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Match Preview: QPR vs Wigan Athletic

You would be forgiven for thinking that after two fantastic back to back home wins, Wigan could slightly take their foot of the accelerator this weekend in their away fixture. How wrong we would be to think that, this weekend's game could be one of the deciding factors in who stays up come May 19th.

Paul Gilham

If you asked me which team I would have said from day one this year was going to to go down, I would have said QPR. I always felt that they were doing to much too fast its surprising how all these rich owners think money changes everything.

QPR though tried to overhaul their squad in one summer. It now leaves them with a rather large squad, filled with players who don't really care how they perform as they have a nice big pay cheque either way. Its a problem that Harry Rednapp then tried to change in January by buying more players.

So far that has worked out indifferently for the London side, there most risky and biggest summer signing being the huge figure that is Christopher Samba. The 6ft4 defender was an inspirational figure over the past few season at Blackburn. But upon their relegation he jumped off to Russia. Now he is back and with a reported wage of £150,000 a week he hasn't come cheap.

Initial it looked like Samba could be the player QPR were looking for. Some good solid performances helped to solidify a back line which at times has just let teams walk through it. But two back to back defeats, with errors coming from their new talisman QPR are hitting a rocky path.

That isn't to say they haven't been playing well. It would be foolish to underestimate a side which have only lost four of their games since the turn of the year. But in the same period they have only managed to three. That in some ways shows QPR's problem, they just can't win games.

If you have watched them since Harry took over, they have been a different side. Much more attacking and looking to hit teams where it hurts, yet none is scoring for the London club. They maybe able to find the space and create the chances, but none sticks them in the back of the net.

They currently have the second lowest goal tally in the league of 28 with Norwich City. But unlike Norwich who Wigan faced last weekend, QPR have some players who when they turn it on can hurt any side in this great footballing league.

If you look at the four attacking players that Harry Rednapp fielded against Fulham on Monday night, Loic Remy, Adele Taarabt, Andreas Townsend and Bobby Zamora. They are players who are all very talented and all have goals in them.

Yet for the first 45 minutes against Fulham none of them seemed to really want to do anything. It was only in the second half that QPR jumped into life and the talents of Taarabt managed to bring QPR into it. That shows you one key area we will have to work hard at, defending in our midfield.

To face QPR Roberto Martinez has to face facts and drop Jordi Gomez. The midfielder maybe great at playing attacking football, but against QPR away from home when they will be up for it. We need to have a midfield of the two James's with Shaun Maloney dropping deep to add cover.

It wouldn't surprise me if Martinez then brought Callum onto the bench and went with two up top of Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo. Let the midfielder handle the QPR threat and stick our two hard working strikers up front to keep Samba and Clint Hill busy.

Wigan need to win this one, there are no two ways about it. A win and we hit 33 three points and would go ten clear of QPR with seven games to go. Not to mention that added confidence four wins on the bounce would give the team.