QPR v Newcastle preview
Former Newcastle man Joey Barton's debut is expected to provide added spice to the Magpies' trip to QPR on Monday evening.
By Rachel Griffiths - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsRachG
Last Updated: 12/09/11 7:13pm
Former Newcastle man Joey Barton's debut is expected to provide added spice to the Magpies' Premier League trip to QPR on Monday evening.
The midfielder arrived at Loftus Road two weeks ago after being made available for a free transfer by Newcastle following his criticism of the club's recruitment policy via his Twitter account.
Rangers boss Neil Warnock will be hoping Barton's availability can boost his team's slow start to the Premier League season, with the promoted side having suffered two defeats from their opening three encounters.
The Hoops' recent home form has been particularly dour, leaving Warnock's men without a win in their last five matches at Loftus Road in all competitions, while they have lost their last three.
In sharp contrast, Newcastle have enjoyed their best start to a campaign since the 1995/96 season, when they finished second in the top flight.
Alan Pardew's men are currently unbeaten this term having taken seven points from their opening three games to leave them sixth in the standings, while a win on Monday evening could lift them into third or fourth.
It is not all doom and gloom for QPR, however, with an air of excitement surrounding the club following the recent takeover by Malaysian mogul Tony Fernandes.
Warnock was also able to bring in a clutch of quality signings this summer, with Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand and Luke Young all in contention to make their debuts alongside Barton.
The Magpies have not faced QPR since May 2010, when Peter Lovenkrands was on target to seal a 1-0 victory in West London.
The head-to-head history between the sides means Pardew's men are likely to be feeling confident going into Monday's encounter, with Newcastle unbeaten in their last four meetings with the Hoops, having won three.
Warnock remains without injured new signing Kieron Dyer for the home clash after he picked up a foot injury in Rangers' Premier League opener.
Jamie Mackie will also be absent for the hosts as he continues his recovery from a broken leg, while Bradley Orr is still a doubt with a groin problem.
Newcastle are without several players for the trip to Loftus Road, including new signing Mehdi Abeid, who is out with a knee problem.
Hatem Ben Arfa is sidelined with an ankle injury while Mike Williamson is recovering from a broken arm.
Possible starting XIs:
QPR: Kenny, Perone, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Derry, Smith, Barton, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Campbell.
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, R Taylor, Gutierrez, Tiote, Cabaye, Obertan, Best, Lovenkrands.