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Post by ncfc_Tooze on Sun 01 Jan 2012, 9:52 pm

Queens Park Rangers v Norwich City
Barclays Premier League
Monday, January 2, 2012
Loftus Road, London
Kick off 3PM



NORWICH City's first test of 2012 will be a tricky trip to fellow newly promoted side Queens Park Rangers in the Barclays Premier League on Monday.

Last season's Championship winners have spent big during the summer, bringing in the likes of England internationals Joey Barton, Jay Bothroyd, and Shaun Wright-Phillips, so City will need to be at their best if they are to take any points from Loftus Road.

The Canaries ended 2011 in typical Norwich City style, as an injury time header from Simeon Jackson earned them a well-deserved point at Carrow Road against Fulham, after a dominant second-half display.

QPR meanwhile joined Norwich on the long list of teams to fall victim to Robin Van Persie and Arsenal, as the Dutchman netted the only goal in a 1-0 New Year's Eve victory at the Emirates Stadium.

Neil Warnock's side have already faced Norwich this season when they travelled to Carrow Road back in November. Luke Young had cancelled out Russell Martin's opener before substitute Grant Holt netted a late goal in a 2-1 win.



TEAM NEWS

City Team News

Paul Lambert will have to wait and see in regards to the fitness of Marc Tierney (groin) and Ritchie De Laet (back), who missed the 1-1 draw with Fulham. Elliott Ward and James Vaughan (both knee) are still some way off a return, whilst Korey Smith (foot) is also on the sidelines. Defender Daniel Ayala made a successful return from a knee injury in the Fulham clash as Paul Lambert has no fresh injury concerns going into the QPR game.

QPR Team News

R's boss Neil Warnock is optimistic that goalkeeper Paddy Kenny will be fit to make a return to action against Norwich after missing the Arsenal game through injury. Meanwhile defenders Anton Ferdinand (hamstring) and Fitz Hall (groin) are likely to miss out. Rob Hulse (knee) and Kieron Dyer (ankle) are long-term absentees for QPR.


LAST STARTING 11'S

City v Fulham (4-4-1-1)
John Ruddy,
Daniel Ayala,
Zak Whitbread,
Russell Martin,
Kyle Naughton,
Bradley Johnson,
Andrew Surman,
David Fox,
Anthony Pilkington,
Wesley Hoolahan (c),
Steve Morison.

Arsenal v QPR (4-4-2)
Radek Cerny,
Danny Gabbidon,
Armand Traore,
Michael Connolly,
Luke Young,
Adel Tarrabt,
Alejandro Faurlin,
Joey Barton (c),
Shaun Wright-Phillips,
Jay Bothroyd,
Jamie Mackie.

TOP SCORERS

City: Grant Holt (7 league goals)

Holt's strike against Everton took his tally for the season to an incredible seven goals, and what a goal it was. In a crowded penalty area at Goodison Park Holt turned his defender and hit a low left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

The former Nottingham Forest and Shrewsbury hitman has now scored in the top four English League divisions in consecutive seasons, including an astounding 60 goals for Norwich in the process.

QPR: Heidar Helguson (7 league goals)

Icelandic international Helguson has been a key man for the R's so far this season, netting seven goals in just ten starts - including the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Chelsea and a brace in the 3-2 away win at Stoke.

Graham Taylor brought the 34-year-old to England in 1999, when he splashed out £1.5M to bring him to Watford. Heguson stayed at the Hornets until 2005, when he moved to Barclays Premier League side Fulham, before again moving to Bolton Wanderers two years later.

After initially moving to QPR on an emergeny loan in 2008, Helguson signed permanently, but was again moved out on loan, this time to former club Watford in the 2009-10 season, but returned the following campaign to play a major part in the Championship victory.

The striker will be a major threat in the air and his goalscoring form means that the Canaries face a huge task to keep the veteran off the scoresheet at Loftus Road.

APPEARANCES

City: John Ruddy (18 league apps)


The only game City 'keeper Ruddy has missed this season was the 1-0 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion due to suspension. Whilst City are yet to keep a clean sheet this season, the performances of Ruddy have certainly earned City plenty of points. His last gasp wonder-save from Luis Suarez at Anfield to keep the scores at 1-1 sticks out for many City fans.

The former Everton goalkeeper's displays have even led to calls for an England call-up from many corners, and if he can stay consistant until the end of the season, England manager Fabio Capello will certainly have to look closely at Ruddy for a spot in the squad for Euro 2012.

QPR: Alejandro Faurlin (19 league apps)

As the only ever-present in the QPR squad, Faurlin is another player who has played a key role in Neil Warnock's side's success over the past 18 months.

The Argentinian signed from Institute FC in 2009 for a fee of around £3.5M and since then his form has led to speculation that a host of top Premier League sides will bid for his services in January.

The midfielder scored the second goal in QPR's 3-0 away win over Wolves back in September, and City will need to be on alert to his talents at Loftus Road on Monday if they are to get a crucial win.


ONE TO WATCH

Shaun Wright-Phillips

After joining QPR on the final day of the transfer window in August 2011, Wright-Phillips is certainly going to be one to watch when City visit Loftus Road on Monday.

With 36 England caps and six international goals, Wright-Phillips - the adopted son of Arsenal legend Ian Wright, has plenty of experience at the highest level.

After impressing at Manchester City, the winger earned himself a £21M move to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in 2005, before returning to Man City in 2008.

The pace and skill he displayed to persuade Chelsea to splash out on him will certainly be on show at Loftus Road, so City's defence will have to be at its best to quell the threat of Wright-Phillips.

THE MANAGER

Neil Warnock

Guiding QPR to the top-flight last season wasn't veteran manager Neil Warnock's only foray into the Premier League, having hit those heights previously with Sheffield United in the 2006-07 season.

His eight-year tenure in charge of the Blades is just one of 12 clubs that Warnock has managed, including Crystal Palace, Plymouth and Bury since retiring from his playing days with Crewe Alexandra in 1979.

Warnock left Crystal Palace in March 2010, joining Queens Park Rangers, and winning his first game in charge 3-1 against West Brom.

The following campaign Warnock led the R's to the Championship title and in the process secured promotion to the Premier League.


RECORDS
City just have the edge in terms of all-time clashes against QPR, winning 44 compared to QPR's 38. The last time the two met prior to City's 2-1 win in November was last season, one which proved a successful one for both sides - Norwich running out 1-0 winners at Carrow Road thanks to a Russell Martin goal.

The last time City secured a victory over QPR at Loftus Road was in the Championship during March 2009, when Darel Russell's goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win.





REFEREE

Neil Swarbrick

Lancashire based referee Swarbrick will be the man-in-the-middle on Monday, in what will be his sixth Barclays Premier League game of the season.

Swarbrick is yet to take charge of Neil Warnock's QPR so far this season, but was in charge for City's 1-1 draw with Stoke City earlier in the season - in which he showed Leon Barnett a red card for a foul on Jon Walters on the edge of the box.

The last time Swarbrick took charge of a QPR fixture was in the Championship last season, as Neil Warnock's side earned a 2-0 away win over Watford.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 11:33 am

Not Neil Swarbrick, he is a completely hopeless ref. That Barnett red card wasn't a red card as there was about 3 players covering and he gave it as a pen when it was at least 3 yards outside the box. Rant over!

I think we'll get turned over here for some reason. Some of our recent performances have been a bit jaded and I think 2 games in 3 days will be too much for some players.

This is how I'd line up (providing Tierney is fit): Ruddy GK, Naughton RB, Martin and Whitbread CB, Tierney LB, Crofts and Johnson CM, Bennett RM, Pilkington LM, Hoolahan CAM, Holt ST.
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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 8:57 pm

ollyrules wrote:Not Neil Swarbrick, he is a completely hopeless ref.
The ref won't be on N Warnock's Christmas card list either after today's match.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 10:19 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:
ollyrules wrote:Not Neil Swarbrick, he is a completely hopeless ref.
The ref won't be on N Warnock's Christmas card list either after today's match.

I think you'll struggle to find any ref on his Christmas card list as well as finding anybody who would like a card from him.
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Post by ncfc_Tooze on Tue 03 Jan 2012, 10:13 am

sorry but barton deserved to go he threw an arm out at whitbread then headbutted johnson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deC9cFYTPNY

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