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Friday, October 26, 2007

Fizzy No. 13 - QPR(h)


Sorry Pards, but your Plan A has struck the rocks and is currently shipping water. The plan to beat all the bottom-half clubs, while leaving the top ones untouched, continued on Tuesday with another particularly unimpressive defeat to another top 6 club - 2 points from a possible 15 - but has been somewhat ruined by the demise of Coventry and Colchester, teams we only managed to get a point against, who have now dropped below the magic halfway line.
Back in August Pardew told us that we needed 26 victories to get back to the Premier riches and for anyone that remembers any maths from school that means beating every single one of the bottom-half teams, twice, and then sneaking another couple of wins against the new 'Big Boys'. This plan was proceeding just about on schedule until both Coventry and Colchester, by their downward slide, have proved that our wayward form is currently not even good enough to beat mediocre teams.
But before we need worry about plan revisions we've obviously got an easy three points due to us tomorrow. Or so it would appear! At the very bottom of the table, hoopless and managerless QPR, arrive at the Valley. A team with 1 win in 11, only 9 goals scored and 21 conceded, they look doomed although three teams, Southampton, Colchester and Sheff Wed have conceded more goals and their results are not exactly all gloom and doom.
In fact, since Mick Harford took over from John Gregory after the 1-5 West Brom defeat they have only lost once in 4 games and they arrive at the Valley unbeaten in the last three, with recent draws against Preston away and Ipswich at home and prior to that their only win of the season against Norwich at home by 1-0.
The best results of their season have been credible draws with the top 2 clubs, Watford and Bristol City and results away from home have been 3 draws and 2 defeats, at Preston 0-0, 2-4 at Colchester, 1-5 to West Brom, 1-1 Leicester, 2-2 Bristol City. And there's that worrying 1-1 draw at home to Watford to think about....
On the history front, there's no need to worry as its all Addicks as we haven't lost any of the last eleven games against QPR with 9 wins and two draws.
Anybody for Pards to Worry About?
One problem for the boss will be pinning down their top goalscorer and he'll need some serious spotting as they have no less than nine players, in the fizzies anyway, that have scored one goal each, so it's not exactly difficult to see QPR's weakness, a striker perhaps.
One striker that you may remember is Israeli Ben Sahar who almost joined us during the summer but thought better of it and joined QPR instead, to get more games in he claimed. Well, he's started just four times out of the eleven and has still failed to score. No doubt he'll get the winner, then...Another recent acquaintance is midfielder Mikele Leigertwood who played against us for Sheff U in the 1-1 draw in April that really just about sealed our fate.
But Tuesday night at Preston saw them field no less than 4 on-loan players and perhaps its these that are going to cause the most trouble. Ex-Luton striker Rowan Vine may be the pick of the bunch, on-loan from Birmingham. Defenders Mancienne and Cranie are also on-loan along with Hogan Ephraim from the Hamsters.

Pardew's dilemma
At long last, and who could believe we're saying that, the return of Lloyd Sam will, at least, bring some relief to the gaffer but while he's been away problems have been appearing all over the place. Sloppy goals conceded, chances made but squandered and an injury list than grows longer by the game. And just when scoring is starting to become a bit of an issue, we unfortunately lose Todorov for the rest of the season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. Unlucky Tods.
At least we have what appear to be two solid full-backs, even though Mills has to play out of position although its clearly a blessing that he appears to lose none of his inspiration even when moving across field.
But clearly it's the rest of the team that is giving Pardew a few sleepless nights. Defence? What defence? Its clearly time to put Sodje to the test but who to leave out. Both central defenders would seem to due for a break but which one will it be? The simple answer is, we don't know, only Pards does at the moment.
What other possibilities does Pards think he has? The game would seem to be an ideal opportunity to see just how good Frenchman Therry Racon is. A place on the bench would seem to be the least that Pardew can do to try to lift the team out of 7th place doldrums.

There's also a pressing need for a change in the front two with Varney another one looking out of sorts and there's just a possibility that Pardew may press ZiZi forward and put Racon in the middle. But...it does appear too much of a gamble and Pardew is not a betting man. If Holland was available then he might, but at the moment I can't see it happening. Therefore the rest of the team will be unchanged, particularly bearing in mind Pardew's firm belief in a settled side.

Weaver; Moutaouakil, Bougherra/Fortune or Sodje, Mills; Sam, Semedo, ZiZi, Reid; Iwelumo, Varney

Subs: Randolph, the odd one out central defender, Racon, Thomas, McLeod

Prediction

There's no apparent sign of any nerves out there with everyone that wants to predict seeing a Home Win. pedro45 sees a 4-0, newyorkaddick has a 3-0 win, while killer has a 2-0 home win. All pretty convincing then but once again I have my doubts. If it's a very nervous 1-0, last minute penalty win, then I'll be a very happy man but not really surprised.

1 comment:

Ken J said...

If we get right at 'em and put one in the net early on, I think the confidence will return and there could be a hatful. I have a fun forecast of 6-0 but my pre-season pick was a draw. I sure hope the 'Fun' wins out!

Have you visited to mark Pard's performance so far ?