Clash of styles will suit Cardiff, says ex-QPR star

ALTHOUGH QPR and Cardiff City are separated by 150 miles of M4 motorway, there is no love lost between the clubs.

A lot of this rivalry started back in 2003 when Rangers lost to Cardiff in the Division Two play-off final. This result was magnified by my surprise switch to South Wales shortly after defeat at the Millennium Stadium.

Understandably the timing of the move wasn’t taken so well by many of the Rangers faithful. For those that blamed me, I have to say that the move was out of my hands.

Now, seven years after QPR made it back to the Championship as relative minnows, they have become, along with Cardiff, the league’s top payers and, at the moment, favourites to go up.

Currently QPR are sitting top of the Championship with Cardiff right on their tails. The upcoming fixture will not by any means determine the winners of the league, but it will definitely help with momentum leading into a busy December schedule.

Looking at the two teams, I would personally have to say that the more talented side, man for man, are Cardiff. There really could not be more of a contrast in their styles of play.

QPR play very direct football, synonymous with a Neil Warnock team. They look defensively sound, especially at home and have arguably the most skilful player outside the Premier League in Adel Taraabt who, on his day, is capable of winning any game. However, QPR’s style of play prevents the playmaker getting on the ball as much as he would like.

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Cardiff, on the other hand, will get the ball down, make the pitch big and get their three match-winners in Craig Bellamy, Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra on the ball in the danger zones.

And I think that Cardiff’s technical superiority will enable them to take all three points back home with them.

Most teams have been coming to Loftus Road this year and quite simply tried to contain and absorb the pressure of the Rs. What I believe they will face this weekend is a team who will be going all out for the win.

It will be an open game and I can’t see either team sitting back. The question is whose tactics will prevail on the day.

If Cardiff take a negative approach and do not enforce their game on Rangers, it will allow the long ball to cause a serious threat to the Bluebirds’ defence.

Having said all of this, QPR have had an amazing start to the campaign. I sincerely hope they can continue to pick up points for the remainder of the season and bring Premier League football back to the Loft after a long 15 years’ absence.

YOU can follow Richard Langley on twitter at langers1979