin injury.

The squad
De Vos

Ipwsich Offical Site - Parkin
Boss wants Sam decision

Jim Magilton wants a conclusion to Sam Parkin's future as soon as possible after confirming Blues have accepted bids from Preston and Luton for the frontman.

The 26-year-old striker has been the subject of interest from both Championship clubs over the past three weeks and the Town boss is keen to see an end to the matter one way or another.

Sam - interest

"Luton and Preston have made bids which have been accepted by the Club and now it's down to Sam what he wants to do," says Jim.

"Things have not really turned out here as well as Sam would have hoped for and I can't see him staying at the Club.
"I would like to get things sorted out as soon as possible, hopefully by the weekend."

QPR Official Site

After a summer of change at Portman Road, the seemingly complex task of guiding the Tractor Boys back to the promised land of the Premiership now lies in the hands of Jim Magilton.

The rise and fall of Ipswich Town in recent years is a quite remarkable story.

Long gone are the days when the Blues were competing in the upper reaches of the top tier in English football - the harsh reality for Ipswich fans now is the need to safeguard their Championship future.

The high-profile dismissal of Joe Royle in the summer was met with shock in East Anglia and the poor start made by Magilton's men this season has only served to compound such worries.

A pointless return from their opening three Championship fixtures was hardly the start Magilton and his new backroom team would have been craving, although Saturday's point at home to Hull City at least provides them with hope.

"It was a great effort,'' said Magilton in the wake of the 0-0 draw with the Tigers.

"We approached the match in the right manner and on balance deserved to win.

"We must build on the clean sheet and go forward from there. We were nervy to start with but the fans did their best to lift us.

"We created chances and on another day might have won handsomely.''

R's fans will be praying Ipswich's long-awaited maiden win of the campaign doesn't arrive in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday tonight.....

Top scorer
Forster, De Vos, Clarke, Richards (all 1)

Last league game
Peterborough 2, Ipswich Town 2 (Posh won 4-2 on pens).
Football League Cup, first round.
August 22nd 2006.
Ipswich Town: Price, Wilnis (Casement 84), De Vos, Naylor, Harding, Currie (Clarke 64), Bruce, Richards, Bowditch, Forster (Brittain 39), Haynes.
Subs Not Used: Sito, Trotter.

Ipswich gaffer Jim Magilton

Magilton on Posh: "We paid the price for giving away two sloppy goals, but we had enough chances to have won the game comfortably.
"We had nine players out there under 22 and that all bodes well for the future. We were obviously under pressure after four games without a win coming into this match and I didn't feel it was right to start with some of them.
"I didn't want them to be put into a pressure-cooker situation, but they handled it well and we have to move on from here and look forward to a big game at QPR on Friday night."

Superhoopsbet.co.uk match odds
QPR 6/5
Ipswich 9/4
draw 11/5

Key player: Darren CURRIE
The nephew of former England and Sheffield United midfielder, Tony Currie, Town shelled out £250,000 for the services of Darren Currie (below) in December 2004.
The midfielder marked his debut against the R's 24 hours after signing by scoring in a 4-2 win at Loftus Road.

Star man - Darren Currie

Head to head
Rangers wins: 19
Ipswich wins: 20
Draws: 15

Last meeting
Ipswich Town 2 (De Vos, Haynes), QPR 2 (Moore, Furlong).
Football League Championship.
December 10th 2005.

Latest news on our opponents
Nicky Forster is out of Friday's game at QPR after sustaining a groin injury in the Carling Cup shoot-out defeat at Peterborough.

The Town striker was replaced by Martin Brittain in the first-half of the visit to London Road after falling awkwardly.
"Fozzie has a small tear in his abductor muscle and will definitely miss the QPR game," Town physio Dave Williams told the Club website.
"The injury is likely to keep him out for around two weeks so it's touch and go for the Southampton match as well."
(source: Ipswich Town FC website)

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