While this may not sound the most glamorous clash on paper, there is plenty of pressure on both of these sides who only happened to gain promotion to the top flight twelve months ago. Both clubs were hit by heavy 5-0 losses last weekend and following such defeats, it now remains to be seen who will respond in the more positive fashion.
After Norwich lost manager Paul Lambert during the summer, there were always going to be question marks on how his replacement was going to fare. While Chris Hughton is regarded as one of the “nice guys” of football and has experienced success with his previous two clubs, Lambert’s act was always going to be difficult to follow and following last week’s thrashing, it’s going to get even tougher for the former Birmingham boss. Norwich were well and truly beaten at the hands of Fulham last week, despite arriving at Craven Cottage full of confidence. Nevertheless, Hughton will be hoping that the result was simply a blip and he can erase the score line from the memory of supporters as he prepares to host the R’s this time around.
While some people were surprised at the manner in which Norwich lost last week, there was amazement etched on the faces of most QPR fans following their 5-0 defeat to Swansea. Despite being tipped as massive favourites for the clash following a summer of big investment, Mark Hughes’ side put in a lacklustre performance and were well and truly humbled by their Welsh opponents. Following on from that defeat, Hughes has attempted to bring in defensive reinforcements, although it remains to be seen if deals will be concluded prior to this clash. Still, with QPR bringing in so many high-profile players through the summer, the alarm bells shouldn’t be ringing just yet and supporters will simply be hoping that the team needs a couple of games to gel.
With Norwich completing the signings of Sebastian Bassong and Javier Garrido this week, the Canaries are widely tipped to hand debuts to the duo. However, Chris Hughton does have some problems, with Elliott Bennett set to miss out due to a knee complaint. It’s much quieter for the visitors on the other hand, although Mark Hughes is expected to ring the changes after the club’s heavy opening day loss. Hughes is almost certain to hand a debut to Jose Bosingwa, after the full back joined the club on a free transfer earlier in the week.
Following the events last week, this is certainly a very difficult game to predict. Even though Norwich hold the home advantage, we just think that QPR’s squad is far superior and will therefore tip an entertaining 3-2 win for Mark Hughes’ side.