Queens Park Rangers welcome Manchester United to Loftus Road on Saturday with both managers suddenly under hordes of pressure. While Louis Van Gaal’s side look to find their identity, QPR’s problems are more primitive with three points meaning a possible six point jump on the table.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2)
There’s good news and bad news for Rangers’ fans as inspirational midfielder Niko Kranjcar returns from a thigh injury, but Sandro and Yun Suk-Young remain on the injury sidelines.
Rednapp is likely to go with his customary 4-4-2 that has done so well at home. All 19 of QPR’s points have come at home, courtesy of those five wins and four draws. Striker Charlie Austin, who had been linked with move away from the club, is still firing on all cylinders. Austin has already scored 13 Premier League goals this season.
Rednapp may prefer Kranjcar in midfield over the erratic Joey Barton, but depending on fitness, he may have to start with the former Newcastle man. Up top, Bobby Zamora is likely to partner Austin to exploit United’s shaky defense this season. Rangers will definitely fancy their chances against Van Gaal’s team who have only won one match in the last five games.
Manchester United (3-1-4-2)
In his presser, Louis Van Gaal revealed that Robin Van Persie may not be fit to play on Saturday. So, that would mean an immediate recall for on-loan striker Radamel Falcao. Over the week, there have been several reports suggesting that the former Atletico Madrid striker may not be at United next year, and Van Gaal did little to quell speculation.
“You have to prove yourself and a player of A?95m has to prove himself also. If I am not like that, then maybe the player has no motivation, so I have to be like that”, said Van Gaal.
The Dutchman is expected to have Rafael and Marcos Rojo back, which may pose another question in front of him – whether to stick with three at the back or revert to four. So far, Van Gaal has persisted with the three in defense, despite his players evident discomfort with the formation.
Another question in front of Van Gaal is where to start Di Maria and Rooney. In the defeat against Southampton, Di Maria started as a striker and was largely ineffective.
QPR 1-1 Manchester United
All depends on how Van Gaal sets up his side, United can be devastating, but in the search for balance, the team has lost its spark.