Queens Park Rangers vs Reading: Relegation Showdown Preview

Queens Park Rangers and Reading are the only two sides left in the Premier League yet to win, as they both sit in the bottom three, with Q.P.R. rooted to the bottom with only three points from their opening nine games, whilst Reading are two places ahead in eighteenth and have gained four points from their opening eight games.

After Q.P.R.s heavy strengthening in the summer, many expected the London club to be sitting comfortably in mid-table, with some even tipping them as dark horses for a place in the Europa League, after signing proven internationals like Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar and Cameroon centre-back Stephane M’Bia, from French title challengers Marseille. However, that has yet to be the case for Mark Hughes’ side, losing six of their first nine games; they have had a tough start to the season, already facing Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal, but have still failed to win the games against the teams around the same quality of them, which could come back to haunt them at the end of the season.

With M’Bia suspended after getting a red card against Arsenal, after lashing out at Thomas Vermaelen, Anton Ferdinand is likely to get a starting place back in the side, however, Q.P.R.s key players will most likely be Esteban Granero and Adel Taarabt, who have both been bright sparks in this struggling Q.P.R. side. The 25-year-old Spaniard Granero arrived to Loftus Road for an undisclosed fee from Real Madrid, and has continued to impress since making his debut against Manchester City, scoring and assisting once, while completing fifteen key passes in his first seven games. Adel Taarabt is also starting to look more like the player he was in Rangers’ promotion season as well, scoring two good goals against West Brom and West Ham and completing thirteen key passes in his five appearances this season.

Many people tipped Reading for relegation this season, stating there isn’t enough quality in their side to keep them in the Premier League, and so far, that seems to be the case. Their defence has endured a terrible start to the season, conceding seventeen goals in eight games and in their last two games, against Fulham in the league and Arsenal in the Capital One Cup, they have conceded ten goals, and if they’re defence carries on that way, it’s hard to see them getting enough points on the board to keep their Premier League Status.

Readings most creative player this season has been Jamaican Jobi McAnuff, how has been their most creative player with four assists in his first eight games, whilst having Readings third highest key passes per game, with 0.9, they’ll definitely want him to be on form and running at the Q.P.R. full-backs if they want their first win this season. Reading will also want Adam Federici on form if they are to claim anything from this game, the goalkeeper has made a few mistakes this season, but is a more than capable ‘keeper, who has made some good saves this season and if they’re defence carries on to be quite weak, they’ll need him to be on top form and keep the Q.P.R forwards out.

It’s hard to decide what way this game will fall, with both sides without a win, but showing some positives in attack, but not being able to defend well enough. That leads you to believe it will be a high-scoring game, but that isn’t always the case, but with Readings recent goal records, I do think there will be goals in this game, and with the home advantage and creativity of players like Granero, Taarabt and Canadian Junior Hoillett, I think Q.P.R. will edge this game and claim a vital first win, which could kickstart their season.