How QPR are expected to start against Sunderland - with several injury concerns for Michael Beale's side

Sunderland will host QPR in the Championship this weekend – but what can they expect from The R’s?

Rangers appointed former Liverpool coach and Aston Villa assistant Michael Beale as their new boss this summer, and it’s been a mixed start for the 41-year-old.

QPR lost their opening match of the season 1-0 at Blackburn, before beating Middlesbrough 3-2 last weekend.

They were then knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Charlton on penalties and have several injury concerns, with midfielders George Thomas, Luke Amos and Chris Willock, as well as defenders Kenneth Paal and Jake Clarke-Salter, all doubts for the trip to Wearside.

QPR head coach Michael Beale. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Advertisement

Hide Ad

To find out more, we caught up with Clive Whittingham from QPR website LoftforWords on the latest episode of The Roar Podcast:

What has QPR’s start to the season been like?

CW: “It’s been a difficult start, you have to kind of set it in context with the economic situation that the club is in and the fact they had a decent tilt at promotion last year and spent the money that we got for Eberechi Eze.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“We had some quite high earners at the club and we pushed the boat out a bit. For a while it looked like we would at least make the play-offs but I think we have only won five times since the start of February.

“They started really well at Blackburn and Blackburn got a brilliant goal but then they sort of just went to pieces.

“Against Middlesbrough they absolutely smashed them up for half an hour but then conceded a goal from a corner and fell apart again, in the end we won the game but I thought we were going to lose it 4-3 having been 3-0 up!

“There is not a lot of strength in depth in the squad which we saw at Charlton.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad

What is the early verdict on Michael Beale?

CW: “Obviously it’s his first managerial job. Mark Warburton was reasonably popular at QPR and had done three years which is very un-QPR like, we usually burn through managers a lot quicker than that.

“He seems very intense, he’s obviously driven and has got very high ambitions for himself and high standards. I think he sees himself being a Premier League manager and this is the start of that.

“He’s switched the system. We played with a back three last year and we play with a four now.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“It’s pretty much 4-3-3 and very sort of compact and narrow down the middle of the pitch, not a great deal of width at this point.”

Who are the key players to watch out for?

CW: “Ilias Chair is very, very good. Him and Chris Willock are the best two players at the club.

“Chair is driven and knows where he wants to go in his career but I think he lets it get to him when things aren’t going so well.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Lyndon Dykes, it’s a big season for him. This is his third season in the Championship and he’s shown flashes, he gets into runs of form where he just looks unstoppable.

“He goes on runs of sort of seven goals in 10 games but then goes 20 games without a goal.

What’s your predicted line-up?

CW: “(4-3-3) Dieng; Kakay, Dickie, Dunne, Hamalainen; Johansen, Field, Dozzell; Chair, Dykes, Roberts.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad