QPR Coventry

Meet the opposition | Queens Park Rangers

24th January 2022
First team

As Swansea City prepare to face Queens Park Rangers at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, we take a closer look at the R’s.

What’s their story?

After relegation from the Premier League in 2015, QPR endured a mixed period back in the second tier but following the appointment of Mark Warburton as manager the R’s have been upwardly mobile.

They finished 9th in the Championship last term following an impressive second half of the campaign and the West London side have firmly caught the eye this season as they sit fourth.

The R’s were runners-up in the First Division in 1976 and reached the FA Cup final in 1982. They have won major honours, however, winning the League Cup in 1967.

How’s their form?

Excellent. QPR have won seven out of their last nine in the league, as well as progressing to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Four straight league wins have propelled Rangers up to fourth in the table at the time of writing, just two points behind second-placed Blackburn.

Who’s the boss?

Mark Warburton

Mark Warburton. The former currency trader worked for the likes of Bank of America, IBJ, AIG, the Royal Bank of Scotland before electing to pursue his passion for football and coaching.

He got his first big break with Watford, becoming academy manager, and not long after he joined Brentford in February 2011 and went on to become first-team boss at Griffin Park.

He led the Bees to the Championship before departing and going on to have spells with Glasgow Rangers, Nottingham Forest and now QPR.

Who’s the captain?

Stefan Johansen. The defender was named as QPR’s new club captain ahead of the start of the 2021-22 season.

The 30-year-old former Norway skipper took on the mantle after completing a permanent return to W12 following an impressive loan spell last term.

Johansen started his career in his native Norway before his first taste of British football came with a move to Celtic in 2014. He later moved to Fulham where he spent five years – including loan spells with West Brom and QPR.

Who are the key men?

Chris Willock QPR

Midfielder Ilias Chair has been a solid performer for Rangers this season, scoring six goals. However, the Morocco international is unavailable due to his involvement at the African Cup of Nations tournament.

Andre Gray has netted five goals in 19 appearances for the R’s this term after his arrival from Watford back in the summer. The former Burnley frontman is a proven striker at this level and scored the opening goal in QPR’s 2-1 win at Coventry last weekend.

Another player enjoying a fine season for the Hoops is midfielder Chris Willock. The former Arsenal youth product has found a permanent home at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium following his move in 2020 and has scored four goals in his last 10 outings.