I can’t believe I’m sat here writing my 6th League preview with the Blues still yet to have won a league game. Some of the football we’ve played in the first 5 games has been absolutely sublime, structured and that of a team who should be at the right end of the table – not the wrong.
Nevertheless the Blues managed to do a “typical blues” last Saturday by throwing away a 2-0 lead when they’ve looked comfortable and dominate throughout. There are plenty of positives to take out of Saturday’s draw at the City Ground, but ultimately we were left with a sour taste after Lee Camp had an afternoon to forget.
Still, we move onto the next one and the visit of QPR is a real big chance of us gaining our first 3 points of the new season. I for one am certain if we play like we did for the majority of the game last Saturday, we’ll comfortably walk away in a happy state of mind.
Our opponents gained their first win of the season after a desperate start to the new campaign, beating Wigan Athletic 1-0 thanks to new boy Tomer Hemed. Steve McClaren will be hoping to build on that performance and start to ball rolling for the R’s this season.
They themselves have had a run in with the powers that be the EFL over the summer and were handed a huge fine (never to be seen before with FFP) and a transfer embargo in the January window. Remember that EFL statement from Shaun Harvey: “The EFL is not about restricting clubs’ activity. We want clubs to be strong and we want them to be vibrant and we want clubs to be strong” – they want clubs to be strong if you hadn’t noticed. “Clubs not being able to sign players they want to sign is not good for the EFL”. I’m sure if you ask a Birmingham City and QPR fan they’ll feel that statement isn’t a true reflection on the EFL’s stance and punishments for both clubs, but I’ll talk more about that side of football in the future with my FFP piece.
Saturday could prove to be a massive game for both clubs’ seasons. For the Blues it could really kick start their season and get the ball rolling in terms of getting the points that previous performances have deserved. I feel when the win does come it’ll release any nerves the players might have and allow us to go on a really good run. QPR on the other hand will be looking to make it back to back wins and pull themselves up the table in which could be a very difficult season for them. Their goal difference is already a problem so making up ground with points early on will be key.
I can see the Blues making no changes to the starting eleven. Many fans might think Camp should be bombed, but Garry Monk will show faith in the man he’s brought to the club. Che Adams being brought into the game in the second half could be a big factor in Saturday.
Colin Morrison Dean Pedersen
Jota Gardner Kieftenbeld Maghoma
Monk is still without David Davis and unfortunately Isaac Vassell – who’s suffered another injury setback with his hip, but it might only be the case of an extra few weeks rather than months.
QPR will most likely not want to change a winning side and will line up as they did for the win against Wigan. The additions of Nahki Wells and Hemed add quality to the team with the creative Massimo Luongo and Luke Freeman now having options in front of them.
Rangel Leistner Lynch Bidwell
Luongo Scowen Freeman
Wells Hemed Eze
My prediction for the game is that it will be a physical encounter with both teams looking to impose themselves in the game very early on, but with the Blues performances’ being as good as they have been recently I can see them having the upper hand – especially at home. I’m going for a 3-1 Blues win. Optimistic I know, but we’re due a game like that with the performances we’ve put in.
Let’s just hope my optimism pays off and we all walk out of St Andrews delighted with both the performance and the result. Keep right on!