What do QPR in the Premier League remind you of? Les Ferdinand? Joey Barton? Ray ‘My Word’ Wilkins or perhaps Gerry Francis’ napper? Newcastle v QPR has not been a fixture that’s given much to talk about since the Premier League’s introduction in 1992.
There have only been 7 games between the two sides – 4 wins for NUFC, 2 for QPR and 1 draw, the 0-0 last year, which was the only time in which less than 3 goals have been scored in this fixture in the top division.
Most NUFC followers will agree that Sunday is a great chance to notch up another 3 points, regardless of the situation with Tiote and Ba – QPR’s recent form has been abysmal and even with Mark Hughes in charge, Newcastle United should be taking advantage of the ‘abyss’ QPR find themselves in.
Speaking of Hughes, his record in first games in charge of clubs doesn’t exactly make you worry either – a loss at Wales, a win at Blackburn, a loss at City and a draw a Fulham. Follow the pattern you clever ones and Hughes is due a loss!
What do we know about them?
QPR concede the 4th most shots per game in the Prem.
They are the 4th worst in the Premier League for shots on target on average per game.
Only Everton, Wolves, Stoke and Norwich produce less dribbles than QPR; just 5.4 per game (NUFC 6.1).
They are the most fouled team in the Prem with 13.1 fouls per game on average.
Along with NUFC and 6 other teams, QPR are yet to score a goal from a ‘fast break’.
Only Villa (2) have scored less than QPR (4) direct from set plays – a record NUFC used to hold, but now have 5.
They have the lowest % in the PL of shots conceded from inside the 18 yard box (38%) – NUFC 45%.
Only Wigan (55%) have a higher % of goals scored from outside the box than QPR (54%) – NUFC 48%.
QPR, NUFC and Bolton are in the top 3 for % of goals conceded from inside the 18 yard box in the Premier League – that means the 3 of us lie in the bottom 3 for the % of goals conceded from outside the box.
NUFC v QPR – Comparisons
How to win – In 2 points
1) Watch Heidar Helguson! The Icelandic forward has 7 goals in 11 starts this season and has been somewhat of a shining light in QPR’s dark campaign thus far. Helguson is also joint top in the Premier League with Peter Crouch for the most aerial wins per game (4.4) – Captain Colo and Co. will need to be at their best in the air.
2) Use the space in behind – QPR have their 2 centre backs in the top 3 in the Premier League for offsides won; they have a very disciplined but high line of defense which should suit NUFC’s longer game, especially with the pace of Ben Arfa and Obertan, if playing.
Hughes or no Hughes, Barton or no Barton, Newcastle have a fantastic chance to chalk 3 more points on the board in this one. Yes, 2 of the most key player are missing, but against Backburn it was shown that there is the personell to put up a good fight until their return.
Ben Arfa’s performance and wonder goal should see him graced again with a start and he should be in the mood to run a few rings around a team with a very ‘loose ship’ currently. He has to be deemed NUFC’s key man at the minute and if he turns it on, on Sunday, Newcastle should sail peacefuly through this one.
NUFC_Stats prediction: 3-1