QPR will hope to prove their summer spending tactics right as they field a host of new arrivals against the in-form Newcastle at Loftus Road on Monday– including controversial midfielder and former Toon Army favourite Joey Barton.
Barton completed his switch to Loftus Road in the dying days of the Summer transfer window after Newcastle decided to let him go on a free transfer having grown tires of his criticism of the club, and now Magpies boss Alan Pardew will hope his decision to let him go is proved to be the correct one by picking up three points during his side’s trip to the capital.
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Hoops boss Neil Warnock is expected to hand debut starts to a most of his new signings including Shaun Wright-Phillips, Armand Traore and Luke Young along with Barton, while DJ Campbell and Clint Hill are also available for selection having been unavailable through illness and suspension respectively.
Newcastle may be able to call upon the services of veteran keeper Steve Harper, who is back in training after a knee injury, although it is more likely that he will start on the bench while Tim Krul retains the number one shirt for the time being.
The Geordies have begun their season well and are so far unbeaten in the Premier League, but the lack of goals from his strikers may begin to worry Pardew if they fail to find the back of the net against a QPR side which have appeared defensively vulnerable at times.
Pardew admitted he was disappointed not to be able to add to his attacking line during the summer transfer window while fans were left baffled as the £35 million paid by Liverpool last January for Striker Andy Carroll went untouched.
There was some late activity in the North East during the transfer window however, with Inter Milan full back Davide Santon available for selection having linked up with his new team-mates for the first time since returning from duty with the Italian U-21 side, although Pardew hinted he may start the game from the bench.