Premier League preview: QPR v Newcastle
Joey Barton will face former club Newcastle United on Monday, little more than two weeks after joining Queens Park Rangers.
Following their promotion as second-tier champions in 2009/10, Barton was a key member of the Newcastle team that finished 12th last season.
But he was granted a free transfer after using Twitter to repeatedly criticise the club’s transfer policies during the off season.
The former Manchester City man signed a four-year contract with QPR on August 26.
Like Newcastle before them, the west London club were promoted to the top flight after winning the Championship last season.
And they will be hoping 29-year-old Barton can have a similar impact as they seek to retain their hard-earned place in the English Premier League.
With the club taken over by Malaysian business man Tony Fernandes last month, Barton has been joined by other reinforcements, in the form of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand, Armand Traore and Luke Young.
Former Aston Villa fullback Young is in doubt for Monday’s match due to a knee injury, and fellow defender Bradley Orr could also miss out because of a groin issue.
Attacking midfielder Kieron Dyer remains sidelined with a foot problem, while veteran striker Heidar Helguson is in doubt with a groin injury.
The visitors also have several absentees.
Defender Mike Williamson and midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa are both out, and striker Shola Ameobi could be kept out with a groin problem.
Newcastle are unbeaten and in good form coming into the match.
They drew 0-0 with Arsenal in the opening round, followed by a 1-0 derby win over Sunderland and a 2-1 victory at home to Fulham.
QPR have registered their first victory back in the top flight, beating Everton 1-0 on the road, either side of a 4-0 loss to Bolton and 2-0 defeat at Wigan.