Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Preview: QPR vs. Sheff Wed
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews the Championship opener between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road.

Queens Park Rangers begin their quest to return to the Premier League when they host Sheffield Wednesday in their Championship season opener on Saturday.

Harry Redknapp's side were relegated last season despite spending big to try to maintain their top-flight status, but several of their star names are unlikely to feature against Wednesday at Loftus Road.

Loic Remy, Julio Cesar and Joey Barton could all sit out as they await moves away from the club, but striker Charlie Austin is expected to make his Hoops debut after arriving in a £4m switch from Burnley.

Fellow summer arrivals Richard Dunne and Danny Simpson are in contention to start in defence, while former Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Karl Henry is in the squad but may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Owls boss David Jones could start versatile left-sided player Jeremy Helan, signed from Manchester City, and former Tottenham Hotspur youngster Jacques Maghoma.

However, the game may have come too early for ex-Hull City centre-back Kamil Zayatte, who completed his move to Hillsborough only on Friday.

The visitors finished 18th in the Championship last season, and retaining the services of top goalscorer Michail Antonio may have been Jones's best piece of summer business.

He is almost certain to start in midfield, but Lewis Buxton and Kieran Lee are unavailable with shin and hip injuries respectively.

Possible lineups:

QPR: Green; Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Traore; Wright-Phillips, Jenas, Mbia, Hoilett; Zamora, Austin

Wednesday: Kirkland; Reda Johnson, Gardner, Taylor, Llera; Antonio, Jermaine Johnson, Maghoma, Prutton, Helan; Madine

Sports Mole says: 2-0

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Sheffield Wednesday's Michail Antonio tries to get past Crystal Palace's Ashley Richards on February 23, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33227459263373
2Cardiff CityCardiff33197749272264
3Aston Villa33179749301960
4Derby CountyDerby331611650282259
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6Bristol City33141274839954
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd32164124638852
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14Ipswich TownIpswich33136144443145
15Queens Park RangersQPR33109143646-1039
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds33813123540-537
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest33114183651-1537
18Reading3289153542-733
19Bolton WanderersBolton3389162951-2233
20Birmingham CityBirmingham3386192249-2730
21Hull City32611154350-729
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