Newcastle United vs. QPR Preview

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Published: 08/01/2012

Struggling QPR will be the visitors at St James’ Park on January 15 as Newcastle United look to follow up their shock New Year’s win over Manchester United with another three points.

And the Toon Army will be strong favourites to do just that against Neil Warnock’s men who have fallen haplessly down the Premier League table in recent weeks.

Since their 3-2 win over Stoke City in mid-November, QPR have endured an eight match winless streak, including six defeats – a run which has left them dangerously treading water in seventeenth place heading into this round of fixtures.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have been in somewhat indifferent form of late following their excellent eleven match unbeaten start to the campaign.

Comprehensive defeats against Manchester City, Chelsea and Norwich City well and truly burst Alan Pardew’s bubble leading into the Christmas period however the Toon managed to recover some ground on Boxing Day with a win over Bolton.

Defeat to Liverpool soon followed at the end of 2011 but Newcastle got their New Year up and running in the best possible way by dishing out a 3-0 trouncing to Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils on January 4.

With that success likely to boost Newcastle’s confidence back to where it was in November, QPR could be in for a tough ride in this fixture against their buoyant hosts who look a solid bet at around 8/11 to wrap up the win.

The home side will, however, have to cope without the presence of star striker Demba Ba who will miss the match due to his African Cup of Nations duty with Senegal – whilst midfielder Cheke Tiote also flies off for the tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Ba has waded in with fifteen of Newcastle’s 29 Premier League goals to date this campaign so his omission will undoubtedly leave them short in terms of power up front.

But manager Alan Pardew has already proved how to get the best out of his players and Ba’s temporary replacement, which is likely to be Leon Best, should give a good account of himself and the team will work hard to compensate for the Ba’s absence.

In contrast, QPR are likely to be feeling a great deal more damage following the exclusion of former Newcastle player Joey Barton.

Barton’s suspension from the match for head-butting Norwich City’s Bradley Johnson unquestionably takes a great deal of spice out of the fixture – but also leaves a gaping hole in QPR’s already fragile midfield.

Newcastle may have to find an alternative way of hitting the net until cult hero Ba returns, nevertheless they are taken readily to put QPR to the sword in front of their raucous supporters and make further headway towards a European place.

QPR have struggled to find any real momentum up front for the majority of the season and their attack may not get much joy against tough centre halves Coloccini and Taylor – so a Newcastle win to nil also holds many possibilities at around 5/1.


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