Queens Park Rangers
QPR were expected to face a hard battle against relegation last season – after making heavy weather of their Premier League promotion charge in 2013/14 – and so it proved, with QPR failing to escape the drop for the second time in three seasons.
Summer spending had been somewhat less frivolous as the club look to steer clear of financial complications, but Harry Redknapp was still able to bring in the likes of Jordon Mutch, Leroy Fer and Sandro – thanks in part to the £10.5m sale of Loïc Rémy to Chelsea putting some money back in the coffers.
Online bookmakers rate QPR as being among the teams battling to acheive promotion again this season and as such, fans of the club would be confident of their promotion bets coming in at the end of the upcoming Championship season. Automatic promotion will surely be the main aim for the club but, should they have to rely on the Championship playoffs to acheive their goal as they did in 2013/14, no one at QPR will mind as long as they can win at Wembley again.
After taking charge for the latter part of last season, Chris Ramsey has been tasked with guiding the club back in to the Premier League at the first time of asking. He has wasted little time in starting to assemble his squad following a mass exodus – with signings such as Sebastien Polter for £1m from FSV Mainz, Tjaronn Chery for £2.5m fro Groningen, ex-Arsenal forward Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and the return of former player Jamie Mackie.
QPR Summer Transfers
Players In (Club From):
Sebastien Polter (FSV Mainz)
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Bristol City)
Ben Gladwin (Swindon Town)
Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town)
Jamie Mackie (Nottingham Forest)
Joseph N’Guessan (Stevenage)
Axel Prohouly (Monaco)
Players Out (Club To):
Adel Taarabt (Benfica)
Jordan Gibbons (Yeovil)
Max Ehmer (Gillingham)
Despite the respite on the wage bill, It’s hoped that the loss of experience to the QPR side with the departing of a number of Premier League veterans will not impact on their promotion charge. However, a number of established Championship signings have arrived and will be confident of doing well in a division that they know like the backs of their hands.
The Hoops FA Cup challenge was short lived last year – as they were dumped out in the Third Round following a 3-0 loss to League One side Sheffield United. Meanwhile, League Two’s Burton Albion ended their League Cup run after just one game as well, dishing out a 1-0 defeat in the Second Round. Sometimes a good cup run can breathe confidence into the squad, but regaining Premier League status will be the main priority for QPR this season.
QPR Top Scorers In 2014/15 (All Comps)
Charlie Austin – 18
Leroy Fer – 6
Own Goals – 3
Bobby Zamora – 3
Matt Phillips – 3
Eduardo Vargas – 3
Niko Kranjcar – 2
Joey Barton – 1
A glance at the stats above reveals that QPR have done well to hang on to Charlie Austin’s goal-scoring prowess. The 26-year-old certainly knows where the net is and having proven himself in the top-flight, he’ll be hoping to fire QPR to the top of the table and help his side earn promotion back to the big time.