Why facing QPR could not come at a better time for Newcastle

Saturday’s trip to Loftus Road is the perfect match-up for the struggling North East club.

It’s three years ago this week that The Toon visited an already relegated Queen's Park Rangers, needing to win to avoid the drop.

That day, Newcastle came from behind to win 2-1 - courtesy of goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran - securing their Premier League status for another year.

John Carver and his men will be hoping for a similar result this weekend as they visit the league’s bottom side. A win against QPR and a defeat for 18th placed Hull City would see Newcastle stave off the threat of relegation once again.

For Newcastle, the game could not come at a better time. On the back of a crucial draw at home to West Bromwich Albion that ended a dismal eight-game losing streak, there is hope that a corner has been turned at St. James' Park.

For QPR, the season cannot end fast enough.

There was real hope among Rangers fans that lessons had been learned following an immediate promotion back to the top-flight last May. Yet a poor season on the pitch, fuelled by rumours of club mismanagement, has steered the West London club to an instant return to Championship football.

Sunday’s 6-0 thumping away at reigning champions Manchester City confirmed that Chris Ramsey’s side will not be able to beat the drop.

Off the pitch, The R’s could face a fine of up to £58m from the Football League under its Financial Fair Play regulations and should chairman Tony Fernandes opt not to pay, as per The Express, it could result in a ban from the Championship next season.

Former Newcastle and QPR midfielder Jermain Jenas told the BBC following the game on Sunday: “During my time at QPR, it was not being run as a Premier League club. For too long, the thinking was just to chuck money at the team. There has been no organisation, no vision, and no discipline in the way things were done.”

Morale is now at its lowest within The Hoops’ ranks and many players could be looking past the final two games towards summer exit strategies.

With this in mind, it is the perfect time for an equally struggling, but hopeful Newcastle side to visit Loftus Road and grab all three points.

Loyal QPR fans will rightfully be the first to let the players know of their disappointment when the game kicks off on Saturday. Coupled with the fact Rangers have conceded a club record 67 Premier League goals this season, if the visitors can capitalise on what will be tense atmosphere within the stadium and score first, then a win will surely be theirs for the taking.

The Magpies desperately need to take the pressure off of the upcoming visit of West Ham United on the final day of the season. Thankfully, Newcastle have not lost to QPR the past nine meetings between the two clubs, winning seven of them.

If anything is certain in the weird world of Newcastle, however, it is that nothing is certain. Even with all of the facts pointing towards a United win, we are to expect the unexpected when it comes to The Toon.

What is certain is that it is now up to the players and the manager of Newcastle United to get things right on the day and pick up what would be the biggest three points of their season.

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