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Season preview: Queens Park Rangers

Season preview: QPR
© PA Photos
Sports Mole wonders whether big-spending Queens Park Rangers can make an immediate return to the Premier League under Harry Redknapp.

With the big names at Queens Park Rangers, relegation from the Premier League seemed impossible last season. That's exactly what happened, though, and now they must play their way out of the ever-competitive Championship.

Here, Sports Mole weighs up the 2013-14 season ahead for QPR.


Danny Simpson (From Newcastle United, Free), Richard Dunne (From Aston Villa, Free), Karl Henry (From Wolverhampton Wanderers, Undisclosed)


Jamie Mackie (To Nottingham Forest, Undisclosed), Christopher Samba (To Anzhi Makhachkala, £12m), DJ Campbell (To Blackburn Rovers, Free), Tal Ben Haim (Released), Jay Bothroyd (Released), Radek Cerny (Released), Djibril Cisse (Released), Freddy Champion (Released), Adam Francis (Released), Roger Hewitt (Released), Rob Hulse (Released), Louis Parmenter (Released), Tommase Trani (Released)

Last Season: 20th, Premier League

Manager: Harry Redknapp

Three key players:

Rep of Ireland defender Richard Dunne applauds after a game with Georgia on June 2, 2013© PA Photos
Richard Dunne - He is far from the most glamourous or elegant on Rangers' books, but the acquisition of Irish centre-back Dunne could be the best piece of business Redknapp has done this summer. The 33-year-old has over 15 years' Premier League experience with Everton, Manchester City and Aston Villa. The decision to leave the top flight and take a step down shows that Dunne is still eager to get minutes under his belt and his lion-hearted presence should be perfect for the Hoops' defence.

Karl Henry© PA Photos
Karl Henry - Another summer acquisition, Henry is as robust as Dunne in the middle of midfield and, as long as he stays out of disciplinary trouble, should be a perfect replacement for the ageing Shaun Derry. The 30-year-old is likely to become a regular under Redknapp with the unsure situation regarding Joey Barton and the mercurial nature of others such as Esteban Granero and Stephane Mbia. Henry's choice to leave behind Wolves in League One shows that he feels he can still have a crack at the Premier League.

QPR forward Junior Hoilett in action against Stoke on November 10, 2012© PA Photos
Junior Hoilett - After being named as 'one to watch' by FIFA in 2012 and dazzling the Premier League with his dribbling ability as Blackburn were relegated, Hoilett agreed a four-year contract at Loftus Road for last season. Neither he nor QPR performed anywhere near as well as expected and a tame demotion now leaves Canadian winger Hoilett set to face his former side this year. Yes, performances from the 23-year-old were not up to scratch last term but the talent is evidently there and his pace and technique should see him take the Championship by storm.

First game: Sheffield Wednesday (H), Complete fixture list

Sports Mole says: Even 'Harry Houdini' could not save QPR last season as they managed just four wins out of 38, finishing 14 points adrift of safety. It is unclear right now which of Redknapp's stars will still be in a blue-and-white shirt come the start of September, with striker Loic Remy particularly unlikely to be satisfied with Championship football after some lovely goals earlier this year. Even if a few players are poached, Redknapp still has a squad that, unless seriously hungover, will perform well in the second tier. Others that have kept an expensive squad after surprise relegation in recent times - Newcastle United and West Ham United - came straight back up and QPR should be able to do the same.

Predicted finish: 1st

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Karl Henry
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CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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