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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V QPR

26 August 2016

Latics looking to keep up good record in 2016 at the DW Stadium when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Hoops travel to Wigan.

  • Latics back at the DW Stadium 11 days after previous home fixture with Birmingham City.
  • Gary Caldwell’s side hoping to get back to winning way after defeat at Nottingham Forest.
  • QPR have lost back-to-back league games after winning their first two.
Sky Bet Championship
Wigan Athletic v Queens Park Rangers
Saturday 27 August, kick-off 3pm
DW Stadium




PREVIEW

Latics will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday afternoon as they host QPR at the DW Stadium on a mission to put right the wrongs of last weekend’s 4-3 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Will Grigg netted twice at the City Ground and remains the driving force behind a Latics side that has notched eight goals in four league games, a record bettered only by fellow League One promotion winners Burton Albion.


Will Grigg on the mark against Nottingham Forest.

Such is the embryonic and competitive nature of the Sky Bet EFL Championship table this season, Latics would likely move into the top-half with victory on Saturday, leapfrogging QPR, who currently sit sixth in the league just two points ahead of Latics.

Rangers come into the game on the back of a flying start that has been halted by two defeats in their last two league matches.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side started the season with a sensational 3-0 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road and followed it up with a 2-0 win at Cardiff City the next weekend.

However, an 89th minute strike from Josh Scowen saw Barnsley edge out the Rs 3-2 at Oakwell after the visitors had led 2-1 with 16 minutes of the game remaining. Then a shock home defeat to Preston last time out proved a disappointing blow for QPR, who restored some confidence with a midweek win over Rochdale in the EFL Cup Second Round.

TEAM NEWS

Latics remain without David Perkins, Donervon Daniels, Andy Kellett, Reece James and Kyle Knoyle for the fixture with the Rs and it is expected the remainder of Caldwell’s squad will be available for selection, including new signing Jordi Gomez who was an unused substitute at Nottingham Forest last weekend.


Jamie Mackie remains injured for QPR.

For QPR, Polish international Ariel Borysiuk could be in line to make his Championship debut after coming through 60 minutes in the EFL Cup midweek. Ben Gladwin (ankle) and Jamie Mackie (ankle) remain unavailable. 

QPR’S SUMMER SO FAR

You’d imagine there’s been a huge reduction in the wage bill at Loftus Road as players from their Premier League stay two years ago, Rob Green, Clint Hill and Junior Hoilett, were all allowed to leave following the expirations of their contracts before Leroy Fer (Swansea City) and Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) were both sold for fees to Premier League clubs.


The Rs lost Leroy Fer to Premier League Swansea City in the summer.

Carefully selected replacements have joined in the form of left back Jake Bidwell - who has impressed so much in recent years for Brentford -, Joel Lynch, who brings central defensive experience from his time in the Championship with Nottingham Forest and latterly Huddersfield Town whilst Jordan Cousins, like Bidwell, also arrived from a London rival in Charlton Athletic, where he’d made over 100 league appearances after coming through the ranks.

QPR IN 2015/16 

Following relegation from the Premier League, QPR set about returning to the top-flight at the first attempt under Chris Ramsey, the manager who had initially taken over on a caretaker basis from Harry Redknapp when the former Spurs boss left the club in the previous campaign.

The departures of Joey Barton, Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora amongst others left QPR with business to do in their first transfer window back in the Football League. Domestically, they searched for players with Champonship or League One experience, including Latics’ James Perch, Swindon Town duo Massimo Luongo and Ben Gladwin and Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Alex Smithies. Equally, the European market was delved into as the Hoops acquired the relatively unheard of attacking duo of Sebastian Polter (FSV Mainz) and Tjaronn Chery (FC Groningen).

By mid-November, the Rs had won just four of their 15 league matches and sat in 13th place in the Championship table, prompting the Loftus Road club to part with Ramsey and appoint Neil Warnock as interim coach as the search for a new manager progressed. 


Warnock won two of his four matches in charge before Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was appointed in early December. Hasselbaink didn’t win in any of his first seven games in charge, registering his first success at the eighth time of asking as Rotherham United were defeated 3-0 on their own patch.

During January, striker Charlie Austin moved on to Premier League Southampton and was replaced by Conor Washington and Abdenasser E Khayati – both from League One – the latter working with Hasselbaink at Burton Albion in the previous season.

By the end of March, QPR were up to tenth place after a 3-0 win over London rivals Brentford at Loftus Road. However, just two further wins in their final nine matches ended any hopes of a play-off push and the Rs finished the season in 12th place, 14 points off the top six.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

QPR have been the dominant side in the 14 previous meetings, with the Rs winning five matches compared to Latics’ two, whilst seven draws have been played out.

The first league meeting between the two sides came in September 2001 as Rangers won 2-1 at the JJB Stadium as Ged Brannan diverted into his own goal in the final minute of the game to give Ian Holloway’s side the win after Andy Thomson had cancelled out Latics’ then club-record signing Tony Dinning’s opener.

The last fixture came in May 2014 in an unsuccessful visit Loftus Road as Latics lost 2-1 in the Championship play-off final with now Ranger James Perch giving Latics the lead before Charlie Austin scored twice for the Hoops in what was Latics boss Gary Caldwell’s last competitive game as a professional.


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