QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Loftus Road Stadium, London
04th March 2015, 1945 GMT
Arsenal travel to Loftus Road to take on Queens Park Rangers in a midweek game of the English Premier League.
Queens Park Rangers are exhibiting proper relegation form, having lost 5 of their last 6 games in the Premier League and are currently sitting at 18th place in the table. However, all is not lost for them as they have a game in hand over 17th placed Aston Villa, who finally picked up a win in their game against West Bromwich Albion, putting the pressure firmly back on QPR to pick up crucial points.
Arsenal, will be glad to be in Premier League competition, trying to erase the disaster that was the game against Monaco in the Champions League last week. Having comfortably seen off Everton over the weekend, they would be looking to register their 4th consecutive league win and retain their 3rd spot, irrespective of how the games around them go. At this stage of the season, Arsene Wenger fully knows that they cannot afford to drop any points, especially against teams like QPR, against whom they would be expected to win without any problems.
Team News and Tactics
Queens Park Rangers
For QPR, the task of trying to take away crucial points in a game against a big side is being made all the more difficult with Joey Barton’s suspension. Barton would have been one of the players that would have relished picking up a fight against the gunners and generally being a nuisance throughout the game, which the Arsenal players have never liked. However, they do have good news in the form of Sandro, who is making his return from injury that has seen him on the treatment table since November.
There are also chances that Chris Ramsey would be able to call on the services of Nedum Onuoha and Maurico Isla, but it doesn’t seem likely he will take that risk. Apart from these players, there is a long list on the treatment table for QPR, with Alejandro Faurlin, Richard Dunne and Leroy Fer all out with injuries while Nico Kranjcar is a doubtful starter. The gaffer will likely go for a standard 4-4-2 formation, with Austin and Zamora leading the line for QPR.
Predicted Line Up: Green; Furlong, Ferdinand, Caulker, Suk-Young; Traore, Henry, Kranjcar, Phillips; Austin, Zamora
Arsenal are in a good run of form in the Premier League and will be looking to register their 4th consecutive win in the competition, a run of form that they have been hard pressed to replicate throughout the season. Playing against a QPR side that have been losing games every which way should give them enough confidence to collect all 3 points and keep their 3rd place on the table, but with an Arsenal side there is always the danger that they’ll become complacent and drop points when they really shouldn’t be.
Keeping in mind the upcoming FA Cup game against Manchester United, it is likely that Arsene Wenger will go for a couple of changes at least. Giroud and Alexis might be given a rest and we could see Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck getting back in to the side. Gabriel is likely to continue in the centre of defence after his impressive showing against Everton, with Mertesacker being saved for the United game after Wenger revealed that he was suffering fatigue. Coquelin’s presence would depend on what the medics say, but otherwise Cazorla could be rested for Tomas Rosicky. Also, Nacho Monreal could see a return after the not so impressive showing by Kieran Gibbs.
Predicted Line Up: Ospina; Monreal, Koscielny, Gabriel, Bellerin; Coquelin, Rosicky; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott; Welbeck
- Arsenal have lost only one of their last 7 games against QPR.
- QPR have not win a single game in their last 9 London derbies in the Premier League, with 3 draws and 6 losses.
- Arsenal have scored only 13 goals in 13 Premier League games against QPR.
Despite being an away game, Arsenal should not find it too hard to beat their opponents in their own backyard, with QPR hardly having anything in their repertoire that could pose serious problems to the gunners.
Predicted Score: QPR 0-2 Arsenal