Queens Park Rangers vs Hull City
Saturday 19th August 2017 (KO 3pm)
Sky Bet Championship
Leonid Slutsky will be forced to make changes to his starting line-up for the first time this season when the Tigers travel to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
Abel Hernández (Achilles) and Markus Henriksen (foot) are both missing through injury, although Slutsky does have midfielder Kevin Stewart available after an ankle problem.
David Marshall, Evandro, Will Keane, Ryan Mason and Moses Odubajo are all still absent.
QPR have a few injury concerns, although boss Ian Holloway has named the same starting eleven for all three league games so far. Grant Hall, Steven Caulker and Jordan Cousins are all set to miss out, while Yeni Ngbakoto and Idrissa Sylla missed the midweek defeat at Norwich and face late fitness checks.
Pawel Wszolek and Joel Lynch could also be missing after picking up knocks against the Canaries.
Leonid Slutsky says his side will travel to Queens Park Rangers with a positive mood as they look to respond after suffering their first defeat of the season in midweek.
The Tigers were beaten 3-2 by one of the Championship’s early pace-setters Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday night, but Slutsky has backed his players to bounce back at Loftus Road on Saturday.
“Everything is good because we have a very strong character and a very good team,” said Slutsky.
“We have strong team leaders and a good core of players. This is important because it can help to change things quickly after losing on Tuesday. We will travel with a positive mood and all the things like injuries and losing a game will not break this team.
“QPR are a very good team and especially at home because of their specific stadium, pitch and atmosphere.
“They are a very dangerous team and it will be a tough match for us, but I know that will be the same with every game we play this season. I think this is why this league is very popular because it’s unpredictable every week.
“I think it will be a tight match on Saturday and the final result will be decided by one or two big moments either way.”
Reflecting on the Tigers’ opening three games of the season, and looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to Queens Park Rangers, Ola Aina said: “It’s been ok. We’ve played fairly well in all three games.
“Villa was a tough test at their place on the opening day but it was good to come away from there with a point. We played well against Burton, especially in the second half, and we got the goals and the win to show for it.
“Wolves on Tuesday night was a big challenge for all of us. They are a good team and I felt like we could have got something out of the game, but overall I think our start has been positive.
“Now we go to QPR and we just take each game as it comes because we know that every game in this league is tough. We’ve prepared well and we’ll be doing everything we can to get a result.”
Ian Holloway has called for the same again from his QPR players ahead of this weekend’s game against Hull City.
Despite losing for the first time this season at Norwich City on Wednesday night, Holloway was encouraged by the intensity and work-rate of his players, and he wants to see that on show against the Tigers, one of the favourites for promotion following their relegation from the Premier League last term.
“I expect Hull to approach the game in the same way our last three league opponents have,” Holloway told www.qpr.co.uk.
“They will try to play the same way. We are aware of that based on the information we have been given. We have got to go out there and do the same again, in terms of our approach.
“Hull have just lost one of their best players in Abel Hernandez. Hopefully, it’s not too serious for him because he is a very good player.
“But it’s all about us. Can we keep building our own style? It was evident again at Norwich. We dominated for spells in the game, particularly in the first half, and that’s what we want our identity to be.
“But that’s twice now where we have let a goal in right after the restart and we need to look at why that’s happening. We’ve got to make sure we are at it again, straight away.”
Hull City’s Last Five Results
L2-3 vs Wolves (h)
W4-1 vs Burton Albion (h)
D1-1 vs Aston Villa (a)
D3-3 vs Ajax (a)
D0-0 vs FC Nantes (h)
QPR’s Last Five Results
L0-2 vs Norwich City (a)
D1-1 vs Sheffield Wednesday (A)
W1-0 vs Northampton Town (h)
W2-0 vs Reading (h)
L0-1 vs Bournemouth (h)
The Tigers have gone seven league games unbeaten against QPR, winning three and drawing four.
QPR have lost their last two home league games against Hull, the same total they had lost in their previous 19 matches combined.
Leonid Slutsky’s side have scored seven goals in their first three games – more than any other side in the league (joint with Ipswich).
QPR have won seven of their past nine home games in all competitions (W7 | L2) and each of the last three.
Isle of White based official James Linington will be the man in the middle for our Sky Bet Championship trip to Loftus Road on Saturday.
An experienced official, Linington joined the League list in 2008 and, in 2010, he visited Wembley Stadium twice. Firstly as a fourth official for the FA Trophy Final before returning as the man in the middle for the League Two Play-Off Final.
This season he has overseen three matches – all in the Championship – issuing 14 yellow cards.
Assisting Linington will be Michael George and Adam Matthews. Ian Cooper will be on fourth official duty.
This will be the 48th competitive meeting between these two sides. The Tigers have won 16 of those games, drawing 16 and losing the other 15. In away fixtures against QPR, the Tigers have won four of 24 in all competitions, with nine draws and eleven defeats.
LAST TIME OUT
The Tigers began 2016 on a high note as they claimed all three points in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Loftus Road with a 2-1 victory on New Year’s Day.
Abel Hernández side-footed Steve Bruce’s side ahead from 12 yards on the hour mark after good work from Mo Diamé. The midfielder made a surging run, paused just outside the box to deliver a clever lofted pass chipped with the outside of his right foot and, without needing to take a touch, Hernández steered home with his left instep from 12 yards.
The hosts thought they had secured a share of the spoils four minutes from time when Sebastian Polter headed home from Matt Phillips cross.
But, in the final minute of normal time, former England keeper Rob Green came out to meet an inswinging left-wing cross from Sam Clucas, he collided with Grant Hall, and the ball ricocheted in off the unwitting Diomande, who had been on the field just four minutes.
Any Tigers fans making a late decision on whether to cheer the lads on at Queens Park Rangers will be able to pay on the day at Loftus Road (cash turnstiles will be available). Admission prices are available here.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the KCOM Stadium for whatever reason, as we’ll be keeping you right up to speed with events during today’s game. Our social media channels will keep you up-to-date on events during the 90 minutes, and take you behind-the-scenes on our first home matchday of the new season.
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