Queens Park Rangers Season Preview
Ahead of the new Premier League season, Sky Sports examines the strengths and weaknesses of Queens Park Rangers as well as giving you the chance to select your preferred QPR XI...
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 14/08/14 11:10am
Will Queens Park Rangers be able to cut it in the Premier League? Here's the lowdown on what's new at Loftus Road...
It required a late goal at Wembley but Harry Redknapp fulfilled his remit and succeeded in restoring Queens Park Rangers to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Now the question is whether they can make a better fist of it than last time when they were relegated with just 25 points. This time around Redknapp has had the summer transfer window to reshape his team and there is optimism that this could be an exciting new period for the Hoops.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is the big-name arrival this summer, linking up with Redknapp again having worked with him at West Ham. With Steven Caulker also joining as well as wing-back Mauricio Isla, QPR look set to join the growing trend of playing 3-5-2. Further forwards, Jordon Mutch will expect to have an impact after enjoying a fine season with Cardiff City where he was the club’s top scorer last season with seven Premier League goals. Glenn Hoddle has also joined the coaching staff.
Acquiring guaranteed Premier League goalscorers can be beyond even the wealthiest of promoted clubs so QPR will be hoping Charlie Austin can make the step up this season. The 25-year-old former Burnley striker hit the 20-goal mark last season and QPR looked a different proposition when he was fit and on form. If Austin can reach double figures in his first Premier League campaign, it should go a long way to ensuring survival.
QPR have a squad packed with star quality and the recent history of teams promoted through the playoffs is good. But this is still a step up for those players who spent a year in Championship and, of the new arrivals, Caulker and Mutch were relegated with Cardiff while Ferdinand turns 36 in November. What’s certain is that QPR will need to improve significantly on their miserable tally of 14 points picked up at Loftus Road in 2012/13.
Sky Bet Title odds – 5000/1
- QPR averaged 56% possession in the Championship last term (including play-offs), a league-high.
- In 2013/14, QPR won just 26.7% of their league matches (incl. play-offs) without Charlie Austin compared with 61.8% when the former Burnley striker was playing.
- No Championship side conceded more goals from corners this season than Queens Park Rangers (11).
My dad is really excited to be in the Premier League again – and QPR have made some good signings ahead of the new season. They’ve brought in Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand and, if Rio remains fit, those two are going to form a great centre-back pairing. Obviously they’ll be looking to Charlie Austin for the vital goals at the other end of the field, but Rio will play a key role in them trying to retain their Premier League status. He’s a top player and he’ll help the younger players adapt to the top flight. With the small pitch at Loftus Road he shouldn’t have to move around too much, and he has so much know how.