The stadium itself is perhaps the biggest threat to our side on the 18th - Loftus Road
Despite the fact that it is one of the smallest capacity sized stadiums in the Premier League it doesn't give out that fact when your actually there. Just like the Britannia and our very own Liberty Stadium it's vociferous at worst. Once the crowd gets on top of you because the players are so close to the sides you can really feel the pressure. Add this to the fact your playing a side away from home who are desperate for the 3 points and you have all ingredients for a pressure cooker.
Key Players - Jamie Mackie/ Adel Taarabt
These two players are different in essence but not in mind, constant thorns in the Swans side for a few years now and have always popped up with goals and trickery between them. Adel is simply a talent but an egotistical one at that hence the reason his talents are not always exploited against other sides. Can do some very magical things and the ultimate playmaker. Can be unbelievable at times but can also be distinctly average depending on how he feels, it's a risk QPR are willing to take.
Mackie on the other hand is a different time of player he sometimes plays on the wing and cuts inside or can hover around the midfield and play on the last man, his goal at the Liberty last season demonstrates that fully. Always seems to get the goals against the Swans and scores some big goals as well like the last day of the season. It's hard to just pinpoint two players but if these two play it will be another hard job on the Swans hands.
Unless an injury or an illness occurs then you can bet your hard earned money that Michel Vorm will be in goalkeeping duty, Perhaps the best goalkeeper alongside Joe Hart last season although Joe Hart had the bonus of Kompany and co. His acrobatic reflexes and his distribution make him a top watch for everyone this season. Will expect a busy game if Qpr start to turn it on.
The defensive line in front of Vorm will be pretty same again for this fixture with the replacement of loanee Steven Caulker and in his place Chico Flores from Genoa for a handsome 2 million fee and a permanent fixture at the back alongside the ever present Ashley Williams who will be as much of fixture at the back Neil Taylor fresh from his Olympic exploits will line up at left back for this fixture despite the progress of young Ben Davies who will provide stiff competition i'm sure. With Taylor proving his talents to the world stage you can bet that the bigger clubs will be ready if he has another successful season again.
Angel Rangel was always the permanent right back last season although question marks over his lack of pace are answered with his composure and passing range which rates up there with the Allen's and Britton's. Typical Spanish wing back who likes to bomb forward and join in with the attacks but can also provide vital defensive cover at the back. Will be targeted by youngsters Curtis Obeng and Jazz Richards. Although Richards got some action last season we doubt he will be ready to step up just yet. Curtis Obeng on the other hand a Man City youth product like Taylor on the other side is the fastest player in the squad and that could be very hand on the right of defence, Kyle Walker has illuminated himself in that degree.
This is where it get's a little tricky with the on going situation of Joe Allen and perhaps the arrival of Mark Davies if he leaves. In addition to having already signed Michu and Johnathan De Guzman on permanent and loan basic respectively. That leaves alot of midfielder for just a few spaces in midfield, 3 to be exact. You can guess that Leon Britton will stick in his holding role to provide defensive re-inforcement as usual. In Pre-season he has played alongside Michu and De Guzman and they have played particularly well and have already got used to each other so it could be that these 3 start up against QPR, This all depends on the status of Joey Allen but even then he hasn't had time to appeal to the new manager so he could have to settle for a place on the bench if he stays.
So to summarize it looks like Britton, Johnathan De Guzman and Michu could start against QPR although Joe Allen's decision could also contribute to this. The only problem is where does that leave Dobbie, Orlandi, Gower, Agustien and co. Unfortunately a place on the bench. There are just too many players for little places although Michael Laudrup has already stressed that many will have to leave so he can have 22 strong squad.
Perhaps the most obvious choices in all areas it will be the same as usual for the most of last season bar any additional signings? Danny Graham will lead the line and with 4 goals in pre-season fixtures there isn't any reason to look further. Particularly his hat trick v Blackpool on Tuesday night. Alongside him with be Team GB left winger Scott Sinclair although perhaps you would think that he would need to be able to sign a new contract for that to happen with his future still in the air but it's a nailed on choice. On the other side Nathan Dyer will be trying to bamboozle defenders into bringing him down and luring them into space for others. Nathan got a fair few goals last season but will need a few more in this case.
Wayne Routledge will provide the competition. That leaves the likes of Lita, Moore and even the old age guard of Garry Monk and Alan Tate on the bench. Despite the contribution of them both to the rise of the club, there is no place in sport for sentiment as Mr Pearce eluded to recently regarding David Beckham.
Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Chico, Neil Taylor,Leon Britton, Johnathan De Guzman, Michu, Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer and Danny Graham will take to the field against QPR i'm guessing. The bench will contain: Gerhard Tremmel, Garry Monk, Stephen Dobbie, Kemy Agustien, Luke Moore and Wayne Routledge with a few odd changes.
Predictions: 2-1 to the Swans with Michu and Graham getting the goals and Cisse for QPR.
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