Queens Park Rangers
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Carabao Cup First Round v Queens Park Rangers.
Saturday 5 September, kick-off 12.30pm.
iFollow match pass £10 available here.
iFollow is not available for free for season ticket holders for cup games.
If scores are level after 90 minutes the tie will go straight to a penalty shootout, there is no extra time.
The Greens have played against QPR a total of 83 times, winning 33 games, losing 32 and drawing 18.
The last time Argyle played QPR was a 2-0 defeat in a Championship game at Loftus Road in March 2010.
The Argyle team that day: David Stockdale, Richard Eckersley, Kari Arnason, Chris Barker, Gary Sawyer, Damien Johnson, Karl Duguid, Carl Fletcher, Alan Judge (Yannick Bolasie), Jamie Mackie, Rory Fallon (Joe Mason).
Last season QPR finished in 13th place in the Championship, 12 points away from the play-offs and 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
Star player Eberechi Eze was recently sold to Crystal Palace for £19.5m.
According to Sky Bet QPR are favourites to win the game with odds of 11/10, an Argyle win is ranked at 21/10 and the draw after 90 minutes is on offer at 13/5.
Saturday's cup tie is the first official game for Argyle for 182 days; outside of World Wars this is the longest gap between first team games.
QPR fan and editor of fanzine A Kick Up The R's Dave Thomas has kindly agreed to give Pasoti users an insight into his club with a Q&A ...
Q: How has your club managed through the Covid-19 pandemic?
A: Just ahead of each home game, QPR play an inspirational video of a poem called Born Blue & White, written and read by a supporter and poet called Dean McKee. Dean was 28 years of old and worked in a care home. Tragically, he contracted coronavirus and although he fully realised how ill he was, he thought he could recover at home in bed. Rather than get better, his condition worsened and he was taken to Charing Cross Hospital, where he died. He was big, strong guy, part of QPR and the QPR family, and his passing at such a young age was a big shock around the club. QPR immediately vowed to continue playing the video before each home and his friends contributed to a huge tribute banner that will follow them around the country, home and away. Dean’s funeral entourage slowly passed the stadium for one last time – although his legacy and his spirit will live on for ever.
Q: What are your thoughts on manager Mark Warburton?
A: Having managed Brentford, Glasgow Rangers and Nottingham Forest, to mixed fortunes, he arrived at Rangers having been out of work for well over a year. All the same, his appointment was enthusiastically welcomed by Rangers fans. That he remains in charge at the start of successive seasons is something of a rarity at QPR, but although finishing 13th in the Championship doesn’t usually win any Manager of the Year awards, his first season in charge was a breath of fresh air. As expected, he introduced a different style of play – a slower, more patient build-up from the back. Sometimes it was a little too slow and little too patient, but some of the football we played in spells was breathtaking. Scoring goals wasn’t the problem as much as conceding them was – hence 13th. But fans were generally very happy with that, in the belief that we were heading in the right direction under him.
Q: Ahead of the new season have QPR been busy in the transfer market?
A: As I write, Mark Warburton has admitted he is looking at still bringing in another four or five new faces. Even collectively, they are going to have to hit the ground running to compensate for the loss of Eberechi Eze, who has just left to join Crystal Palace and is good enough at his irresistible best to have fitted in at Manchester City. This was Eze’s breakthrough season in many ways – at the heart of all our best football this year, with unparalleled skill and awareness, and the scorer of some stunning goals. He left with that rare commodity – every QPR fan’s best wishes. I hope he tears up the Premier League.
We’ve also lost a couple of defenders in Toni Leistner and Grant Hall, and really need to bring in some quality at the back. I suspect and hope that Warburton is of a like mind. We had Jordan Hugill on loan last season and he weighed in with 15 goals, one more than Eze, and level with Nahki Wells, who Burnley sold to Bristol City in January from under our feet.
As Hugill has just signed for Norwich, I am guessing another season-long loan is out of the question now (!); and in any case, we have moved to bring in striker Lyndon Dykes from Livingston. Half Australian, half Scottish, he earned a Scotland call up a day or so after moving to QPR. Good news for you is that he will miss the trip to Home Park as he will be on international duty. The one-yard tap-in he scored against AFC Wimbledon in our first pre-season friendly was an encouraging start if inconclusive evidence of his prowess in front of goal. We also made Luke Amos’s season-long loan from Tottenham a permanent move just recently.
Q: What are your expectations and predicted finishing position in the Championship for QPR this season?
A: Every year, as well as a club by club guide, as editor I compile a predicted final table. Flushed with the success of a dual-forecast of Leeds as champions and West Brom as runners-up last season, this time around I am going for Norwich to better Cardiff for the two automatic promotion spots. The Championship looks far wider open this season and almost certainly lacks any obvious promotion certainties. It’s close most years (we’re now treading water at this level). At the other end, despite a tendency for pundits to write off promoted teams, Wycombe could be in for a torrid season – and Sheffield Wednesday will find it hard to overcome a 12-point penalty anyway, and especially so if they replicate their dreadful form in the second half of last season.
As for QPR, I’ve gone for a safe, if unambitious 13th once again. We are still a work in progress, and the loss of Eze will be felt. In our vox pop straw poll of Rangers fans, most are predicting between 11th and 18th, so I don’t think I’m being unduly pessimistic.
Q: Without giving too much away what style of football and formation are QPR likely to use against Argyle?
A: As with a lot of teams, it’s difficult to know which QPR team will turn up on any given day. We’ll almost certainly come and attack, although to what effect remains to be seen. Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ilias Chair are likely to cause your defence most problems, but you probably won’t be needing a calculator. Paul Smyth is possibly our best bet to score. Stopping Argyle scoring might be our best bet of progressing (I know, pathetic really, isn’t it). Our defence consistently struggles to defend set-pieces, especially corners, so feel free to get your hopes up when that happens. To balance the universe, we’ll be equally as nervous at the same time.
Q: Looking from afar what are your views on Plymouth Argyle?
A: If it wasn’t for Covid-19 and playing behind closed doors, I would have certainly been there for the game, despite living in Lancashire. So too would plenty of other QPR fans, from all over. I appreciate it wouldn’t have been played on a Saturday pre-season at 12.30pm were it not for the current circumstances. It would just have meant a longer than normal midweek trip (huh, tell us about it, shout Plymouth supporters) but it still wouldn’t be worse than the trip to Home Park in August a few years ago.
Having negotiated a nightmare trip down the M6 from Manchester to Birmingham and now at a standstill on the M5, we decided to head through Bristol and out the other side a) just to keep moving and b) so we could see if there was a train that would get us there. There wasn’t. We worked our way through terrible city centre traffic and were close to Ashton Gate at around 1.45pm. We even had both Bristol City and Crystal Palace fans walking past us making their way to the ground.
Most fans would have given up but our carload weren’t going to do that easily. Eventually, we rejoined the M5 near Bristol. It was 2.00pm, an hour before kick-off in Plymouth. We phoned Argyle to explain how we’d been delayed by holiday traffic (despite setting off at some ungodly hour) and where we’d set off from, and could we still get in, pretty please? We arrived (at a rate of knots, and successfully avoiding police cars, marked and unmarked, and speed cameras), just before half-time, were allowed to use the club car park and went straight to the portakabin that was serving as a ticket office. To their credit, Argyle only charged us half-price.
We weren’t allowed in until the actual start of the second-half and then only under escort. We were walked along the sideline in front of tons of abuse from home fans. Closer to the away and easily recognisable to our own fans, the sound ringing in our ears changed to cheers. In the unlikely event of anyone reading this remembering that scenario, now you know why a group of us were being led, 1970s style, from one end to the other – and the journey from hell we’d made to get there all for 40 minutes of football.
That wasn’t the first time we’d been to Home Park, of course, just the most memorable. Way back in the day, while serving with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, I found myself in Plymouth a lot – and a few of the lads on the ship were Argyle fans (Are-gall, as I learned to say!). I’d regularly go with them to Home Park, where Paul Mariner was the big hero at the time. What a player he was.
Q: Finally, do you have a prediction for the game?
A: I am far from confident that we’ll win this one – and it wouldn’t come as any great surprise if, given our abysmal record in cup games in recent years, it’s Plymouth who go into the second round draw. That said, I’m going for a draw, then settled on penalties… one way or the other. I’m just sorry not to be there to see it.
They played for both clubs:
Scott Sinclair, Michael Meaker, John Delve, Jamie Mackie, Akos Buzsaky, Tony Witter, Keith Sanderson, Kevin Gallen, Dexter Blackstock, Allan Harris, Simon Walton, Rufus Brevett, Barry Silkman, Chris Barker, John Gregory, Paul Barron, Jason Puncheon.
Antony Coggins is the referee for the game, he was last in charge of an Argyle game in August last season when the Greens beat Leyton Orient 2-0 at Home Park in the same competition - the EFL Cup.
He will be assisted by Ravel Cheosiaua and Chris Wade while the fourth official is Adam Ricketts.
QPR played a pre-season training game against Arsenal on Tuesday, losing 4-3.
Order your match programme .... club website
QPR manager Mark Warburton strengthens his squad ahead of Saturday's game by signing centre-back Rob Dickie, his fourth signing of the summer ... QPR club website
Memorable matches v QPR - title decider 2004 . .. You Tube
iFollow match passes now available .... club website
A look at the Argyle v QPR rivalry.... Loft For Words
QPR midfielder Faysal Bettache is looking forward to the game ... QPR club website
"I am really excited for the trip to Plymouth, hopefully I will play some more minutes and help us go on a good cup run."
iFollow Frequently Asked Questions for the QPR game .... club website
QPR boss Mark Warburton talks about the game ... QPR club website
“Plymouth will be a very good test for us, they have that unity, togetherness and that winning mentality you get from gaining promotion.
“Its stating the obvious but they know what it takes to win games."