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Saturday, March 17, 2007

QPR's Game at Leicester

QPR Travel to Leicester today for yet another crucial game for QPR. Leicester are almost safe with 46 points from 37 games - Table
Leicester's home record is 6 wins, 7 draws, 5 defeats (scoring 21 letting in 19). QPR's Away record: 3 wins, 5 draws and 11 defeats - Scored 18; let in 34.
(QPR have gone 10 away Championship games without a win - 2 draws and 8 defeats. Their last away win was at Cardiff back in November, although they came very close on Tuesday).

Of course, just over a year ago, QPR's then manager Ian Holloway was given permission to talk to Leicester (what exactly occurred is just a little "murky") about becoming their new manager. QPR's Chairman, Gianni Paladini then turned around and placed Holloway on "Gardening Leave" for talking to Leicester. In the epic words of the Chairman "If a man is happily married why would he look for another woman?"

Leicester's Results this Season - Results

Leicester's Squad - Squad

[Note: Looking at Leicester's website: Something very clever but very simple that QPR could easiy adopt: The players' sponsors are listed online - Players Sponsors


Leicester's striking options could be boosted by the return of Matty Fryatt for Saturday's Championship visit of QPR to the Walkers Stadium.

Fryatt has been sidelined since suffering a foot injury in the 3-2 defeat at Cardiff on January 27 but returned to training prior to last week's defeat at Crystal Palace and has stepped up his recovery this week.

The Foxes have no fresh injury worries as they look to return to winning ways after a loss and a draw in their last two outings.

Assistant manager Mike Stowell said: "Everyone has trained this week and Paddy McCarthy (shoulder) and Rab Douglas (knee) are our only absentees at the moment.

"You always have a few bumps and bruises around the place because it is a physical game but we are looking good ahead of Saturday."

QPR could be without Dexter Blackstock and Martin Rowlands for Saturday's Championship clash at Leicester.

Former Southampton striker Blackstock is still struggling with the hamstring injury which kept him out of the 1-1 draw at Derby in midweek, and midfield man Rowlands suffered a similar injury at Pride Park.

Rangers boss John Gregory said: "We could not risk Dexter at Derby, as much as he wanted to play. He is touch-and-go again for Saturday.

"Rowly limped off with a hamstring injury at Derby. It is not serious, but it might be enough to keep him out of the squad this weekend.

"The two-week break could be a blessing for us in terms of getting our players back to full fitness."

Midfielder Marc Bircham remains sidelined with a back injury.

Sporting LIfe

Head To Head: QPR
We take a look back at previous encounters between the two clubs and reveal all the facts and figures ahead of the game.

The two clubs have met 48 times previously in all competitions, 45 of which have come in the league. Leicester have won just 18 of the clashes overall, with 13 of those successes coming in the East Midlands. Rangers have managed just 5 victories in 22 visits to Leicester.

The first meeting came in Division Two as recently as 1948-49. Rangers completed the double over City that year. City did, however, win each of the next five Filbert Street clashes.

Last October, the teams drew 1-1 in Shepherd's Bush, with Patrick Kisnorbo heading an early goal for the Foxes before Gareth McAuley was red carded for handling a goalbound effort and Paddy McCarthy reappeared after injury wearing that Phantom of the Opera mask. Last season's encounter at the Walkers Stadium was also marked by a Leicester dismissal: Alan Maybury was sent for an early bath as the visitors won a poor game by 2-1 - Elvis Hammond being City's goalscorer.

Only once has either team hit six goals in this fixture, a feat achieved by City in a 6-2 home win in 1950-51. QPR's best was a 5-2 win at Loftus Road in an F A Cup tie in 1986-87, when Terry Fenwick scored twice for the Londoners.

Rangers' Bert Addinall and City's Arthur Rowley are the only players to have registered hat-tricks in clashes between the two clubs, and neither more recently than 1951. Addinall is the leading overall scorer in the series, with 9 counters against the Foxes, whereas City's top marksman is none other than Gary Lineker, who has pierced the Rangers' defence 6 times.

Just 3 players have made their Leicester bow when QPR provided the opposition, but what a trio: British record signing Allan Clarke in 1968, young Joe Waters in that sensational F A Cup quarter-final in 1974, and teenager Emile Heskey, currently City record outgoing transfer holder, in 1995.

The smattering of players to have represented both clubs over the years includes Arthur Chandler, Peter Eastoe, Terry Fenwick, Les Ferdinand, Bob Hazell, Andrew Impey, Robbie James, Eddie Kelly, Frank Large, Frank McLintock, Stefan Moore, John O'Neill, Simon Royce, Dean Sturridge and David Webb. Leicester

Hope suddenly springs eternal at The Walkers Stadium in the wake of the arrival of former Pompey Chairman Milan Mandaric.

Mandaric has taken full control of the Championship side after an Extraordinary General Meeting concluded the transfer of ownership last week.

The ex-Portsmouth owner's offer for the Foxes was accepted by club shareholders in February, but he has now been confirmed as executive chairman.

Mandaric believes the club's facilities and fan base mean it will only be a matter of time before they are Premiership club.

"In everything but name this is a Premiership club,'' he said.

"When I became frustrated during the buying process the fans still came out in their numbers."

Whether or not Mandaric's off-the-field ambitions can be matched by the players on it remains to be seen though.

The Foxes currently sit 16th in the Championship - nine points clear of the relegation zone and 17 points off the play-off's.

The Foxes could be ready to call on star striker Matty Fryatt.

Fryatt's recovery from a foot injury took another positive step forward earlier this week with his most active involvement yet in a training session.

Rangers seem certain to recall Dexter Blackstock for the trip to The Walkers Stadium.

Blackstock missed the 1-1 draw with Derby County on Tuesday night with a hamstring injury, but should be fit to return to John Gregory's squad.

Martin Rowlands - who limped off moments after scoring at Pride Park - will undergo a late fitness test for the R's, but Lee Camp and Adam Bolder are free to return, after missing out under the terms of their respective loan and permanent moves from the Rams.

Top scorer (league goals only): Iain HUME 11
Last league game:
Leicester City 1, Leeds United 1.
Coca Cola Championship.
March 13th 2007.
Leicester City: Henderson, Maybury, McAuley, Kisnorbo, Johansson, Newton, Jarrett, Hughes, Porter, Hume, Horsfield (Hammond 66).
Subs Not Used: Logan, Yeates, Tiatto, Stearman.

...Superhoopsbet.co.uk match odds:
Leicester City 8/11 QPR 10/3 Draw 12/5 ...

Head to head:
Leicester wins: 17 - QPR wins: 19 Draws: 9

Last meeting:
Queens Park Rangers 1 (Rowlands), Leicester City 1 (Kisnorbo).
Coca Cola Championship. October 28th 2006.

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