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Preston v QPR - It's a big weekend for...
Preston v QPR - It's a big weekend for...
Friday, 26th Mar 2010 14:50

Ash looks ahead to the Saturday match between Preston and QPR and picks out the key areas in which the Deepdale clash can be won and lost.

Securing our safety:
By the way the team played (and I say played loosely) on Tuesday night you’d think we were already out of the woods. Well, they better get themselves on to teletext and check the table out because we’re not quite there yet. Seven points off relegation is still a little bit too close for comfort and we still need a least one more win just to be absolutely sure of Championship football next season. Ok so with eight games still left, you’d expect us to pick up more then one more victory, but with Sheffield Wednesday, Watford and Crystal Palace still to play, Rangers could still be dragged back into the mire. Not only that but the soon safety is secured the sooner we can concentrate on next season and which of the current squad will be here next season and those that won’t. I for one would much rather see the likes of German, Balanta and Oastler given some first-team action before the end of the season instead of Bent, Priskin and Hill. At least then we can judge if these kids have actually got what it takes, and benefit from the fact that they are our players and could very well be the future of this club. Saturday presents an interesting game away at Preston, who themselves are far from consistent. A point or more here and we can then all chalk this season up as one to forgot and move on to what we hope will be a much promising season next year, under the guidance of Neil and the Mittals.
QPR are best priced 9/4 to win with Boyle Sports, Preston are 13/10 with Coral, the draw looks the favourite at 9/4 with Ladbrokes

The loanees:
Warnock has already come out this week and said that there will be nothing like the number of loan players here next year as we seen at Loftus Road this season. Ironically, it was just days before the R’s brought in yet another loan player but the terms of that deal seem to suggest it has more to do with Portsmouth’s financial woes and Tosic could well be here next season anyway. What it means for the crop of loan players we do have in the squad right now is that if that have any intention of being here next season then now is the time to step-up and show it. Not only will it help the team in the short-term, but even if they don’t want to be a Ranger they need to put themselves in the shop window as well. Of course here’s hoping that it’s Jay Simpson and Ikeme that are here next year rather than Priskin and Bent but either way a good performance and all three points will be best for everyone.
Jay Simpson leads the goalscorer betting among QPR's seven loans, only five of whom can play. He's priced 7/1 for the first, Taarabt is 9/1 with Bet 365, Marcus bent is 8/1 but only on a couple of coupons, Matt Hill is 50/1 against his former club, Tosic is 40/1 on his debut or how about former R loanee Tomy Williams to score first against us - 33/1 with bet Fred for that one.

Neil Warnock:
Ok Tuesday night’s game wasn’t the best advert for Neil Warnock, or the Championship but please that’s give the bloke a chance. I knew walking out of Loftus Road that evening that there would already be sections of the fans that would be bemoaning Warnock’s style of play and dreading next season under his guide. But if we’ve learnt anything in the past three seasons, then let’s please give the bloke a chance. He has been here a month, he’s still assessing the squad and making his mind-up on the players and how he wants to play football. Of course he’s not immune to criticism and he’ll get plenty of that before the end of the season. But his job right now is simple, to keep Rangers in the league and as long as he does that then next season will be the time to be more judgemental. Especially if he gets the £10 million war-chest that it’s been reported he will, then we can all move as one next season and finally make that push we’ve been hoping for since the new owners came in. A win on Saturday would be a good start to stop that naysayers a bit earlier though!
You can get 11/1 on a 0-0 with Sporting Bet, or 14/1 on a 2-2 with various outlets depending on how adventurous and open you think we're going to be.

Rowan Vine:
Of all the players that may or may not be here next season Rowan Vine is one of the more contentious. It’s no secret that ever since the striker has come-back from his career threatening injury he hasn’t been the same player as the one we signed from Birmingham under Mick Harford first time around. It’s not for the want of trying and you can hardly ever fault Vine’s effort on a football pitch but he just hasn’t been the same since his return. His riffled shot against the bar on Tuesday evening was a timely reminder of what he can do, but he needs to do more of that and consistently when given chances. If given a start at Deepdale then he more the most needs to prove to Warnock he has a place here next season.
Vine is 8/1 to score first or last with Sky Bet and bet365 among other

Photo: Action Images

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