A look ahead to our return to Sky Bet Championship action against QPR
- Huddersfield Town vs Queens Park Rangers
- Saturday 21 October, 3pm; John Smith’s Stadium
- Comprehensive look ahead to our visitors to HD1
Town have a strong record against Queens Park Rangers heading into the weekend, having lost just once in our last 11 encounters with the West London side.
The first ever fixture between the sides was on 23 January 1932 in the FA Cup, with a league meeting not occurring until 1967 - by which they had already faced off three times in the world’s oldest domestic football cup competition. Historically across 41 fixtures, both sides have enjoyed similar success, with Town just ahead with 16 victories to QPR’s 14, drawing 11 times.
Meeting for the 42nd time on Saturday 21 October at the John Smith’s Stadium, the sides drew 1-1 in HD1 in the 2022/23 season. Jamaal Lowe opened the scoring for the visitors, with Martyn Waghorn equalising for the Terriers in the second half.
Looking to extend our unbeaten run at home to four after two draws and a win heading into this fixture, both of QPR’s wins this season have come away from home so far.
Undergoing much change in the summer in Gareth Ainsworth’s first transfer window in charge after taking over in February 2023, Rangers allowed 30 players to leave the club with nine arriving in W12 as the squad was reshaped.
Queens Park Rangers are now six games without victory going into the October international break, having last gained three points away at the Riverside against Middlesbrough on Saturday 2 September.
Currently three places and three points behind Town in the Sky Bet Championship table having taken eight points from their opening 11 games, a victory at the John Smith’s Stadium would bring them level on points with the Terriers.
50-year-old Gareth Ainsworth left behind over a decade of memories at Wycombe Wanderers to take over at Loftus Road, rejoining a club that he spent seven years with as a player and had twice acted as caretaker manager, with supporters holding him in high regard.
Broadly successful over his 550 game spell with the Chairboys, his time back at QPR has seen him achieve his goal of keeping the team in the Sky Bet Championship last season, but five wins in his 25 games at the helm so far is below what he likely desires.
LAST TIME OUT
QPR entered the international break on the back of a heavy defeat, losing 0-4 at home to Blackburn Rovers thanks to goals from Tyrhys Dolan, Sammie Szmodics and a brace from Arnor Sigurdsson. Despite having a similar number of shots of target, more corners and 48% of the ball, Rangers couldn’t get on the scoresheet.
Previous Starting XI: Begovic; Larkeche, Duane, Clarke-Salter, Paal; Duke-McKenna, Colback, Dozzell; Chair; Dykes, Armstrong (4-3-1-2)
Despite changing formation six times in their 11 games so far this season, QPR either play a variation of 3-4-3 or 4-4-2, with only one exception to that rule when they lined up in a 4-2-3-1 against Cardiff City in their second game of the season.
With an emphasis in either of those systems on wing play and pushing their width high up the field, that has left them more open at the back, with their eight goals scored across the season undone by the 20 goals they’ve currently conceded.
Town have operated in with a defensive three since Darren Moore was introduced as Manager, so Queens Park Rangers could decide to go like-for-like and match that shape in HD1.
WHO TO WATCH
Arriving on a free transfer from Everton in the summer, goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has had a decorated career since arriving in English football. With a youth career that spanned his native Bosnia and Herzegovina before spells in Germany and Canada, his senior career began with Portsmouth on the south coast.
Going on to play for Stoke City, Chelsea, AFC Bournemouth, Qarabag, AC Milan and Everton before arriving at Loftus Road, the six foot six inch tall stopper is far from hanging up his gloves at 36-years-old.
Playing each minute of their Sky Bet Championship season so far, Begovic has received positive reviews for his performances despite Rangers’ high number of goals conceded, also wearing the captain’s armband for the club this season.
Dutch-Surinamese left-back Kenneth Paal joined QPR from PEC Zwolle in 2022, where he was teammates with Town and Japan defender Yuta Nakayama. Having initially played for the Netherlands at U17 level, Paal has gone on to commit for Suriname internationally.
Currently top scorer for his side, Paal is a danger down the left side having been licence to get forward at will, leading to the three goals he has to his name in the league so far. Somebody to be wary of on the break, Town will need to remain disciplined out wide to limit his involvement.
Despite being linked with moves away from Loftus Road again this summer, Ilias Chair remains at the club he’s been with since 2017, now approaching 200 games for Rangers.
A full Moroccan international, his career began in Belgium, the country of his birth. Coming through the academy at Club Brugge before joining Lierse, it was from the Antwerp based side from which he made the move across to West London.
QPR’s chief creative outlet, 25-year-old Chair can be a handful when in form, popping up across the pitch to pull the strings and move his side into increasingly dangerous positions.
TOWN TEAM NEWS
Manager Darren Moore has yet to speak to the media, with his pre-match press conference scheduled for Friday 20 October 2023.
Likely to discuss how his team have performed during the international break in training and the availability of his players ahead of this game, supporters will be able to keep up-to-date with the conference from the Millers Oils High Performance Complex tomorrow afternoon.
Having been in our Acid Lime twice before the break at both Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday, the Terriers will be back in our home blue and white at the John Smith’s Stadium!
Stock has been replenished of our incredibly popular home strip, so supporters can CLICK HERE to make on their own, or visit us at our HTAFC Shop before kick-off.
Supporters can still join us at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon! With lots planned at our Fan Zone pre-game, you can CLICK HERE to secure you seat and join in getting behind Darren and his team as we return to Sky Bet Championship action!
Supporters unable to make it along to HD1 will be able to listen along live to the game with iFollow HTAFC!
CLICK HERE to purchase your match pass and keep up-to-date with every kick.