Wigan Athletic vs QPR, Championship Preview

2 min

Queens Park Rangers will have the notable addition of Massimo Luongo for the first time in six games when they travel to face Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

The Australian international returned from Asian Cup duty after his country were eliminated by the United Arab Emirates in the quarter-finals, declaring he is ‘raring to go and can’t wait to get firing again’, whilst boss Steve McClaren declared it ‘a massive boost’ for his side.  

Meanwhile, Tomer Hemed may not be far away from returning to the matchday squad either, recovering from a hernia operation after his injury at the start of December.

It has been an incredibly busy week for The R’s as the conclusion of the January transfer window took precedence with four players leaving on loan in the final stages.

Aramide Oteh has been sent to League One side Walsall for the remainder of the season, with Ilias Chair moving to League Two outfit Stevenage on similar terms.

These two losses may open the door further for the likes of Matt Smith, openly frustrated about lack of first-team minutes, to play a bigger part in the coming months.

Sean Goss and Alex Baptiste have also left on loan to St Johnstone and Luton Town respectively, completing the transfer dealings in W12.

Three players are also on the shortlist for the sixth London Football Awards –  Luke Freeman in contention for EFL Player of the Year, Joe Lumley for Goalkeeper of the Year and Ebere Eze competing for Young Player of the Year.

But with regard to action on the pitch, QPR come off the back of a scrappy 1-1 draw against Portsmouth in the FA Cup, prompting a replay at Loftus Road on Tuesday night.

Steve McClaren was happy with the fighting spirit of the team, deeming it a ‘tough match’ and stating, ‘the replay won’t be easy’.

The club were also charged this week for failing to control their players after a 22-man brawl in the second half of the Fratton Park encounter and have until 6pm on February 1st to respond.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s game, Wigan have only won one of their last five league matches and sit in 20th place, five points off the drop but may fancy their chances against a QPR side who have lost their past two league games.

Prediction: 1-1

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