10 Things to Look out for at Loftus Road

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 4, 2011

10 Things to Look out for at Loftus Road

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    This weekend, Manchester City travel to Loftus Road. The team lying in wait, Queens Park Rangers, will be gearing up for another upset on their home soil.

    Two weeks ago, while Manchester City were casually disposing of their bitter rivals Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers were staging an upset of their own.

    Despite coming under severe pressure from a nine-man side, QPR came away with all three points against London rivals Chelsea. They will fancy themselves this weekend against current league leaders City.

    Here are 10 things to look out for at Loftus Road this weekend!

    Enjoy the show!

Goal Scoring Will Continue

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    First things first: This match will not end up 0-0. Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers aren't fans of goalless draws.

    Expect an entertaining game where the goals can flow, although expect the majority of the goals to come from one side.

    City have been finding the net at will this season, and QPR's defence simply isn't up to stopping their star-studded attack.

Shaun Wright-Phillips Faces Former Team

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    This weekend will see Shaun Wright-Phillips face up against his old team and manager for the first time since joining Queens Park Rangers this summer.

    There will be no ill feelings, as SWP was liked by fans, players and management, but he may feel like he has a point to prove.

    It's difficult to believe Wright-Phillips has 36 caps for the England senior squad, as he was shunned out of City due to Adam Johnson's presence.

    The right-winger will have felt he was good enough to compete in the City squad and could well be playing with fire in his belly on Saturday.

    Joey Barton is another QPR player who once donned the light blue stripe of the Citizens.

If David Silva Plays, Will He Labour Along?

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    David Silva, Manchester City's best player this season and last, was substituted late on during the Blues' 3-0 win at Villarreal mid-week.

    Even if he's not fully fit, he will play despite numerous options in midfield for Cityhe is that good. But will he show signs of the back pain which forced him to withdraw, or continue to sparkle as he has done all season?

    It will be interesting to see how he performs.

If David Silva Doesn't Play, Will Samir Nasri Shine?

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    Samir Nasri hasn't impressed a lot since joining Manchester City. He has in no way flopped, but the best is definitely yet to come. 

    The primary reason the Frenchman is yet to display his full array of capabilities is due to the prominence of David Silva, an issue touched on in this article.

    If David Silva does miss the game, will we finally see the best of Samir Nasri?

Committed Display from QPR

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    One thing to expect this weekend at Loftus Road is an incredibly defiant and committed effort from Queens Park Rangers to produce an upset.

    If we have learnt anything from their Chelsea upset and last-minute equaliser against Aston Villa, it's that Neil Warnock's men never give up.

    While some have expected a beating from Manchester City this season and have duly laid down and taken it, that's not what you'll see from the Rs.

Life Without Vincent Kompany

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    The ever-present Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany, will have to watch this one from the stands as he serves out a suspension.

    A red card against Wolves last weekend saw the Belgian defender hit the baths early, awarding Joleon Lescott a new central partner this weekend.

    It remains to be seen if Roberto Mancini will pick Kolo Toure or Stefan Savic, but if the starting 11 from the Villarreal match is anything to go by, Savic will get the nod.

    It's a good opportunity for the young Montenegrin to impress once again. 

Champions League Hangover?

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    Before Wednesday night's game at El Madrigal, Manchester City had been unable to transfer their dominant domestic form into the European competition.

    The game at Villarreal put an end to that statement, as a mix-and-match team pummelled the Yellow Submarine 3-0.

    Now that Manchester City have finally exerted their dominance in a European game, could we see a domestic hangover?

    If they show even a slight drop in performance, QPR will be there to try to capitalise.

Hostile Atmosphere

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    Loftus Road is a small stadium that only holds around 17,000 fans.

    The pitch is tiny, the fans are right on top of you and it's loud, noisy and hostile.

    In short, it's a tough place to go and playsomething echoed by many players.

    Manchester City are used to playing in their luxurious Etihad Stadium, and while the Citizens will be no stranger to smaller grounds, it'll be interesting to see if it affects them.

City's Left Back Conundrum

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    Who will Manchester City start at left-back?

    Right now, it seems like Gael Clichy and Aleksander Kolarov have taken out a time share on the spot and share it equally.

    Last month, the Serbian played one more game than the Frenchman, but Clichy is generally preferred in the bigger games.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this battle develops.

Roberto Mancini's Head!

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    Lastly, look out for bruising or swelling on Roberto Mancini's head.

    The Italian tactician banged it on the roof of the Villarreal dugouts on Wednesday night.

    He assured fans he'd be fit and ready for Saturday, although he was sporting an ice pack for the second half!


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