Harry Redknapp’s QPR squad, as currently registered, share 381 senior international caps between them. It seems a world away from the 10 caps that the City squad have, which are shared between Tommy Doherty (nine for Northern Ireland) and Arron Davies (a solitary Welsh cap).
Quite how Harry opts to use the many talents at his disposal remains to be seen on Thursday, but with a squad full of players that have turned out on some of the biggest stages, there’ll be no dearth of ability on show.
The Hoops were propping up the Premier League table at the end of 2012/13, and now embark on their first season back in the Championship since their promotion in 2011 (when former Exeter man Jamie Mackie scored nine goals to help them to the divisional title). Following a winless start of 16 games (which had led to the dismissal of Mark Hughes), Redknapp was unable to steer the West London outfit away from demotion.
Following the cancellation of Monday’s trip to Dorchester, QPR’s visit will be the Grecians’ first pre-season friendly this year. It is also Rangers’ first game of the 2013/14 pre-season, before they face trips to Peterborough and Southend, which sandwich a tour of Austria which will see them play Udinese and Besiktas.
While the result of the match itself has no bearing, it will be a good opportunity to see how some of City’s players react to the occasion of playing against such formidable opponents (including youngsters like Jamie Reid, who earned his first under-21 cap for Northern Ireland this summer).
It may also give a first opportunity to see Sam Parkin turning out in red and white, following his move from St Mirren. The striker has had plenty of fortune against his boyhood club QPR in the past, scoring no less than four competitive goals against them – twice for Swindon, and once each for Ipswich and Northampton.
Referee: Steve Bratt
Assistant referees: Adam Bromley & Andy Bennett
Fourth Official: Brett Huxtable
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale: “It’s a Premier League team of last year, and we’ll see the likes of Jamie Mackie again who it’ll be nice to have back at the Park.
“All round, it’ll be a very entertaining game – they’ve got a lot of names in their team which people will be acquainted with, and it’ll be an opportunity for some of our young players to put themselves on that stage with some very good players.”
QPR manager Harry Redknapp: “The lads have worked very hard [in training] so it’s been good so far. The majority of them have been great.
“Exeter is a great, family club and Paul Tisdale has done a smashing job there; it will be a good run-out. There’s no pressure, no points at stake so I’m looking forward to it.”
The less said the better about the last time Rangers were visitors to the Park. A League Cup draw four seasons ago meant the first trip to St James Park since before England won the World Cup, and a Wayne Routledge hat-trick helped Rangers to a 5-0 win and passage to the second round.
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Under-18s and students can go anywhere in the ground for £2, over-60s can enter from £6 and adults from £12. Click here for full ticket details.