Much of the media attention surrounding this fixture has annoyingly centered around the Terry/Ferdinand issue, and until it is put to bed by the FA, the saga will continue. In my opinion, it is an angle that after this game, will not be used so prominently by journalists and various media outlets. The FA hearing for John Terry concludes later this month and that should (fingers crossed) bring closure to the situation. John Terry and Chelsea for that matter, will always get a rough reception at Loftus Road, regardless of the Ferdinand controversy, so I wouldn’t expect the contempt towards the club to diminish just yet.
The game itself promises to be a raucous affair and QPR will want to avenge the 6-1 humiliation suffered at Stamford Bridge last season. QPR are jam-packed with new players but thankfully the gelling process began during the international break. However, whether Mark Hughes will see the fruits of his labour in this game remains to be seen.
Man City 3 (Toure, Dzeko, Tevez)
QPR 1 (Zamora)
Team: Green, Bosingwa, Nelsen, Ferdinand (Onuoha), Fabio, Park Ji-Sung, Faurlin (Dyer), Granero (Cisse), Wright-Phillips, Johnson, Zamora.
Chelsea 1 (Cahill)
A. Madrid 4 (Falcao x3, Miranda)
Team: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole (Bertrand), Luiz, Cahill, Ramires (Oscar), Lampard, Mikel, Hazard, Torres, Mata (Sturridge).
QPR Team News:
Julio Cesar is expected to make his debut for the club. Alejandro Faurlin and Esteban Granero are likely to continue in the midfield together. Samba Diakite and Stephane Mbia are doubts.
Possible line up:
Bosingwa – Nelsen – Ferdinand – Fabio
Park – Faurlin – Granero
Mackie- Zamora – Hoilett
Player to watch: Esteban Granero
The cultured centre midfielder signed from Real Madrid last month for a reported £9 million. The transfer itself was a brilliant coup for the club, as Granero has been scouted by several of Europe’s elite in recent times. Granero made his debut against Man City alongside Alejandro Faurlin and the early signs are promising. Granero has a fine set-piece delivery, which created several chances for Ryan Nelsen. His passing range looks to be of a high standard and quite expansive. As a partnership, Granero and Faurlin look as if they could keep the ball forever. They are both very comfortable in possession and could make an irresistible combination in the middle. Granero will be making his first appearance at Loftus Road and here’s hoping he can have an impact, in what will be an explosive game against our rivals.
Chelsea Team News:
Both John Terry and Ashley Cole have been passed fit for the grudge match against the super hoops.
Possible line up:
Ivanovic – Cahill – Terry – Cole
Mikel – Lampard – Ramires
Mata – Torres – Hazard
Player to watch: Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has been identified as the player to watch ahead of Saturday`s match against Chelsea.
For Vital QPR’s comprehensive review of the attackerClick Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: DLDWL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 14
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 29/04/12
Chelsea 6 (Torres x3, Terry, Sturridge, Malouda)
QPR 1 (Cisse)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Derry, Buzsaky (Traore), Barton, Mackie, Cisse, Zamora (Wright-Phillips).
Referee: A Marriner
Assistants: M Mullarkey & M McDonough
Fourth Official: N Swarbrick
Andre Marriner is the match official for Saturday`s game. Last season Marriner issued 92 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 28 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
QPR have a solid team now and they do have enough to trouble Chelsea but the influx of new players has caused a disjointedness that the R’s are yet to recover from this year. The Blues have collected maximum points so far and will be looking to continue their 100% record this season with a win against the R’s. However, the Loftus Road faithful might have something to say about that.
Mark Hughes doesn’t have too many injury concerns ahead of the match. Samba Diakite is likely to miss out and new signing Stephane Mbia picked up an injury while away on international duty for Cameroon and is a doubt. The partnership of Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson looked effective at times against City and I wonder if Hughes will maintain that partnership up top. It is possible Hughes may sacrifice Andy Johnson for an extra centre midfielder to negate the free-roaming Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. Players of their ilk are not used to the cauldron atmosphere generated at Loftus Road and if they allow it to affect them then they will certainly struggle. However, they are class players who have played on the biggest stages in world football, so it could go either way as to whether the intimidating nature of Loftus Road will influence their game. Chelsea do have an in-form Fernando Torres in their arsenal and he will need to be bullied out of the game by the experienced Ryan Nelsen. Simply, I would like QPR to be positive tomorrow and go after Chelsea.
2-1 QPR win.
Where: White Hart Lane