Meet the opposition | Queens Park Rangers

18th September
First team
Sinclair Armstrong

As Swansea City prepare to head to Loftus Road to take on Queens Park Rangers, we take a closer look at the R's.

What's their story?

As is perhaps indicated by their name, Rangers played home matches at as many as 20 grounds between their formation in 1886 and finally settling at Loftus Road in 1917.

Three years later, in 1920, they joined the Football League and they achieved their highest league finish in the 1975-76 season when they were confirmed as First Division runners-up. This earned them a place in the Uefa Cup the following year where they reached the quarter-finals; their best run in a European competition.

Other achievements include lifting the League Cup in 1967 and reaching the FA Cup final in 1982. They were most recently in the Premier League during the 2014-15 season.

How’s their form?

Ilias Chair

Rangers have yet to win on home soil this season, with their pair of victories coming at Cardiff and Middlesbrough.

The Londoners had led against Sunderland at Loftus Road on Saturday, only for a Jack Colback red card to stymie their early momentum and allow the Black Cats to fight back and claim a 3-1 win.

Who's the gaffer?

Gareth Ainsworth

Gareth Ainsworth. The 50-year-old was at one stage the longest-serving manager in the EFL having spent nearly 11 years in charge of Wycombe Wanderers from 2012 to 2023, before taking over as QPR boss in February 2023.

A winger in his playing days, Ainsworth played in the Premier League for Wimbledon in a long career that also included spells with Northwich Victoria, Preston, Cambridge, Lincoln, Port Vale, Walsall, Cardiff, QPR and Wycombe.

A keen musician, Ainsworth saved Wycombe from going out of the Football League in 2014 and helped them rebuild to win promotion to League One in 2018, before reaching the second tier in 2021.

They were relegated to League One at the end of that campaign, and suffered play-off final heartbreak the following season when they lost to Sunderland in the Wembley final.

Ainsworth had a tough start to life at Loftus Road following his appointment earlier this year, but will hope to make positive strides this season.

Who’s the captain?

Asmir Begovic

Asmir Begovic. The vastly-experienced Bosnian joined the R's during the summer following the expiry of his contract at Everton, and has made an immediate impression.

The 36-year-old was born in his homeland, but his family fled the Bosnian War to move to first Germany and then Canada, with Begovic winning youth caps during his time in North America.

He joined the youth ranks at Portsmouth, making 11 league appearances and having loan spells with La Louviere, Macclesfield, Bournemouth, Yeovil and Ipswich during his time with Pompey.

He joined Stoke in 2010 and went on to be a regular for the Potters, racking up over 150 Premier League appearances over five years before a two-year stint with Chelsea where he won the Premier League and FA Cup.

Four years with Bournemouth followed, including loan spells with Qarabag and AC Milan, before his switch to Everton in 2021.

He has won 63 caps for Bosnia and featured at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Who are the key men?


Steve Cook

Belgium-born Morocco international, Ilias Chair began his senior career with Lierse making his first appearance at the age of 17. Two years later, in 2017, he completed a successful trial at QPR and signed permanently in January.

He has since made nearly 200 appearances in QPR colours. He adds creativity and firepower, and contributed nine assists and five goals last season.

Sam Field is another important figure in the middle of the park for the west London club.

The West Brom product came through the ranks with the Baggies, and went on to make 45 first-team appearances, with his debut coming in a Premier League draw against Liverpool in 2016.

Field - who stands at 6ft 3in - spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Charlton, and then enjoyed a positive loan spell with QPR over the closing stages of the 2020-21 season.

A permanent move followed that summer and he has been an integral part of the squad since. He already has a century of Championship appearances to his name for the club.

Experienced defender Steve Cook joined on a free transfer during the summer after leaving Nottingham Forest.

The 32-year-old is best known for his decade at Bournemouth, where he helped the club rise through the leagues to reach and establish themselves in the Premier League.

He made 388 appearances in all competitions for the Cherries, having originally come through the ranks at Brighton as a trainee.

Cook had loan spells with Eastbourne and Mansfield prior to his time at Bournemouth.