Wednesday 13th December 2023
Queens Park Rangers FC
Plymouth Argyle FC
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Full Time - 101
MATRADE Loftus Road
Match Details
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The Game
Queens Park Rangers v Argyle. MATRADE Loftus Road. Wednesday, 13 November. 7.45pm. Sky Bet Championship.

The Opposition
QPR are 22nd in the Championship, with 20 points from 19 games. Rangers won just two of their first 17 games of the season, beating Cardiff City and Middlesbrough, both away from home. They sacked Gareth Ainsworth because of their poor form, and have picked up considerably since the appointment of Martin Cifuentes. 

The Gaffer
Marti cifuentes

Marti Cifuentes took over as QPR manager at the end of October, following the sacking of Gareth Ainsworth, and in his first six games in charge, has lost just one, winning the last three. 

The 41-year-old Catalonian managed several lower league teams in his native Spain before managing Sandefjord in Norway, AaB in Denmark and Hammarby in Sweden, who were playing in the UEFA Conference League, when he switched Scandinavia for West London. 

The Squad
Ilias Chair has shone for QPR this season, typically playing either from the left flank or just behind the front line. Born in Belgium, he has played 12 times for the team of his father's birth, Morocco. He has two goals and four assists this season, and has played more than 200 games for the R's. 

Ilias Chair

Kenneth Paal has been an ever-present on the left-hand side of QPR's defence. The 26-year-old, formerly of PSV and Zwolle in his native Netherlands, has made one appearance from Suriname. He signed for Rangers in the summer of 2022. He has three goals this season, and is QPR's joint leading goalscorer. 

Between the posts for Rangers is Asmir Begovic (below). Now 36, Begovic is a vastly experienced player, having represented, most notably, Stoke City, Chelsea and Bournemouth. He has played 63 times for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He left Everton in 2023, where he had spent two seasons as backup goalkeeper, to sign for QPR. 

Asmir Begovic

 

Fancy a Stat?
Queens Park Rangers are the only team Argyle have ever played that begin with the letter Q. 

The History
Argyle have played QPR 84 times. The Greens have won 34 of those encounters, 18 have been draws, and Rangers have won the other 32. 

The sides last met in league action in 2009/10. At Home Park, the sides drew 1-1, then later in the season QPR prevailed 2-0 in Shepherd's Bush. 

More recently, the teams met in the opening game of the 2020/21 season, with Argyle winning 3-2 in the Carabao Cup. 

A Strip for the Trip
Argyle will be wearing their green home kit for this game. 

Tickets
Tickets will NOT be available on the evening of the game. 

For a detailed update on collections and more, click here

Argyle TV
Commentary will be provided from MATRADE Loftus Road by Charlie Price and former Argyle captain Karl Duguid.

Argyle TV’s pre-match show, hosted by Erin Black and Brian McGlinchey, will begin at 6.45pm, and will be available to watch for free on YouTube.

The match is available for domestic and international supporters to stream on Argyle TV. Buy a match pass to watch the game, here.

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Jordan Houghton at QPR

Queens Park Rangers 0

Argyle 0

A 0-0 draw on a cold December night in the Capital could easily be considered as a forgettable point in Pilgrim history.

In reality, however, it was an Argyle performance packed with the character, discipline and organisation that sums up the qualities required in a gruelling Championship campaign.

Argyle blitzed QPR for the opening 25 minutes and could have scored at least a couple but the evening changed when Dan Scarr was dismissed for the Pilgrims, prompting more than an hour of proud professionalism to earn a battling point.

Argyle boss Steven Schumacher made eight changes from the weekend defeat at Leicester, Conor Hazard, Bali Mumba, Jordan Houghton, Scarr, Ryan Hardie, Brendan Galloway, Luke Cundle and Kaine Kesler-Hayden all coming back into the side.

The Greens took less than a minute to conjure their first opening, Finn Azaz applying a deft touch to send Morgan Whittaker racing clear but his eventual shot was aimed direct at a relieved Asmir Begovic.

A yellow card for Sam Field moments later suggested the Rangers’ midfielder was now in a mode of extreme caution. The disciplinary tables would soon turn against Argyle, but not before Hardie had shot wide after a lapse in the home defence.

The Pilgrims continued to dominate the early exchanges, Osman Kakay clearing under severe pressure from Mumba and then a sweet strike from Hardie forcing the best out of Begovic.

QPR had little answer to the Green siege, as another sweeping move sliced through the home defence but the finish from Hardie was lofted over the bar. Whittaker dragged a shot wide before an Azaz curler drifted inches beyond the far post.

Rangers finally found some attacking impetus through the craft of Ilias Chair but he was thwarted by a retreating Kesler-Hayden. Moments later, the complexion of the whole evening changed, as Scarr was shown a straight red for a foul on Chair.

Schumacher immediately responded by introducing Julio Pleguezuelo to fill the defensive hole, Azaz making way. QPR understandably began to exert some control on territory but, apart from a decent low save by Hazard, the Greens calmly navigated their way to the interval.

Three half-time substitutions from the R’s reflected the change in mindset but Argyle stood firm in response, Lewis Gibson finding two excellent challenges to thwart the hosts. Mickel Miller and Adam Randell were sent on to freshen up the troops in place of Mumba and Whittaker.

Argyle instantly produced an incisive move involving Cundle and Hardie, with the eventual cross just too strong for a diving Kesler-Hayden. A super low cross from Miller almost picked out Hardie, as the Greens grew in belief.

QPR responded with a spell of sustained possession, without creating a real chance to test Hazard, and that was a massive feather in the cap to the likes of Gibson, Pleguezuelo, Miller and Kesler-Hayden, along with the screens in front and behind, keeping a shape to frustrate the numerically advantaged hosts.

The defensive unity was exemplified by a quickfire double save from Hazard, followed by a combination of Gibson and Pleguezuelo clearing a cross from the right.

The final 12 minutes saw Hardie and Kesler-Hayden replaced by Joe Edwards and Mustapha Bundu, as QPR continued to probe without much luck, one scuttling effort from Jimmy Dunne comfortably fielded by the assured Hazard.

The Pilgrim plaudits swiftly switched to Galloway for an extraordinary goal-saving block to deny the lively Chris Willock, quickly followed by more superb defensive work from Gibson.

The tone was set for eight minutes of stoppage time. Hazard found a fine save to thwart Lyndon Dykes but the home pressure was more about hope than expectation, as Argyle secured their brave point.

QPR: 1 Asmir Begovic (capt), 2 Osman Kakay (19 Elijan Dixon-Bonner H-T), 3 Jimmy Dunne, 5 Steve Cook, 7 Chris Willock (30 Sinclair Armstong 90), 8 Sam Field (20 Reggie Cannon H-T), 9 Lyndon Dykes, 10 Ilias Chair, 17 Andre Dozzell, 22 Kenneth Paal (21 Ziyad Larkeche H-T) (18 Taylor Richards 72), 23 Charlie Kelman.  Substitutes: 13 Jordan Archer (gk), 6 Jake Clarke-Salter, 11 Paul Smyth, 29 Aaron Drewe.

Booked: Field 2, Paul 31

Argyle: 21 Conor Hazard; 2 Bali Mumba (14 Mickel Miller 57), 4 Jordan Houghton (capt), 6 Dan Scarr, 9 Ryan Hardie (15 Mustapha Bundu 78), 10 Morgan Whittaker (20 Adam Randell 57), 17 Lewis Gibson, 18 Finn Azaz (5 Julio Pleguezuelo 28), 22 Brendan Galloway, 28 Luke Cundle, 29 Kaine Kesler-Hayden (8 Joe Edwards 78). Substitutes (not used): 23 Callum Burton (gk), 7 Matt Butcher, 11 Callum Wright, 19 Tyreik Wright, 23 Ben Waine.

Booked: Cundle 86, Butcher 90+4, Hazard 90+5

Sent Off: Scarr 25

Referee: Tony Harrington

Attendance: