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QPR vs. Leicester

Loftus Road


3 p.m

Preview: QPR vs Leicester

Leicester aim to put a dent in QPR's title hopes and continue their push for the play-offs when they travel to Loftus Road on Saturday.

The Foxes are winless in their last two fixtures after failing to draw level on points with Leeds last weekend, but head into the fixture with the opportunity of breaking into the top six for the first time this campaign.

But standing in their way are a QPR side who have blitzed the competition in the Championship this season to take their place at the top of the pile for virtually the whole season.

Neil Warnock, who marks his year-long anniversary at the helm of Rangers at the weekend, has overseen an excellent transformation at Loftus Road to put his side in with a strong shout at Premier League football next season.

With a five-point lead over second place, Warnock's men look good value for promotion if they can continue their strong form in the run-in ahead.

Warnock himself has admitted that the visit of the Foxes will be Rangers' biggest test of the season so far, and needs no reminder of what they can produce.

The former Sheffield United chief oversaw a 4-0 demolition at the hands of City at the Walkers Stadium last season, and knows they are now even stronger under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Rangers, however, have lost just one match at Loftus Road this campaign and have won three of their last five on home soil.

And in Adel Taraabt, the Rs possess a player in scintilating form for the season. The former Spurs forward has been involved in no less than 28 of Rangers' goals this term, hitting 15 in the league to add to his 13 assists.

Meanwhile Leicester have enjoyed an excellent run of form which has seen them lose just once in their last ten league matches.

And with three wins in their last five away from home, the Foxes have also looked useful on their travels.

QPR emerged 2-0 victors at the Walkers Stadium earlier in the campaign, when a brace from

Vital Quotes:

QPR manager Neil Warnock: "Leicester will be our most difficult game of the season.

"They're absolutely flying at the moment and we're going to have to come up with the right answers to get something from the game.

"We've got 12 matches remaining, six at home and six away, but we'll continue to take one at a time."

Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson: "I said after the Derby game that teams were going to make it more difficult for us but you don't need to be especially clever to guess that.

"We were a team in form and playing good football so you can understand the opposition will do anything they can to allow us not to play our game.

"Some of the games are not as beautiful. We have to learn to cope with it. You try to play your own way, but as importantly you have to stand up to the battle."

QPR Team News:

Neil Warnock hinted this week at resting both Fitz Hall and Danny Shittu, but may be inclined to stick with the team that dispatched Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Riverside at the weekend.

Player to watch: Adel Taarabt

If you hadn't noticed already, Taraabt is actually quite good.

With the aforementioned 15 league goals and 13 assists this season, the youngster has a box of tricks expanding by the week.

The Foxes did a superb job in containing the forward in both matches last season, but will be fully aware of the much greater dangers surrounding the pacy flair-merchant.

Leicester Team News:

Patrick van Aanholt has been ruled out for a month after tearing a muscle, meaning Bruno Berner is likely to deputise in the Chelsea loanee's absence.

Goalkeeper Chris Weale is pushing for a recall after a succession of questionable outings from former Portuguese international Ricardo.

Player to watch: Paul Gallagher

The forward has been in useful form this season under Sven-Goran Eriksson, and his creativity could well prove the difference when the two sides meet.

A specialist from dead-ball situations, Gallagher will need to make something count if the Foxes are to come away with three points.

Match Facts & Stats

- QPR have conceded the fewest amount of goals in the league this season (20).

- They have also hit the net first in a game more times than any other side (19).

- The Rs have failed to score in just 8 matches - again, the best in the division.

- Leicester have picked up an average of 2.83 points when winning at half-time this season - second only to Nottingham Forest.

- QPR have not registered a league double over the Foxes since the 1975/6 season.

Ref Watch:

Roger East (Wiltshere)

Matches: 23
Yellows: 85
Reds: 1

Match Prediction:

Everything suggests a tight one. A draw or a slim victory either way. Who can call it? Not me. QPR 1-1 Leicester.

Next Fixtures:

Tuesday 8th March:

Norwich (A)

The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 3 2011

Time: 2:26PM


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