QPR v Crystal Palace, Championship, November 3, 2009
Having been rained off back in September, Crystal Palace head to Loftus Road on Tuesday night to play QPR in a low-key London derby.
Off-the-field, it’s been an interesting few weeks for the Eagles and their Tangoed-owner Simon Jordon. Firstly their were accusations against Palace captain Shaun Derry following the Eagles’ match with Cardiff where striker Michael Chopra claimed he had suffered racial abuse during their ill-tempered draw. And after that brouhaha settled, rumours were rife that former Birmingham owner David Gold was preparing himself for a takeover bid of the South Londoners, with it being common-knowledge that the club is available at the right price.
The swirl of headlines across the backpages has met with a patchy start to the season for Neil Warnock’s boys. Sitting 13th in the table, the Eagles struggled in October with only one win, three draws and a defeat, and the feeling that the club will again be entrenched in a nothing-season is slowly crystalising at Selhurst Park.
Against that backdrop of negativity, Palace’s bright spark this season has been midfielder Darren Ambrose. With a collection of wonder-strikes to his name already this term, Ambrose has been the club’s leading light with six goals in 13 games.
Hitting the back of the net has been difficult for the rest of the Palace squad though, with only Alan Lee, Alassane N’Diaye and Neil Danns have managed to open their accounts. That means the likes of Sean Scannell, Victor Moses and Freddie Sears have all yet to score, despite their impressive reputations.
Over in West London its been a far happier start to the season. Under the continued ownership of the disgraced Flavio Briatore, QPR have finally begun to look like a promotion hopeful side, currently occupying ninth-place in the division.
Friday night saw a slight hiccup for the Super Hoops as high-flying Leicester won 2-1 at QPR, bringing an end to Rangers’ three match unbeaten run. Yet with talents including Adel Taarabt, Rowan Vine and Jay Simpson blended in with the experience of Patrick Agyemang and Akos Buzsaky, Jim Magilton appears to have a squad capable of pushing hard for promotion.
Several Rangers’ players will likely be chomping at the bit ahead of the match with Palace, as it affords them an opportunity to play against their former employers. In defence, left-back Gary Borrowdale will come up against the side for whom his played almost 100 games, while moving into midfield the Eagles would love to still have the services of trickster Wayne Routledge, hardman Mikele Leigertwood and midfield general Ben Watson.
101gg predicts: QPR 3 – Crystal Palace 0 (16/1)
Full match odds here.