Queens Park Rangers v Manchester United
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp: “It is a big game for us tomorrow and we have got to be at it and give it everything we have got to get a win. Last week was the first setback after five games unbeaten.”
Indeed, before the 4-1 mauling suffered at the hands of Swansea in their last league game, the Rs had gone 5 games unbeaten, albeit 4 draws and just the 1 win. Despite only 1 home league win all season, Harry Redknapp has quickly forged a much tougher side to beat, including recent clean sheets against Chelsea and Manchester City. They could welcome back striker Loic Remy, who is back in training, but will be without Fabio who cannot appear as part of his loan deal. Ji-Sung Park could makes his first appearance against United since his summer move. Otherwise, Redknapp has admitted he currently has a “pretty fit squad” to choose from.
Predicted QPR line-up: Julio Cesar, Onuoha, Samba, Hill, Traore, Derry, Taarabt, M’bia, Townsend, Mackie, Zamora
Home record: P13 W1 D5 L7 F8 A19 Pts8
Home form: W L L D D D
Sir Alex Ferguson on the trip to Loftus Road: “We have to treat these games as we would Real Madrid or anyone else. It has to be won.”
United travel south without Paul Scholes (knee) and Darren Fletcher (long-term illness). Phil Jones also misses out with the ankle injury sustained in Monday’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Reading. The versatile machine could be out for 2 weeks and is a doubt for the Real Madrid 2nd leg. Wayne Rooney, while back in training since Thursday, is a major doubt after his recent sinus infection.
Otherwise, Sir Alex has a fully-fit squad to choose from, forcing him to admit he’s got “a lot of disappointed players” at the moment, with every player doing so well when he rotates the squad. Expect several changes from the Reading game, however, with Robin van Persie, of course, leading the line, and the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Rafael and Patrice Evra slotting back into the defence. After his match-winning performance off the bench, Nani could have earned himself a start.
Predicted United line-up: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa, Welbeck, van Persie
Away record: P13 W9 D2 L2 F28 A16 Pts29
Away form: W W D W D W
Previous meetings @ QPR
QPR 0-2 United (18-12-11), QPR 1-1 United (16-03-96), QPR 2-3 United (10-12-94), QPR 2-3 United (05-02-94)
Anthony Taylor. The 34-year-old has officiated 17 Premier League matches this season, brandishing 41 yellow cards and 6 reds, awarding 1 penalty. He last took charge of United in the 1-0 defeat at Norwich back in November.
2012/13 head-to-head (PL)
Goals: (QPR) 19 – (United) 62
Conceded: 41 – 31
Top scorer: Adel Taarabt (4) – Robin van Persie (19)
Assists: Adel Taarabt (4) – Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie (7)
Most appearances: Adel Taarabt (21/1) – Robin van Persie (23/3)
Best passer: Adel Taarabt (43.3/81.3%) – Michael Carrick (76.4/87.7%)
Disciplinary: 39 yellows, 2 reds – 43 yellows, 0 reds
Average possession: 45.2% – 56.4%
Pass success rate: 78.2% – 85.9%
Shots per game: 12.7 – 15.0
Shot conceded per game: 16.3 – 13.5
United’s overall record at Loftus Road is not great: P13 W3 D6 L4 F15 A19. Last season’s 2-0 victory was the first at the ground since 1985 – with 3 draws and 1 defeat inbetween.
Michael Carrick has completed 1640 passes in the league this season – over twice as many as QPR’s best passer, Adel Taarabt, who has 748.
Taarabt is also QPR’s top league goalscorer with 4 goals – the same as Patrice Evra.
QPR’s last 3 home games have finished in draws – all 0-0.
United have conceded just once in their last 3 away fixtures – Clint Dempsey’s late equaliser at White Hart Lane.
United have come back to win 9 games from losing positions this season. QPR have recovered just 4 points when they have found themselves behind.
Score prediction: QPR 0-2 United