Hull City-Queens Park Rangers Preview
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has moved to strengthen both his backroom staff and playing squad ahead of the club's Premier League opener against Hull City at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Redknapp, who led Rangers to promotion back into the top flight via the play-offs after just one season in the Championship, appointed former England coach Glenn Hoddle as first-team coach earlier this week to work alongside current staff Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan.
"I am really pleased to bring Glenn in," Redknapp told his club's official website. "I have been really lucky in the last couple of years to have had Steve Cotterill, Steve McClaren and Wally Downes work with us. They all did a fantastic job here.
"I spoke with the chairman about the possibility of bringing Glenn in, and he thought it was a great idea. Glenn will be great. He has a brilliant knowledge of the game and will be fantastic out on the training ground with the players. I decided if I was going to bring somebody in, I was going to go for somebody who was top class, and that's what Glenn is."
Redknapp has also been active in the transfer market, signing former England captain Rio Ferdinand from Manchester United, plus Cardiff duo Steven Caulker and Jordon Mutch on permanent deals, while Chile defender Mauricio Isla has moved to Loftus Road on a season-long loan from Juventus.
The Rangers boss will also have France striker Loic Remy available for Saturday's game after his proposed move to Liverpool fell through.
Hull City, who were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 17, have had a busy pre-season.
The Tigers played their first ever competitive matches in Europe when they just edged Slovakian side AS Trencin 2-1 on aggregate to reach the Europa League play-off round where they will play Belgian club Lokeren.
They also recorded an impressive 2-1 victory over Germany's VFB Stuttgart at the Mercedes Benz Arena last weekend in their final friendly before the start of the new league campaign.
Hull boss Steve Bruce was delighted with his team's display against Stuttgart.
"We were terrific, absolutely terrific. We could have won by six," Bruce told his club's official website. "Against a Bundesliga team, that's no mean feat. It might only be a friendly but you don't see too many teams come here and perform like we did.
"I wish it was the performance we'd delivered in Europe but it bodes well. The whole squad is fit and that will help the cause. We'll be ready for QPR."
Bruce has also bolstered his squad and summer signings include Robert Snodgrass (from Norwich), Andrew Robertson (Dundee United), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United) and Tom Ince (Blackpool). Jake Livermore has also joined the Tigers on a permanent deal from Tottenham after spending last season on loan at the KC Stadium.
One player set to leave Hull is Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long, who is expected to join Southampton.
Despite their excellent FA Cup run, Hull's league form tailed off badly towards the end of the 2013/2014 campaign. They lost four of their final five matches and finished in 16th place just four points above the relegation places.
Bruce will be eager for his side to improve their road form this season, having won only three of their 19 away league matches last term.
QPR and Hull last met during the 2010/2011 season when they played in the Championship and both matches were drawn. It was goalless at the KC Stadium and finished 1-1 at Loftus Road. Wayne Routledge scored for Rangers, while David Amoo netted for the Tigers.