Relegated QPR are the next side to feature in our team preview series
Queens Park Rangers
Home ground: Loftus Road Stadium
Head coach: Chris Ramsey
2014/15 league position: 20th (Premier League)
2014/15 top goalscorer: Charlie Austin (18 in all competitons)
After securing an immediate return to the Premier League in 2014, Queens Park Rangers will be hoping that lightning can strike twice following their relegation back down to the Championship last season.
Enduring a turbulent season both on and off the pitch, despite boasting the top-flight’s fourth most prolific forward in Charlie Austin in attack, QPR finished rock-bottom of the division having seen Harry Redknapp as manager in early-February on medical grounds.
Winning just one of their opening eight league matches, the London-based club’s form was summed up by a 3-2 defeat at home to Liverpool in October, where, despite scoring two late goals to twice equalise, two stoppage-time goals saw the Reds emerge triumphant, with QPR also putting through their own net twice.
However, the Hoops bounced back to win four of their next five home matches in the run-up to Christmas, drawing 2-2 with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in the other.
But despite this upturn in fortunes, their joy proved short-lived as they lost 11 of their next 14 matches in all competitions, including nine league games during a ten-week spell.
Redknapp resigned to be replaced by Chris Ramsey during the same period, with their fate already seemingly set in stone.
Not helped by their dreadful away form which saw them lose their first 11 matches on their travels, QPR finally won on the road shortly after Ramsey’s appointment, completing a league double over Sunderland courtesy of a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light.
A second away win followed against West Bromwich Albion in early-April, but the club would win just once more before the end of the campaign – that victory coming against Newcastle United in the penultimate fixture of the season after their relegation had already been confirmed.
Seeing out the year with a whimper after losing 5-1 away at Leicester City, it has been a summer of change for QPR.
Releasing big-earners Joey Barton, Richard Dunne, Rio Ferdinand, Adel Taarbat, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Bobby Zamora, Ramsey has looked away from the club’s recent model of bringing in big names since being handed the head coach’s job on a permanent basis.
Jamie Mackie has re-joined the club from Nottingham Forest, while Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Joseph N’Guessan have arrived from Bristol City and Stevenage respectively on free transfers.
Elsewhere, the club parted with £3.5m to bring in Ben Gladwin and Massimo Luongo from Swindon Town, while Tjaronn Chery and Sebastian Polter have also signed from FC Groningen and FSV Mainz in multi-million pound deals.
However, the main talking at Loftus Road remains the future of Charlie Austin. Having played his way into the England squad last year, the forward has been linked with a move away from Queens Park Rangers all summer.
With Austin one of a handful of star names still at the club despite their drop from the Premier League, who QPR keep hold of and how well they re-invest funds from player sales will have a big say on how successful any potential promotion bid proves to be.
FIXTURES V BOLTON IN 2015/16
Saturday 3 October 2015 – 3pm kick-off at Loftus Road
Saturday 20 February 2016 – 3pm kick-off at Macron Stadium
RESULTS V BOLTON IN 2013/14
Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Queens Park Rangers – 24/8/2013 - (CLICK HERE for highlights)
Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Bolton Wanderers – 28/1/2014 - (CLICK HERE for highlights)