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QPR and Norwich City Look to Rebound from Blowout Losses in Saturday EPL Clash

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Park Ji-Sung of QPR in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City at Loftus Road on August 18, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2012

Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City were on the wrong ends of the two most lopsided scorelines from the first weekend of English Premier League play.

On the first day of the new season, both clubs were trounced by their opponents, 5-0.

QPR fell at home to a rejuvenated Swansea City side while Norwich's road trip to Craven Cottage resulted in a loss to Fulham.

Now, in the second weekend of the season, luck would have it that the two clubs mired at the bottom of the table play each other on Saturday.

Saturday's match at Carrow Road will be the first chance for both clubs to prove naysayers wrong.

For the host, Norwich, it is the first time that new manager Chris Hughton will present his squad in front of the home fans.

Hughton put an emphasis on defense in the offseason by bringing in Michael Turner and Steven Whittaker. In the wake of Norwich's defeat, Hughton has done what any manager whose club gets beaten by five goals in their opener would do, and that is to bring in more defenders.

Former Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong was signed this week and Lazio left-back Javier Garrido should join the club on loan in the next few days.

Up front for the Canaries, new signing Robert Snodgrass and last season's hero Grant Holt were unable to produce on Saturday. Snodgrass and Holt will likely be the pairing Hughton calls upon for this match as well, but if there is still a zero on the scoreboard after 90 minutes, things could change.

As for QPR, they have also acquired an experienced defender this week in former Chelsea player Jose Bosingwa, yet another EPL veteran to join manager Mark Hughes at Loftus Road.

In their loss to Swansea, Hughes started five of his new signings. The hope for the club is that they all mesh well together within the next week or two.

There is no reason not to think that the Rangers will be motivated to come out strong after their blowout loss to Fulham.

One man who needs to be out of the starting lineup is Adel Taarabt, who continued his troubled EPL career with the club as he looked out of shape yet again last weekend.

Hughes does have a deeper squad than Hughton, so look for that to be an advantage on Saturday afternoon.

As for the game itself, predicting this match, as with any EPL match, is difficult.

One thing is for sure about the QPR-Norwich showdown, if you can even call it a showdown, is that it will feature two clubs already desperate for points and trying not to be stuck in the relegation race early on in the season.

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