Queens Park Rangers
Nickname: The R’s
Stadium: Loftus Road
Distance from the KCOM Stadium: 214.2 miles (3 hours 46 minutes)
Manager: A man who is more than familiar with this area of the country, Steve McClaren will be the man in the away technical area on Saturday. McClaren, of course, began his playing career with Hull City, making more than 200 appearances after joining as an apprentice before going on to play for Derby County, Lincoln City, Bristol City and Oxford United. However, it is as a coach and now a manager that McClaren has developed a greater reputation, beginning his career with Middlesbrough before being appointed as manager of the England national side. Spells at Dutch side FC Twente and won the Eredivisie title in 2010 before becoming the first Englishman to manage a German club when joining VfL Wolfsburg. A short spell at Nottingham Forest was followed by a second stint at FC Twente, two years in charge of Derby County, a little under a season at Newcastle United and a further five months at Derby. McClaren was appointed as Queens Park Rangers boss in May 2018, signing a two-year contract following the departure of Ian Holloway, and he looks to be guiding the Loftus Road club towards a mid-table finish in his first season in charge.
Steve McClaren’s Managerial Record at Queens Park Rangers: P44 W16 D8 L20
Star Man: One of the most exciting young players in the Championship, Eberechi Eze has shown for the Hoops this season. Steve McClaren has shown a lot for faith in the 20-year-old which has allowed Eze to take his game to the next level. Blessed with quick feet and great skill, the youngster has made 38 appearances in all competitions for QPR this season, scoring four goals and claiming three assists. Blessed with quick feet and great skill, Eze has caused numerous defences in the Championship problems, and he clearly has a very promising future ahead of him and it comes as no surprise that Premier League scouts have already taken an interest in his progress.
Form Guide: Queens Park Rangers head to the KCOM Stadium looking to arrest an alarming run of form that has seen them win just one of their last 13 league fixtures. That win was an impressive one though, beating high-flying Leeds United 1-0 at Loftus Road at the end of February. However, since that victory, McClaren’s side have picked up just one point from a possible nine with a goalless draw at home to Stoke City along with defeats at the hands of Brentford and Rotherham United.
Formation: It’s difficult to predict exactly what formation McClaren will opt to go with in this fixture. He’s utilised a number of different formations this season, although 4-2-3-1 has been his most regular set-up, as it is for most sides in the Championship. Having lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in the 3-2 defeat to the Tigers in the reverse fixture at Loftus Road, he may be tempted to change his approach in this game. His side recently played in a 4-4-2 formation against Stoke City at home but were held to a goalless draw.
Line-Up: McClaren is able to recall Grant Hall after he served out his one-match suspension for being sent off against Stoke City in midweek. Matt Smith has been struggling with an ankle injury recently but could potentially return for this game. As his side were in action midweek, McClaren may be tempted to make a number of changes to keep his side fresh. With very little to play for, he may as well give some of the club’s youngsters more of a chance to make an impression in the starting line-up.
Tactics: There’s no doubt that QPR made a slow start to the season under McClaren, including a 7-1 defeat to West Brom, but the loan signings of Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells at the end of the summer transfer window were a key reason behind the club’s upturn in form. McClaren has always been known for implementing an attractive style of attacking football and that’s been the case again at QPR. They do carry a significant amount of threat up front with the likes of Hemed and Wells being proven strikers in this division. They also have a lot of creativity in midfield through the likes of Luke Freeman and Eberechi Eze and will come to the KCOM looking to play good football against the Tigers.
Head-to-Head: The two sides have met 50 times in league and cup football with the Tigers claiming 18 victories, opposed to Queens Park Rangers’ tally of 16, with a further 16 encounters ending as stalemates.
Last Time They Visited The KCOM: Hull City 4-0 Queens Park Rangers | Saturday 7th April 2018
Hull City moved seven points clear of the Sky Bet Championship drop zone with a convincing 4-0 victory over ten-man QPR.
Two goals in three first-half minutes from Harry Wilson and an Alex Smithies own goal set Hull on their way and substitute Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernández rounded off an emphatic performance, before QPR captain Nedum Onuoha saw red in stoppage time.