Meet the opposition | Queens Park Rangers

31st March
First team
QPR away Ben Cabango

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

What's their story?

Founded in 1886, the R's played at 20 different grounds before settling down at Loftus Road in 1917. 

They joined the Football League three years later in 1920, and their highest-ever league position coming in the 1975-76 season when Dave Sexton led the club to the runners-up position in Division One as they narrowly missed out on the title by one point. 

They went on to reach the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup the following season, losing out to AEK Athens on penalties.

They won their only major honour courtesy of a League Cup triumph in 1967 when they beat top-flight West Bromwich Albion whilst playing in the Third Division.

Rangers were in the Premier League at its formation in 1992, and their most recent top-flight campaign came during the 2014-15 season.


How's their form?

QPR away Josh Tymon

Prior to their Good Friday meeting with Birmingham City, QPR had lost just two of their last 11 games in the Championship, winning five of them, including a stunning win at promotion hopefuls Leicester.

Three of those five wins came on their travels against Blackburn, Bristol City and the Foxes.


Who's the gaffer?


Marti Cifuentes

Spaniard Marti Cifuentes started his coaching career with short spells in the youth set-ups of Ajax and Millwall.

His first senior management role came back in 2014, when he took over Segunda Division B club Sant Andreu, he then moved to fellow Division B club Hospitalet ahead of the 2015-16 season.

He joined Norwegian club Sandefjord in May 2018. He was unable to prevent them being relegated despite losing just six of his 18 games in charge after taking over midway through the campaign, but guided them to promotion in his first full season in charge.

A year in Denmark with Aalborg BK followed ahead of a switch to Sweden with Hammarby IF in 2022.

He guided the latter to the final of the Swedish Cup, where they lost on penalties to Malmo that same year. They finished third in the Allsvenskan last year to qualify for the Europa Conference League before Cifuentes joined the R's in October 2023.


Who's the captain?

Asmir Begovic

Asmir Begovic. The vastly-experienced Bosnian joined the R's during the summer of 2023 following the expiry of his contract at Everton, and 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?

Ilias Chair

The Belgium-born Morocco international Ilias Chair is the R’s top goal scorer this season with five goals, and also leads the way for assists with six.

He has made over 200 league appearances for the Loftus Road club, having first signed in 2017.

Chair started his career in Belgium with Lierse, while he also spent time in the Club Brugge academy. He then went on trial with QPR and signed permanently for the club in 2017. 

The winger had a loan spell at League Two Stevenage during the 2018-19 season, scoring six goals and making six more during his time there. 

Chair has made 12 appearances for Morocco national team since making his debut against Ghana in 2021, scoring his first goal in a 5-0 win over Guinea-Bissau

Accompanying Chair on the left-hand side of the pitch, Kenneth Paal has been a key figure for the R’s this season scoring four goals and setting up one in the league. 

He has been ever-present in the Championship, appearing in every league game so far this season. 

A product of the PSV academy, he made five senior appearances for the club before a loan spell at PEC Zwolle led to a permanent move and he would go on to make over 100 league appearances before moving to England with Rangers.

Paal represented the Netherlands at under-17 level, but decided to switch to Suriname at senior level, winning a solitary cap to date.

Jake Clarke-Salter has been a solid figure at the heart of the R’s defence.

A Chelsea academy graduate, Clarke-Salter won three FA Youth Cups and two Uefa Youth Leagues at Stamford Bridge.

The defender has made over 150 senior appearances across stints with a host of different clubs.

The centre-half had loan spells at Bristol Rovers, Sunderland, Vitesse, Birmingham City and Coventry City while on the books with the Blues. He then joined the R’s in 2022 on a four-year deal. 

He has been capped by England through the ages and was named captain of the England Under-21 side ahead of the 2019 European Championship finals. 

He was part of the under-20 squad that won their World Cup under former Swansea boss Steve Cooper in 2017.