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Mapping October's Fixtures

A trip to a resurrected QPR is sandwiched in between home ties against loanee Andre Wisdom's West Brom and against Steve Bruce's Hull as the season will begin to settle down in October

Paul Gilham

October 4th-West Brom (H) 3:00PM, BST 10:00AM EST

The aforementioned Andre Wisdom will be unable to play against his parent club, but West Brom have always been tricky customers. Kolo Toure would know full well, as his errant pass led in Victor Anichebe to score a heartbreaking equalizer late in our visit to the Hawthorns last season.

These games are the ones where teams like us, (who would want to be challenging for at least the Champions League places) need to be picking up all three points, especially at home. But as mentioned, West Brom aren't exactly pushovers. With players like Chris Brunt, Saido Berahino, and Anichebe, who's got plenty of experience scoring against us, they have plenty of goals in them.

October 19th-QPR (A) 1:30PM BST, 8:30AM EST

Harken back to two years ago when we had that heartbreaking 3-2 loss at Loftus Road. For QPR, it started a great escape which saw them lose to Man City on the last day, but stay in England's top flight on goal difference. 12 months later, they were relegated, but are back thanks to a Bobby Zamora goal in May at Wembley.

With the signings of Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand, they look to bulk up their defense that leaked goals in their 2nd season in the top flight. It'll be interesting to see, with other players around them, like Adel Taarabt, Alejandro Faurlin, and former Red Yossi Benayoun, if the squad of talented individuals can finally become a team as Rio and Caulker look to organize and sort the defense.

October 25th-Hull City (H) 3:00PM BST, 10:00AM EST

A disappointing away loss to Hull in December last year was followed on New Years' Day by a well fought 3-1 victory. The Reds will look to do the same again, although they'll be hoping just to come out of the game with the win no matter what the scoreline, obviously.

It was against the midtable sides that we were most worried about last season, with our penchant for conceding goals and letting other teams come at our defense, as midtable sides usually raise their game and "park the bus" if they see a result in sight. We'll have to make sure we get a goal early in matches like these, so we can dictate the game as soon as possible.

All three of these games are definitely winnable, but believe it or not, it's the QPR match I'm most afraid of. Loftus Road has a great atmosphere, which helps especially when the big teams come around. We know we can beat all three teams, yes, but the game isn't played on paper.