Here is how QPR could line up against Hull on the opening day of the Premier League season.
QPR make their Premier League return on August the 16th after just one season in the Championship. Harry Redknapp still has much work to do in the transfer window before his side are ready, but has so far made three very good acquisitions in the shape of Rio Ferdinand, Steven Caulker and Mauricio Isla.
The 67-year-old generally favoured a 4-4-2 formation last season, but judging by the business the QPR manager has conducted in the window so far and how he has set his side out in pre-season, he may be readying a shift to a 3-1-4-2 system.
GK – Rob Green
The 34-year-old has signed a two-year contract extension at Loftus Road under the assurance that he will be the number one choice between the sticks next season. Julio Cesar has been recalled from a loan spell at Toronto FC, but it would seem that the Brazil number one will have to settle for a place amongst the substitutes.
RWB – Mauricio Isla
The Chilean is a versatile player, but he is at his best when operating on the right hand side of defence. It’s likely that the 26-year-old has been brought in to accommodate Redknapp’s possible new system, and will replace Danny Simpson in the first eleven.
CB – Rio Ferdinand
Without a doubt one of the best pieces of business done by any Premier League side in the transfer window so far. Ferdinand still has a lot to offer a club like QPR, and his leadership skills alone could be crucial in their bid to stay in England’s top flight. A great capture for the R’s.
CB – Steven Caulker
The shining light in a poor Cardiff City side last season. The 22-year-old could have a big future ahead of him, and the presence of Rio Ferdinand at Loftus Road will only help him on his way. On paper, Redknapp certainly appears to have the perfect balance between youth and experience in the heart of his defence.
CB – Clint Hill
QPR’s captain is a huge favourite at Loftus Road and has won the Supporter’s Player of the Year on more than one occasion. Another steady head alongside Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker, and should Redknapp chose to operate with a 4-4-2 system Hill has the ability to occupy the left-back role, and is unlikely to be dropped from the first team.
LWB – Armand Traore
The Senegal international has been occupying the left-wing-back role during pre-season and is almost certain to carry on in that role providing Redknapp does not recruit any further competition for the 24-year-old.
CM – Joey Barton
The one-time villain of English football seems to have matured somewhat at QPR. The 31-year-old is by no means perfect, but there has been a vast improvement in his behaviour during his time at Loftus Road and subsequent to that, an improvement in his performances.
CM – Alejandro Faurlín
Harry Redknapp has made no secret of the fact he is in the market to bring further centre midfield options to Loftus Road. At this moment in time Faurlin is most likely to fill this position on August 16th, but expect a new recruit to challenge heavily for this role – whomever that may be.
AM – Junior Hoilett
The pacey 24-year-old has been operating in a role behind the strikers during pre-season, and has picked up three goals in the process.
ST – Charlie Austin
A finely-tuned goal machine at Championship level, Charlie Austin is finally to have the chance to prove himself in England’s top flight. Redknapp will hope the 25-year-old takes the step up with ease, and builds upon what was a successfull debut season at Loftus Road.
ST – Loic Remy
With the Premier League season creeping closer and closer, Remy is still a QPR player. Potential moves to both Arsenal and Liverpool have fallen through, leaving the striker in limbo, and quickly running out of options. Redknapp has denied that concerns surrounding the Frenchman’s fitness prevented his transfer to Liverpool, meaning that should he still be at Loftus Road on August 16th, he will start for the R’s.