QPR – Swansea 18.08.2012
Heavily reinforced QPR start the new Premier League campaign by playing host to Swansea, a team that have been severely weakened this summer.
Both sides managed to survive their first campaign after gaining promotion from the Championship, but I have a feeling one of them will go down this term.
New Queens Park Rangers owners led by Tony Fernandes have shown a signal of intent immediately after completing club takeover and it was their late signings last summer that kept the team in the Premiership. Rather than resting on their laurels, they have now done brilliantly to further reinforce the squad and it is no wonder QPR are no longer one of the main candidates for the drop. Rangers not only kept all their key players at the club, but also signed Ryan Nelsen, Rob Green, Andy Johnson, Fabio, Park Ji-Sung, David Hoilett and Jose Bosingwa, and if they manage to get rid of Joey Barton, they will have a great team capable of fighting for a top 10 finish. With all this in mind and taking into account that they have won their last five Premier League games at Loftus Road, QPR look a great bet here. Joey Barton starts a 12-match suspension, while Jamie Mackie and Armand Traore are sidelined through injury.
Match: QPR – Swansea 16.00h
League: England PL
Our prediction: Home Win Odds: 1.95
It would have been hard for Swansea to repeat their showings from last season even if Brendan Rodgers had stayed at the helm, but it will be even harder now that the talented manager has left for Liverpool. To make matters worse, Rodgers took impressive Joe Allen with him, while Gylfi Sigurdsson also left, so it is no wonder nobody believes Swansea have what it takes to improve on their 11-th place finish from last season. New boss Michael Laudrup has signed Jonathan De Guzman, Kyle Bartley, Michu and Chico, but these players have yet to prove they can be of help at this level. Seeing that Swansea have been pretty poor on the travels and that QPR are one of the best home sides in the division, home win looks on the cards.