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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Previewing QPR Vs WBA

UPDATED 11:00 am

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Daily Mail - Sunday September 30

West Brom (3) v QPR (23)
Leon Barnett will return at the heart of the West Brom defence while manager Tony Mowbray is hopeful left-back Paul Robinson recovers from an ankle knock. Fellow defenders Neil Clement (knee) and Bostjan Cesar (back) remain sidelined.
QPR midfielder Mikele Leigertwood is suspended but midfielder Gareth Ainsworth is likely to be fit after ankle trouble. Captain Adam Bolder and striker Daniel Nardiello, both of whom picked up knocks in the game, should also be ready but Marc Nygaard (calf) and Michael Mancienne (back) are doubtful, while long-term injury victims Simon Walton (broken leg) and Pat Kanyuka (thigh) are still some way from a return.
Last season: QPR 1 West Brom 2, West Brom 3 QPR 3
Last five league matches: West Brom L W W D W; QPR L L D L D
Top scorers: Kevin Phillips & Ishmael Miller (West Brom) 4; Dexter Blackstock, Mikele Leigertwood, Damion Stewart, Stefan Moore & Martin Rowlands (QPR) 1,
Match odds: H 4-9 A 11-2 D 13-5
Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex) Mail

The Times - Sunday West Brom v QPR 1.15pm Neil Clement and Bostjan Cesar are again ruled out by West Brom because of injuries, but Paul Robinson is expected to recover from an ankle strain. Mikele Leigertwood is suspended, but QPR expect Adam Bolder, Daniel Nardiello and Gareth Ainsworth to shake off injuries. There are doubts, though, over Marc Nygaard and Michael Mancienne. The Times

Chris Kamara - Sky Sports - Testing times
We're six weeks into the new season, and Queens Park Rangers are the only team in England still without a win.
It's been a tough start to the campaign for different reasons - and the arrival of Flavio Briatore and co. on the horizon has only increased speculation about John Gregory's position.
I had a good chat with the Rangers manager last weekend when I was down there to cover their game against Watford, and he was as relaxed as I've seen him in years. But he's no fool.
Gregs says he has assurances from the board that they are happy with what he's doing - and they played well against the Championship leaders - but he knows if they go to West Brom on Sunday and lose the speculation will only grow.
He'll also have seen Gianluca Vialli sitting in the stands at Loftus Road - a proper manager who's looking to get back into the game. Vialli is also Italian, like the new owners, and it's worth seeing things from their point of view.
Football is a results business, and if Gregs is getting results week-in and week-out, then I'm sure they won't have a problem with him.
But if he isn't, then they might start to think: 'we've put a lot of money into this club, we'll bring in our own man who can raise the profile of this football club and enhance our investment.'
West Brom v QPR Live on Sky Sports 1pm, Sunday, Sky Sports 1
Having said that, John and Mick Harford still firmly believe they are so close to turning things around, and it's hard to put your finger on just why they have started so badly. After the way they finished last season, with four wins from their last seven games, I expected them to start well.
Perhaps their strikers are partly to blame - I have to say I was disappointed with Dexter Blackstock's performance against Watford, and the team only has four goals from six games.
Maybe, too, they are missing Lee Cook more than I thought they would. Fulham's offer for the winger was just too good to turn down and they did a bit in the market with the proceeds, but it just hasn't happened for the new boys yet.
Then there's the Ray Jones tragedy. It's difficult to overstate what a loss that was - as a footballer often you spend more time with your team-mates than your family, and losing Ray was like losing one of their own.
He was also a hugely talented kid, but I know Gregs and he would never ever put the team's form down to the loss of Ray.
What is certain is that they need a win, and West Brom is not the ideal place to go when you are struggling. Despite the Carling Cup defeat to Cardiff, The Hawthorns has become a bit of a fortress for Tony Mowbray's side.
Fortress or not, though, failure to win could leave John Gregory in trouble. SkySports

WBA Official Site Boss: Don't underestimate QPR

TONY Mowbray has urged his players not to underestimate a QPR side looking to lose the unwanted tag of being the only team in all four English divisions to have not won a game yet this season.
The two clubs meet at The Hawthorns on Sunday (ko 1.15pm) with Rangers currently lying second from bottom in the Championship on three points but fresh from a draw against league leaders Watford at the weekend.
And the Baggies boss insists his third-placed men will have to be on their mettle if they are to preserve their perfect home league record against John Gregory's outfit.
"QPR are starting to turn the corner a little bit," said Mowbray.
"They got a 1-1 draw with Watford, who are top of the league at the moment.
"They also recently got a very respectable 1-1 draw at Leicester, who had a new manager in charge.
"They're fighting tooth and nail to get that first win and get up and running so we'll have to be very wary of them.
"You've got to work very hard and we need to go out there on Sunday and be competitive.
"They will be dangerous but we've got to hope our qualities will allow us to impose our style on the game and put them on the back foot.
"They will be hard to beat and will have some threats up front."
Sunday's Hawthorns clash will be quickly followed by the visit of Stoke three days later (ko 7.45pm) but Mowbray has warned his troops to take it one game at a time.
"We're all looking forward to Sunday," Mowbray added.
"All the players are desperate to put things right after Tuesday's cup defeat.
"We're going okay in the league at the moment and it's important we keep pushing on.
"We've got a great opportunity with two home games coming up.
"The plan is to get the right result in the first one and then we'll think about Wednesday night." WBA

The R's lock horns with the Baggies in front of the live Sky Sports cameras for a lunchtime kick-off in the Midlands on Sunday.
After two impressive draws on the road so far this season, John Gregory's men will be champing at the bit to notch up their first away win of the campaign, but it won't come easy against the buoyant Baggies.
Tony Mowbray's men currently occupy third spot in the Championship table, with 13 points from their opening seven league fixtures.
Their impressive start is due in part to the fantastic goalscoring prowess of evergreen front-man Kevin Phillips, but it's his team-mate, loanee Ishmael Miller, who is creating the real headlines at The Hawthorns.
Miller, who is on loan at West Brom from Manchester City, has made a devastating impact since his arrival - and it appears Phillips is already a huge fan.
"Ishmael's got plenty of potential and I think he's already shown he's got everything to his game," said Phillips after the recent 4-0 rout of Ipswich Town, in which Miller bagged the opening goal.
"The one thing he needs to work on is his fitness, and he knows that. That will come the more he plays, but I think with his goal he showed strength, pace and to cap it off, the finish was fantastic. He scored a similar goal on his debut against Preston. I'm sure he could go all the way."
Following hot on the heels of that victory against the Tractor Boys, Albion came within a matter of seconds of beating fellow front-runners Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Bradley Orr struck late on to rescue a point for Gary Johnson's side, but the Baggies were soon back to winning ways, with a 3-2 victory in a five goal thriller against newly-promoted Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.
.... Yet despite that victory, West Brom bowed out of the Carling Cup on Tuesday evening, succumbing to a heavy 4-2 defeat at home to Cardiff City. . QPR

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