Newcastle vs Queens Park Rangers Preview: Can the Mags repeat history?

Newcastle vs Queens Park Rangers Preview: Can the Mags repeat history?

Another midweek fixture against QPR following FA Cup loss asks a lot of questions, but can Newcastle answer them?

Katie Mishner

Newcastle United star Jonjo Shelvey has already come out to say that the Magpies need to draw a line under their FA Cup defeat. Now is the perfect time to put this into action as the Toon Army are hosting QPR in the Championship where they look to keep the pressure on top place Brighton Hove and Albion.

On the surface, Newcastle are the favourites going into the game. From six of their last home games against the R's they have won five, and eight out of eleven of all. In addition, they are the top goal scorers of the league, a heavy dose of those coming from this fixture away.

September's thrashing 

The two teams have already met during this campaign in the Championship and it was another weekday fixture. Newcastle came way out on top with a coherent display that saw them knock six goals into the net of the home team, sharing the glory between all positions - strikers, midfielders and defenders.

In that match the scoring was shared out, owing to the smooth, quick passing of varying distances around the field - leaving QPR unable to muster any chances on the break. As always, Shelvey was at the heart of the feat, including a stunning strike from outside the box which curled into the top corner.

However, the thrashing came early into the season when Newcastle looked invincible. Expecting a repeat would be unrealistic since oppositions seem to have found how to contain the Black and White army while the West London outfit have seemingly found more stability in replacement manager Ian Holloway.

Strengthened squads

Rafa Benitez fielded a weakened squad against Oxford United, making nine changes in total. It is expected that the Spaniard will bring back the regulars in order to play in full strength.

While Dwight Gayle is still expected to miss this game due to a hamstring injury, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Daryl Murphy are both in line to start the match. Other members of the squad such as ​Matt Ritchie, who has recently been in fine scoring form is also likely to be in the starting line up.

Shelvey was rested on the bench for the game against Oxford but will be instrumental to the play making of this game, if so Benitez's decision at the weekend will have been fruitful.

The January window for the Hoops saw them bring in some new talent, while losing some, and new signings Sean Goss and Luke Freeman are eligible to play.

Current form

QPR are close to levelling a positive turn in form that they have not seen since 2013. They currently have won two consecutive away games and look to make it three. However, in their latest two games they have failed to take away three points - including a narrow loss to Burton Albion.

The Toon, on the other hand, won their last league and home game emphatically with a 4-0 deconstruction of RotherhamThat was the fourth time at home that they had scored four goals in a single game. 

However, Newcastle have slipped up at home several times in the season conceding narrow losses to teams lower in the table.