On the back of a great point at Bristol becomes a good opportunity in my eyes for Forest to flex our promotion muscles with the midweek trip to QPR. As with any Mark Warburton side, and as many of us know, you’d expect that Forest will be allowed to get the ball down and play at Loftus Road but equally; be on their mettle to counter a bright and busy footballing side.
Warburton was perhaps the right man at the wrong time for Forest where we just didn’t have enough quality to play the way that he wanted to. His stubbornness to continue with his footballing beliefs didn’t buy him any time results wise and sadly the rot that sat in from November 2017 couldn’t continue into the New Year. If only he’d gotten his way to sign John McGinn…
For the record, I think we owe a fair bit to Warburton in keeping us up the previous season when we were looking pretty much doomed.
As for our opponents on Wednesday night, I really like Eze up top for QPR and think he has the potential to be the next Championship starlet. He’ll offer a very different threat to what our centre halves have been up against in recent weeks and with Nakhi Wells up alongside him, Forest will have to be wary of their movements and nimble speed.
With Ryan Yates missing, I fully expect Alfa Semedo to replace him; who will give us good energy, physicality and offer a bit more with the ball than the suspended Yates. Ryan must be kicking himself that he’ll have to stand aside, relinquishing his spot to the next man. With Samba Sow retuning to fitness, it will be a harsh lesson for Yates to learn but he simply can’t make tackles like he did on Saturday. The good news is that I’m sure the lad will be working the others hard to let them know he’ll want his shirt back.
With the returns of Jenkinson, Semedo and Benalouane competition for places is just what the squad needs moving into Christmas. It’s looking rosey with Ribeiro and Sow hopefully not too far away either.
I’m going with a 1-0 win for Forest. Lolley with the winner.
I caught up with QPR fan Gobi Ranganathan for his thoughts on Wednesday’s game.
QPR’s season seems to be going pretty well so far. Mark Warburton seems to be doing his stuff once more, implementing a brand of football that is bringing relative success. How is your season shaping up following the second international break?
Results over the recent weeks haven’t been great but we’ve come across stronger and more established teams than us. The new signings are generally working well and there’s a noticeable feel of unity within the team regardless of the results so far.
We do trouble teams, particularly in the first half, but don’t capitalise on the possession and chances. A few errors here and there are proving to be costly and was the case again at Fulham following the international break.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of this QPR outfit? Which individual players do Forest fans need to be looking out for in the QPR side?
The attacking play is great to watch and we really have been a threat against almost everyone we’ve played so far. The problem is with the amount of goals we are conceding.
Mistakes around the pitch (not just defensive mistakes) have led to us letting in soft goals which have proved costly, particularly when played very well. But if you don’t take your chances, you’re under even more pressure to keep a clean sheet – something we’ve not managed yet this season. And that was the case in our last match against rivals Fulham.
The main man to watch is Eberechi Eze – very skilful and when he’s on song, can cause teams all sorts of trouble. We also have an unsung hero in Ryan Manning who’s had a great season so far at Left Back.
Forest picked up a decent point away at Bristol City and a feature of our set up has been the ability to nullify teams away from home, picking up a number of clean sheets. What do you make of Forest this season and which players will you be most wary of?
Forest are always difficult to play. Even when they’re not doing so well, we tend to struggle to break them down. This season, I’ve not really looked too closely at Forest’s results but as expected they’re right up there in the mix.
I’d have to say I’ve always found Grabban to be a decent striker and no doubt he’ll be the one that I hope doesn’t get too many chances or we could be punished.
What’s your most memorable game against Forest?
I’ve got a couple which hopefully you’ll allow me to have as most of the results for the R’s over the years haven’t been that great!!
My favourite was the 5-2 win a few years ago, but to actually see us get a win at the City Ground last year for the first time ever was memorable. Not sure I’ll ever see that again!!
Predictions for Wednesday with scorers?
It should be another decent game (as they generally are) between the two teams . Both teams like to play good football and so I’d expect there to be plenty of chances. Warburton facing one of his old teams could add a bit of spice to the game.
As for the result, my heart says 3-2 to the R’s. But my head says 2-2.
I think Nakhi Wells and Jordan Hugill will be the scorers for us and a Grabban brace for Forest.
I’ll obviously be hoping for a home win, but don’t expect that to come easily.
Many thanks to Gobi for this thoughts, they are very much appreciated at Munich and Madrid!