QPR Focus – Mackie looking forward to Chelsea clash

After a disappointing two weeks away with Scotland, Jamie Mackie returned to QPR this week licking his lips at the thought of this weekends’ West London derby against European Champions Chelsea.

Despite sitting at opposite ends of the Premier League table, Mackie is relishing the thought of testing himself against the top players in the league, even more so that its QPR’s closest rivals. He stated: “This is the one everyone wants to be involved in. As players, you relish games like this and I know the fans will be feeling exactly the same.”

Mackie has just returned to base at QPR having spent the last two weeks representing his country in the World Cup Qualifiers. Two disappointing draws against Serbia and Macedonia have left Scotland chasing points in the next few fixtures, but Mackie can take the positive of an assist from the Macedonia game, squaring the ball for Kenny Miller to tap in.

Having spent over two years as a QPR player, Mackie has seen numerous changes to the club since he was signed from Plymouth by former manager Neil Warnock. The 26-year-old has seen a major overhaul of players at Loftus Road this summer, with the revolving door swinging both ways bringing players into the club, as well as letting others go.

Naturally, it will take time for the squad to gel,” he said. “There have been a lot of changes in a very short space of time. But we’re all good players and I’m sure we’ll start to produce the goods, hopefully starting this weekend.”

Despite being signed as a striker, Mackie has often seen himself line up on the right hand side of midfield for the R’s. With the influx of strikers and midfielders being brought into the squad this summer, some fans may have questioned Mackie’s involvement this year. But after starting two of QPR’s four games so far this season, he is very much in the mind of the manager, even if it is on a squad rotation basis.

An old school style forward, Mackie style is very robust. A hard working player, powerful in the air and possessing two good feet, he was a shrewd signing from Neil Warnock and is looking to feature in Mark Hughes’ plans.

The chance of Mackie playing in this weekend’s derby would seem very high, with Mackie’s hardworking style of play more fitted to the big game pressures. His job on Saturday will no doubt be to contain Chelsea full backs Ryan Bertrand or Ashley Cole, if he regains fitness.

With both of Chelsea’s left backs adventurous going forward, Mackie’s job will be to track the runs and make sure they stay in their own half and don’t affect QPR in their defensive third. The tenacity of Mackie will cause many a problem for either Bertrand or Cole, especially when the powerful Scot is running at them at full speed.

Last season’s result showed QPR can nick a result and with the standard of players a lot higher at Loftus Road this season, many would think there is a much better chance of a repeat result.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on QPR v Chelsea

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