QPR v Chelsea Preview: A potentially tricky derby

Chelsea make the four-mile trip to take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road this Sunday, eager to cement their lead at the top of the P...

Chelsea make the four-mile trip to take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road this Sunday, eager to cement their lead at the top of the Premier League table with second-place Arsenal mounting a late challenge.

The Blues will be without Diego Costa, but they can hardly complain about injury concerns in comparison to their relegation-threatened hosts – Chris Ramsey could be without up to eight players in his first clash against Jose Mourinho.

Victory for the league leaders would see them go seven points clear of Arsenal with a game in hand, while a shock win for the Rs could haul them out of the relegation zone until at least next weekend.

Last Five Meetings

Chelsea 2-1 QPR, League, November 2014
Chelsea 0-1 QPR, League, January 2013
QPR 0-0 Chelsea, League, September 2012
Chelsea 6-1 QPR, League, April 2012
QPR 0-1 Chelsea, FA Cup, January 2012

Queens Park Rangers Form

(D) Aston Villa 3-3 QPR
(W) West Brom 1-4 QPR
(L) QPR 1-2 Everton
(L) Crystal Palace 3-1 QPR
(L) QPR 1-2 Tottenham

Chelsea Form

(W) Chelsea 2-1 Stoke
(W) Hull City 2-3 Chelsea
(D) Chelsea 1-1 Southampton
(D) Chelsea 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain
(W) West Ham 0-1 Chelsea

Queens Park Rangers Team News

Richard Dunne will not return to the squad this Sunday after recovering from a knee injury, while fellow centre-back Rio Ferdinand is also ruled out with a calf knock.

Yun Suk-yung is unlikely to feature with concussion and Leroy Fer, Andrea Faurlin and Eduardo Vargas are all unavailable due to knee injuries.

Teenage fullback Darnell Furlong is in doubt after coming off early against Crystal Palace with a calf strain. Bobby Zamora is also expected to be sidelined with a hip injury.

Chelsea Team News

Diego Costa is ruled out after injuring his hamstring against Stoke last weekend.

Cesc Fabregas may be rested for the short trip to Loftus Road. The midfielder broke his nose in a collision with the Potters’ goalscorer Charlie Adam last time out, and is reportedly expect to undergo surgery.

John Obi Mikel is said to be continuing his return to full fitness and his unlikely to make the cut on Sunday.

Probable Lineups

Queens Park Rangers: Green, Isla, Onuoha, Caulker, Hill, Phillips, Barton, Sandro, Henry, Hoilett, Austin

Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Remy

Score Prediction

Like any fixture, it would be foolish to expect to grab an easy three points against our west London rivals. Depending on how the hosts approach the game, this could be a very tricky contest.

Loic Remy is the most likely candidate to start up front in the absence of Diego Costa. Although QPR have the worst defensive record in the Premier League this season, the Frenchman is likely to find it tough getting behind a typically deep back four.

We will need to be patient going forward and avoid needlessly giving away possession in midfield so the likes of Matt Phillips and Junior Hoilett don’t hurt us on the break.

Our last three encounters with QPR have been tight affairs, but if we can settle early and make our passes stick, we should find ourselves in control. I’ll go for a 3-0 win.

What are your score predictions?

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