Newcastle v QPR – Premier League match preview

QPR visit SJP
Following on from an impressive start to 2012 which saw the Magpies progress to the FA Cup 4th Round and smash Man Utd 3-0, our Toon charges welcome Queen’s Park Rangers to St James’ Park hoping to notch up three wins in a row.

If we were hoping for an easy three points against Rudderless Rangers following the sacking of Neil Warnock, we can think again now that Welshman Mark Hughes has been given the QPR hotseat on a two and a half year deal. He will be keen to bring new ideas onto the training pitch and instil some confidence and enthusiasm in his boys. They will know places in the team are up for grabs and will want to impress their new gaffer.

Newcastle United:

Old news, but I’ll repeat that Steven Taylor (achilles) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) are both long term absentees, whilst our rock Cheick Tiote (Ivory Coast) and leading scorer Demba Ba (Senegal) are both away for the African Cup of Nations (ACON). Danny Guthrie could return although a spot on the bench would appear most likely while Sammy Ameobi (knee) done himself in during the midweek reserves clash with Wigan. It’s looking like a long term lay off.

Squad from: Krul, Elliot, Coloccini, Williamson, Perch, Santon, R Taylor, Simpson, Cabaye, Smith, Gosling, Abeid, Gutierrez, Ferguson, Ben Arfa, Vuckic, Obertan, Lovenkrands, Best, Shola Ameobi.


Former Toon midfielder and general bully Joey Barton misses out after getting himself a three game ban for violent conduct. I was looking forward to Yohan Cabaye showing him what a proper midfielder looks like! Luckily for us their star player Alejandro Fourlin (anterior cruciate ligament) is out for the rest of the season alongside the sicknote of today’s generation – Kieron Dyer (foot). Adel Taarabt (Morocco) and Armand Traore (Senegal) are also at the ACON.

Squad from: Kenny, Cerny, Hill, Hall, Gabbidon, Orr, Connolly, Young, Ferdinand, Perone, Derry, Buszaki, Ephriam, Wright-Phillips, Andrade, Rowlands, Gibbons, Vaagen Moen, Macheda, Helguson, Smith, Mackie, Bothroyd, Campbell.

Shamrock’s Top-10 Really Interesting Stats and Facts:

1 – QPR were formed in 1886 when their original team – St Jude’s – merged with Christchurch Rangers. They called themselves Queen’s Park Rangers as that is where they sourced most of their players.

2 – This will be Newcastle’s 4th home tie against QPR since the Premier League was formed. They have not beaten us in the league since an encounter in 1995 at their ground, but we have only played five times since and the scoreline has always been close.

3 –Rangers’ Heidur Helguson has scored 8 goals this season in 11 starts. That’s as many as Best, Lovenkrands and both Ameobi’s put together.

4 – The Super Hoops are the 5th fairest side in the league, with 206 fouls this season compared to Newcastle’s 228, who are the 8th dirtiest.

5 – If selected, Danny Simpson and Tim Krul will be the only players out of both the Toon’s and Rangers’ squads to play in all 21 Premier League games so far this season.

6 – QPR have not won a single game this season when they have been drawing or losing at half time, collecting 4 points from a possible 45. Newcastle have not dropped a single point when winning at half time.

7 – Newcastle have never recorded a league win by more than two goals against QPR. In fact they have only ever won by more than one goal in the league on three occasions – the last being in August 1985 thanks to a 3-1 win. Meanwhile, the Super Hoops have beaten us 3-0 four times as well as smashing us 4-0 in our own back yard in 1982.

8 – Shola Ameobi is still looking for his 50th career league goal.

9 – Newcastle have scored 10 more goals and had 11 more shots on target than QPR this season despite having three shots less. We also make almost 20 more passes per game than our next opposition.

10 – The highest ever scoreline between these two sides came in September 1984 in London. Toon manager at the time was Jack Charlton and his team was as follows: Carr, Brown, Saunders, Haddock, Anderson, Roeder, McDonald, Wharton, Waddle, Beardsley, McCreery. Chris Waddle scored a hat-trick in this game as the Magpies went in at half time 4-0 up. It was a magnificent fightback from Rangers and John Gregory got in on the goal scoring action for the club he would one day manage.

Tactical thoughts and ponderings:

Again like Blackburn previously, I can’t pretend to know how QPR are going to set up. They are missing key players in Taarabt, Barton, Traore and Faurlin and have just changed manager. They are on the back of a pretty bad run leaving them dangerously close to the dreaded drop zone and may take this opportunity to tinker with playing staff and formation in order to give themselves a chance of staying up this season.

What I’m reasonably sure about, is that Mark Hughes will not have signed unless the QPR supremo Tony Fernandes could guarantee him a decent transfer kitty to get his own players in pronto. The trouble is, what good players will want to join a relegation battle at this stage of the season and risk playing next year in a lower league? Either way ‘Sparky’ will not manage to get new signings made and bedded in by the time our game comes around, but the thought of personnel changes within the side will make Rangers’ entire squad work that bit harder in order to ensure they don’t get shown the door. That begins with putting in a good performance against the Toon.

For the above reasons our boys should not be over confident about this game. QPR will be fighting for every ball and desperate to show their new boss they can do a job for him. With the Premier League’s top tackler Faurlin ruled out for the season following his injury in the draw against MK Dons, QPR will be lacking bite in central midfield. Having already lost Joey Barton to his ban really brings the above point home. Yohan Cabaye should really be bossing the midfield in the absence of those two and there would be an argument for us to go narrow as a result.

That said, Wright-Phillips on his day can be deadly on the wing and I think we need to be careful to make sure we have the right balance across the field in order to counter their wing play. It makes sense for Rangers to go wide and we don’t want to put too much pressure on our full backs by neglecting them. Pardew likes to keep a regular shape and I can see us sticking to 4-4-2, with Benny slightly withdrawn from the main striker of Best or Shola Ameobi.

Santon is starting to come into his own now and it is pretty clear that he is a better full back than Ryan Taylor. I’d expect him to stay in the left back position with the ever present and continually improving Danny Simpson at right back. Obviously Captain Coloccini will be leading the side from central defence alongside Mike Williamson, who I for one have been mightily impressed with since his return from long term injury.

We know who the keeper will be (don’t make me name him, it’s so obvious) – Oh, OK then Tim Krul. This leaves right wing and a spot in central midfield up for grabs. I’m not sure Pardew will play Gabriel Obertan at home at the moment. The lad is struggling to consistently deliver…well….anything, and the home crowd are not helping matters by belittling him. I agree that he is a bit of a headless chicken, but generally heckling him really is not going to give him much confidence or drive. Not only that, but I wonder if his team mates secretly resent those fans for such bullying behaviour? Either way, it’s not going to encourage potential new signings to come here is it?!

My point is, he’s not up to scratch but the manager and his staff know this. They are doing a good job and surely deserve a bit of trust from us to let them do their job? Let them resolve the issue and lets get on with supporting the entire team for the entire 90 minutes. A 12th man really can make all the difference… The clue is in the name…UNITED!

So, hopefully Obertan will be used as an impact sub. I like the thought of having Gutierrez down one wing for pace and Ryan Taylor down the other for his crossing ability. It gives us a better balance in my opinion and allows the strikers to get forward a bit more and pressurise defender from the air. Best or Ameobi would be great at nodding down for Benny to latch on and sweep up.

I’d like to see Dan Gosling get a start alongside Cabaye. We have still not seen what he can do due to a mixture of injuries and great form from Tiote and Guthrie, but he is a talent and it would be great to unlock it. When he’s in the zone, Gosling can run forever from box to box and has a great energy about him. I think Cabaye would provide the perfect foil for him if they played a few times together. That said, young Abeid is knocking on the door and just might get the nod, although I secretly doubt it for this one…

Finally, I think that this game will be tougher than many give it credit for. However, we are gaining a bit of momentum again and showed against Blackburn that we can get results without Tiote and Ba. I’m sure Pardew and his staff will have our lads suitably prepared for a tough game and to be honest we should be beating QPR at home anyway, so I’m going for a 2-0 victory for the Toon in a hard fought contest.


49-year-old Lancashire (Liverpool really – St Helens) born Chris Foy will be taking this one. He has been in the game since the 1980’s and has been a Premier League whistle blower for over 10 years. He has taken charge of finals in both the League and FA Cups and been involved in International football, albeit not very much.

As an open Everton fan he will be impartial for this one (some don’t seem to be), whilst this will be his first game between Newcastle and QPR. A bit worrying maybe, but of the nine home games from all competitions that Chris Foy has officiated for us, we have managed only two wins and a draw.

Newcastle United v QPR
Date: Sunday 15th January 2012
Time: 13:30 Live on Sky Sports
Venue: St James’ Park

Howay the lads!

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

30 thoughts on “Newcastle v QPR – Premier League match preview

  1. Heres another stat, when they “smashed us 0-4 in our own backyard”(ooer missus), they did so wearing our away strip as the ref wouldn’t let them wear their home tops πŸ˜‰

    Good preview Shamrock…..3-1 the Toon


  2. Ba Ba Demba have you any goals?
    Yes sir, yes sir – ****ing loads!
    One for Cabaye and one for me sel,
    And one for that donkey…
    Phil ****ing Jones!

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


  3. BTW SkyBet have upped Ba’s odds of scoring the first goal on Sunday from 100 to 150/1 😯

    Am off roond me Gran’s to see if she’s got owt worth pawning. πŸ˜‰

    Later crocodiles!


  4. Not confident on this one like, teams always seem to win when a new manager comes in.
    I think we have to line up 4-4-2 though:
    HBA/cabaye/Guthrie(if fit)/guti

    Have Benny on the right but allow him to drift and find space.

    Could go either way this one tho


  5. I actually am thinking we could win 3-0 here if we get early goal 1-0 if not.
    Cant see them scoring to be honest.

    Id start with

    Simmo, Willo, Colo,Santon
    HBA, Cabaye, Guthrie / Gosling, Jonas
    Best, Vuckic


  6. Was quietly confident when Warnock was in charge of 3 point , esp with all their inuries and suspensions , was more confident when he was sacked but now I dunno what to think due to new manager and have no idea what to expect from them.


  7. I’d think of having
    Simmo – Colo – Willo – Santon
    HBA – Dreamboat – Guthrie – Spidey
    Shola – Best

    The reason is HBA tore Blackburn apart from the right, scoring THAT goal and winning a good half dozen corners once he was shifted out there when Shola came on last week. If he did start to drift in-field, Guthrie (assuming he is fit enough for a start) has played on the wing before so might be able to produce some crosses from over there.


  8. I agree with Sharpy and Shamrock. This is a danger game IMO. Danger because QPR will comeout fighting for a new gaffer whilst our fans will be looking for a dominant win. Recipe for disappointment IMO πŸ˜•


  9. QPR have some injury worries.

    I expect us to win so we’ll probably dissapoint.

    Hope Pardew plays Arfa on the right too.


  10. I agree with Toonsy about this game. πŸ˜•

    I am interested to see who will be playing down the right wing,will ben arfa be on bench again?

    And also,who will partner with cabaye in mid? I would actually prefer guthrie and gosling on bench. Somehow my feeling of gosling is that he can be a hot-headed sometimes. 😳


  11. ” I’m pretty positive , “says Jean-Michel Aulas to an issue of L’Equipe about the possibility of a departure from Aly Cissokho in other lands from the winter transfer window. The president of the Olympique Lyon hopes an upcoming British proposal (Newcastle) Around 10 million euros. The left side, under contract with OL until June 2014


  12. Fergie on Morrison: “His agent has been working hard to get him another club. We have offered him terms, which he has refused,his demands are unrealistic as far as we are concerned”


  13. Definitely a tough game; I’ve got a lot of respect for Sparky, and he’ll have them buzzed up.

    I would like to see HBA on the right rather than Raylor, although either can do damage. Pards will know the best option, though.

    This will be my first visit to SJP in nearly 2 years (3 hours of car a flight and a hotel are involved) so it’d better be good lads!!


  14. Right – far more important question: where are the good places for a couple of pissed, middle-aged blokes to go for some drinks in Toon tomorrow night? Poncey clubs and bars or anywhere associated with ‘cool’ are probably not a good option for us.

    Beer, slappers, friendly people, the opportunity to talk ****e about football (my mate is a QPR supporter so good fun for baiting) fall into an unjustifiable illusion that “we’re in with with some dodgy woman over there” due to alcoholic fuzz are all good attributes. :mrgreen:

    Suggestions, please people!


  15. JJ – don’t be so certain; they’ve shown that the bracket they’ll operate within goes up with their league position, so perhaps 7th will justify a break into 8 figures? The only real constraint I think is clear is that they’ll only spend Β£10m if:
    1. They get at least Β£10m worth of player
    2. He’s likely to be worth more than that 2 years later
    3. The terms (salary, etc.) are right
    4. He’s not a ****.

    Trouble is, you don’t find many deals like that – especially in January, and even more so with strikers. πŸ™


  16. €10m is about Β£8.5m. Not too far off. I reckon we could do a deal at Β£7m. That is what Ben Arfa cost so…


  17. Hitman@16- Interesting quote that. He sounds so much like ranger it’s unreal, two very talented lad’s with bad attitudes and delusions of grandure. Why are we even bidding for a lad who shows no respect for SAF and can’t be bothered to turn up for training. What makes us think we could turn him around, we can’t even control Ranger.


  18. JamieDalton82 Jamie Dalton
    Turkish site Fanatik says Galatasaray’s winter targets are Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa and failing that Tim Matavz and Georginio Wijnaldum.
    1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply


  19. Cracking write-up Shamrock, as usual.

    I’s a shame Barton isn’t playing, although it’s written in the stars he’d score. I can’t help but sympathise with him over the booking though. Forehead touching is not violent conduct.

    They’ve got a fair few absentees here, so I’d guess we’ll be big favourites. It’s certainly a game I’m expecting 3 points from, although the heat is most certainly now on for our remaining ‘goalscorers’. We ain’t gona win it by just stopping them from scoring!

    SWP is their most dangerous player for me, but I reckon Santon should be able to deal with him. Looking forward to it!!!

    (TOONSY, just sent you an email comment, it’s not an article though, or anything sinister) πŸ˜›

    I’m off for a bit anyway……


  20. JJ

    Lequipe are usually on the money so i certainly reckon theres some truth in it, We werent far off signing him in the summer and they werent in need of the money like they are now so touch wood.

    lass on ssn: Things really hotting up in the transfer window with everton signing darren Gibson… πŸ™„ πŸ˜†


  21. @whumpie

    For a middled aged **** like you, not looking for top quality bars but a bit rough would be the bars from the Gate to The Bigg Market.

    If you get adventurous and start feeling lucky, try the bars from the central station down to the junction of grey street/Dean street.


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