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Friday, April 03, 2009

QPR Preview Crystal Palace...Crystal Palace Preview QPR

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- London rivals Crystal Palace head to W12 on Saturday afternoon with their faint play-off hopes hanging by the most miniscule of threads.
Neil Warnock's side currently lie five points adrift of the R's on 51 points and whilst it is still mathematically possible for them to clinch a successive spot in the top-six, the Eagles - who do have the benefit of a game in hand on many of their rivals - will probably need to win all of their remaining seven fixtures to stand any chance of making up the 12 point gap that currently separates them from the play-off zone.

And whilst refusing to completely rule out his side's chances, Warnock insists 'bad luck' on the injury front has cost his side dear this term.
Speaking after the Eagles' recent goalless draw against Reading at Selhurst Park, the former Sheffield United gaffer said: "If we had been able to keep hold of the same back four for a few weeks we might have been up there.
"That's the frustrating thing. We've had great opportunities, but we lost crucial players at the wrong time."
Palace were without striker James Scowcroft at the beginning of the season, while defenders Claude Davis and Patrick McCarthy have struggled to stay fit.
"Early doors in the season we had three months without a striker fit and then we've had two months without any centre-halves. We haven't had much luck this season," he added.
One huge plus point in an otherwise frustrating season for Warnock and co. has been the emergence of the latest group of talented teenagers to come off the SE25 production line.
Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Moses have impressed all and sundry with their performances to date this term, with the duo clocking up 50 appearances in all competitions between them, but - in the wake of Ben Watson's eventual move to Wigan Athletic in the January transfer window - Warnock is understandably worried about losing his prized assets.
"They are two exceptional players and I think all the big boys will be queuing up for them soon," he said recently.
"I can see the top four taking them. Hopefully we'll get another season out of them but it wouldn't surprise me if we get an offer we can't turn down in the summer."
Whether or not Clyne, Moses and co. follow Watson's lead to the Promised Lane of the Premiership remains to be seen, but their form - coupled with Shefki's Kuqi's goalscoring prowess - will undoubtedly determine where Warnock's Palace finish in his first full season in charge

Team News
Claude Davis should return to the Palace squad for the trip across London. The on-loan Derby defender has missed the last three matches with a hamstring injury but is expected to be available at Loftus Road.
Captain Shaun Derry should keep his place in midfield despite a hernia injury which will eventually require surgery. QPR

Crystal Palace Official Site - Next Up : Queens Park Rangers
- Queens Park Rangers ended a poor run of results that saw them pick up just five points from a possible 27 with two consecutive home wins at the end of March.
First, the Championship's surprise package, Swansea City were dispatched 1-0 before Bristol City were seen off 2-1 thanks to a late Adel Taarabt strike that cancelled out Michael McIndoe's equaliser.
Indeed Rangers' home form this season has been nothing short of inspired, with eleven games from 20 at Loftus ending in a victory and only four in defeat.
Away from home though and they appear to be a completely different prospect. A total of just three wins recorded all season, their away points tally has been kept ticking with a steady stream of draws - nine to be exact.
And that figure includes the 0-0 draw that was eeked out at Selhurst Park back in November. Both sides enjoyed good spells of possession but neither managed to really trouble Radek Cerny or Julian Speroni.

One positive for Palace though was the debut handed to young right back Nathaniel Clyne who has since gone on to make over 20 appearances under Neil Warnock.
Opposition view: Peter Ramage
"Warnock's sdes are always tough to play against, tough to beat.
"We drew 0-0 at their place earlier in the season in a really hard fought encountet, and we'll be expecting an equally tough match on Saturday."
Team news:
Crystal Palace:
Paddy McCarthy has returned to full training and is available for selection after three months out with a shoulder injury
Sean Scannell is out for the rest of the season with a hernia injury. John Oster has got a minor neck injury and will not be available.
Matt Lawrence and Claude Davis are both fit and available.
Match Officials:
Referee: Mr S Mathieson - Games: 33 Yellow Cards: 75 Red Cards: 5
Assistants: Mr P Barnes & Mr G Hambling
Fourth official: Mr M Blackledge
Previous Encounters:
FLC Crystal Palace 0-0 Queens Park Rangers 29-11-2008
FLC Queen's Park Rangers 1-2 Crystal Palace 04-12-2007
FLC Crystal Palace 1-1 Queens Park Rangers 10-11-2007
FLC Crystal Palace 3-0 Queens Park Rangers 02-12-2006
This match is now on general sale.

Adults £25.00
U16's £15.00
U8's accompanied by paying ADULT, FREE prior to matchday (Free U8 ticket can only be purchased with Full Paying Adult)
Young Adult 16-21 £15.00 (Proof of age must be provided at purchase and matchday)
Snr Conc 60+yrs £15.00

Adults £30.00
U16's £20.00
Young Adult 16-21 £20.00 (Proof of age must be provided at purchase and matchday)
Snr Conc 60+yrs £20.00

If you fancy your chance for Palace to win 1-0 with Victor Moses being the scorer you can get odds of 50-1 than click here.
Live Commentary.
If you can't make the match don't forget that the whole 90 minutes will be LIVE on Palace World - just CLICK HERE to subscribe or to login if you are already a member of the World service. Crystal Palace Official Site

- Links to further previews and to Discuss the QPR/Palace Game

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