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This weekend sees the return of the Premier League after international break and Newcastle United have a home match against QPR as they seek to make it six competitive wins in a row, and their fifth successive victory in the league. Just over two months ago, Newcastle were preparing to face Hull City at St James’ Park and protests were planned against Alan Pardew. After going 2-0 down, many expected it to be the end for Pardew, as his side was failing to beat sides that they should be beating, however thanks to two late goals from Papiss Cisse, the manager kept his job and he hasn’t looked back since.
Newcastle have only lost once since that match, beating the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City over this great run of form. It will be interesting to see how they deal with QPR as it is arguably the first match they are going into as favourites since the Leicester match which started off this run of form. They are likely to have most of the possession, and they will have to show the cutting edge that they have shown in recent months. Pardew can’t rely on the counter attacking style that has been so successful over this run. His side will need to force the issue and it will be intriguing to see if they can create openings against an improving QPR side.
QPR have been good lately, with battling defeats against Liverpool and Chelsea, an impressive win at Aston Villa and a good draw at home to Manchester City. People will argue that they deserved more from the matches against Liverpool and Chelsea, and they could very easily have beaten Manchester City in their last fixture, leading the champions twice.They will come to Tyneside with lots of confidence and little pressure on them, they could very easily come away with three points on Saturday, especially when you take into consideration the defensive injuries that Newcastle have to deal with.
QPR have average facilities, a glamorous history and have plied their trade in the lower leagues for the majority of the last twenty years. They aspire to be an established Premier League club like Newcastle, but their financial control and transfer strategy is very bull in a china shop, which makes them a laughing stock to most Premier League clubs. Harry Redknapp is a good manager in this league, but even he is failing to make them consistent performers in the top flight and at the moment, he is one of managers who is under the most pressure.
The two sides play different systems. Newcastle are likely to use a variation of 4-3-3, with most of the play being directed down the wings, with full backs Daryl Janmaat and Massadio Haidara bombing on past Remy Cabella and Sammy Ameobi. Meanwhile QPR play with two strikers in Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin with Sandro, Joey Barton and Leroy Fer providing bite in midfield. It will be interesting to see if QPR opt to keep with two strikers as Newcastle will have an extra man in midfield which could allow them to run the game, however with the home side’s injury problems at the back, it could prove to be an inspired move to start the match with two front men. Continue reading