Newcastle United v Queens Park Rangers

Sunday 15 January 2012 1.30pm

It’s never ideal to play a team when they’ve just appointed a new manager but….surely it shouldn’t make any difference on Sunday.

After grinding out some canny results early on, the visitors are now dropping like a stone.

The last eight Premier League matches have seen the Loftus Road outfit rack up six losses and two draws. On top of those statistics they have lost the influential Taarabt and talented left-back Traore to the African Cup Of Nations, while midfielder Faurlin is out injured and of course our old mate Joey Barton got himself suspended.

Macheda has been brought in on loan from the Mancs but we shouldn’t be running scared of a very average striker, while if Wright-Phillips makes an appearance I’d have every confidence in Santon taking care of him, unlike Raylor’s nightmare at Loftus Road.

So that leaves them with 34 year old Sean Derry as their only available first choice midfielder and he hasn’t scored a goal in his fifty eight matches for the West London club.

I almost forgot to mention….Kieron Dyer is injured and probably out for the season but that is not exactly news.

Yes United might be missing Ba and Tiote to the African Nations but this surely must rank as our easiest fixture in the remaining games. Yes there are no easy games blah blah blah and yes that miserable horrible Mark Hughes is their newly appointed manager but this will be three points all the way.

I would guess Alan Pardew will pair either Best or Shola (take your pick) up front with Ben Arfa, unless the manager looks to change his formation and accommodate Hatem on the right, ‘kind of’ in Obertan’s position. Whilst if Guthrie is in decent shape he seems pretty certain to partner Cabaye in centre midfield.

The bookies aren’t daft and so we’ve had to dig deep to find some value and thanks to our betting partners BET365 we think we have found a few decent pointers.

We fancy Newcastle to win both halves against a hopefully demoralised QPR by half time and that would pay 7-2. A bit more speculative is a small wager on Ben Arfa to score first and Newcastle to win 2-0  which would pay 30-1.  The French midfielder/winger/striker must be nailed on to start as he has begun to find the net and must be fancied to make it three scoring matches in a row.

The final fancy that we’ve picked out of the BET365 odds is Jonas to score the first goal at 20-1, he’s become very adventurous of late and as well as his cracking winner against Blackburn he’s actually been pulling the trigger himself regularly and getting in the box a lot more.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully AP won’t go with Shola & Best upfront – would be the most immobile partnership in the Premiership!

  • Anonymous

    Biggest laugh is had a look at BET365 prices and while the Mag tips look decent value, they have Leon Worst at only7-1(!!!) to score two goals in the QPR match, I thought they meant to score 2 in teh rest of the season at first….still wouldn’t take it!

  • Anonymous

    Look a really poor team, especially with all the players missing. I reckon four or five, definitely would have been with Ba and Tiote, think Demba could have gone top in goalscoring list if had still been here.

  • Anonymous

    Four or five! Come on lads, you should know that you should never do the obvious.  Without Ba, we are hardly free-scoring are we?  QPR haven’t let in a lot of goals in recently (only losing 1-0 at Arsenal and Liverpool) so they can defend when they circle the wagons.  Throw in the “new manager” effect and I’d settle for a 1-0 win. HTL!

  • Anonymous

    Quite keen on your suggestion of Ben Arfa 2-0.

  • Mal

    I think Pardew may stick with Ryan Taylor on the right side of midfield. Against man u we looked very solid in the middle of the park and I think he may keep changes there to the minimum – he already has to make 1 change because of the loss of Tiote which will mean Guthrie (or Abeid) coming in.
    I also think he may resist the calls for a Ben Arfa recall – we always look better with 2 up front which would mean Shola and Best.
    Whatever he does I’ll go with it – he’s done brilliantly so far. It’s a big 3 points for us tomorrow and we do have a chance in the next 4 games to really consolidate our league position or even improve it.