Preview: Blues v QPR – 01/09/18

More frustration came the Blues fans way following last week’s 2-2 draw away to Forest. Many would have taken the point beforehand but a dominant Blues found themselves 2-0 up and basically threw away a well-earned lead.

Build Up

The familiar situation Blues fans find themselves in now is that we are often leaving games feeling proud of the team’s performance, but disappointed at the final result. What’s frequently being chucked about is, “the results will come”, which in essence is true but to rely on fate is a dangerous path to follow. However, the truth is that one of these performances should eventually see Blues leave with three points, and hopefully it will be this weekend.

QPR haven’t got off to the greatest start to the season, following a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of West Brom. However, there is a sense of optimism surrounding the club following their first win of the season, progressing to the third round of the EFL Cup and a few impressive signings.

Blues have no new fresh injury concerns however it has been confirmed that David Davis will spend at least the next four months on the sideline, and Isaac Vassell has picked up another injury in his bid to recover. QPR are without youngster Darnell Furlong and Sean Goss is doubtful to return.

Opposition Opinion

For the build-up to the game, We Are Birmingham spoke to Hoops Down Under, a supporters ground connecting QPR fans in Australia.

QPR, undoubtedly, have a poor record away from home but we managed to get the win last time we played at St. Andrew’s. Both teams are looking like they’ll be in a relegation battle this season (thus far). In saying that, I am hopeful of all three points if the team can kick on from their recent string of wins.

We have made a couple of good loan signings in Hemed and Wells to give us more of an attacking threat up front, but every R’s fan is aware we are still short a midfielder and a couple of centre backs. At the time of writing, we are approximately 24 hours from the loan window closing, so we’ll have to see.

Given the FFP outcome and the January transfer embargo, survival this season is key. Anything beyond that is a successful season in my opinion. Is McClaren the right manager for the job, though? I don’t know. Let’s see how we goes with the players he brings in and assess it from there.

Based on what we’ve seen so far in the opening four weeks of the Championship, the team needs to prove and perhaps they will. McClaren will surely know by now what his limitations are in terms of the style of football he wants to play. This squad simply has to fight for every point on offer, win ugly (like we did v Wigan) – hopefully starting with Birmingham away.

Half Time Prediction:

Birmingham 0-1 QPR

Full Time Prediction:

Birmingham 1-1 QPR

Predicted QPR Line-up:

(4-1-2-1-2) Lumley; Rangel, Hall, Leistner, Bidwell; Scowen; Eze, Osayi-Samuel; Freeman; Wells, Hemed.

Blues Lineup

A similar team to last week’s draw to Forest will more than likely line-up, however given his performance and subsequent goal after coming on for Bogle, it’s possible that Adams might start up front alongside Jutkiewicz.

Guest Predictions

For this preview, our next guest, is Birmingham Mail’s Birmingham City FC correspondent and honorary Bluenose… Brian Dick.

Recent games with QPR have been pretty unpleasurable, Matt Smith has established himself in the ‘Always scores against Blues’ category and last season a player who had never scored before bagged two. However, Garry Monk’s team are far better organised and motivated than those put out by the previous two managers and the Blues players are clearly aware of the importance of this game. That and St Andrew’s will give the hosts the edge.

Half Time Prediction:

Birmingham 1-0 QPR

Full Time Prediction:

Birmingham 2-1 QPR

First Goal Scorer

Jutkiewicz

Guest Table

Scoring: 1 point per correct player, 3 points for correct FGS, 5 points for correct score at HT, FT and correct result.

The Stats

Following QPR’s relegation back to the Championship in the 2012/13 season, Blues have won just once in their eight meetings – a 2-1 win at St. Andrews in 2015 thanks to Paul Robinson and Paul Caddis.

QPR won just three times away in the whole of 2017, two of these at St. Andrews including the 4-1 drubbing back in February 2017.

Steve McClaren’s last visit to Blues as a manager was when he was in charge of Derby in December 2014, where his side were 4-0 victors.

Pre-match Quotes

Birmingham City manager Garry Monk on the mood in the camp:

It’s confident and positive and there has been a good mood this week. We’re just waiting to get back out there at home and try and get our first win.

We have been performing really well, we know those levels are what we need to continue because wins will follow if you perform like that. Overall, we have defended and attacked really well, yes there are the bits about being more clinical, I think we showed that against Nottingham Forest.

QPR manager Steve McClaren on picking up wins and the challenge QPR have this weekend:

They [the players] all fought against Wigan for the three points and then we had a win in the cup, so it has been a good week and a good reaction.

Now we need to follow that up on Saturday against a Birmingham team who will feel like they should have more points on the board than they’ve got. We watched them against Swansea and they were very strong, very physical, very direct – a handful.

 

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Jordan Marley is a current journalism student at The University of Salford; a long-suffering Blues fan who also writes for the Huffington Post and Quays News.

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