QPR v Arsenal - Match Preview
I`ll start this off with a more a positive point of view, even though I`ve been wrestling with a negative outlook on all things QPR for weeks now. On reflection, had you offered me three points from the last two games, I would`ve taken it without question. The fact that we beat Liverpool gave everyone a false sense of optimism going into the Sunderland match, myself included. However, Sunderland away was always going to be an extremely difficult game, due to the fact Martin O`Neill has completely re-energised them into one of the form sides of 2012. It must be said, that the nature of that performance was very disappointing but prior to those games I didn`t expect much more than a single point, so overall I`m not too disheartened.
In order to beat Arsenal, Mark Hughes needs to set his team out to play in a specific style because lately we haven`t appeared to know what we`re doing or what each player`s individual job is on the pitch. Arsenal will have the majority of possession, so if we can use the tightness of the pitch to our advantage and squeeze the midfield (like we did against Chelsea at home), there is a chance we can unsettle them and disrupt their play. The only risk from that is the possibility of picking up another red card. I could see Samba Diakite for example, showing too much enthusiasm and getting sent off, especially if the team set out to press Arsenal all over the pitch.
Credit must be awarded to Arsene Wenger as he has managed to overcome a lot of criticism from supporters for several abject performances earlier on in the season. Many called for his reign as manager to end but Wenger has turned things around and Arsenal sit comfortably in third. Impressively, Arsenal are unbeaten in the league since their loss to Manchester United in January.
Sunderland 3 (Bendtner, McClean, Sessegnon)
QPR 1 (Taiwo)
Team: Kenny, Young, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Diakite (Buzsaky), Derry, Taarabt (Wright-Phillips), Mackie, Cisse (Sent Off), Zamora (Bothroyd).
Arsenal 3 (Gibbs, Walcott, Arteta)
Aston Villa 0
Team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Djourou, Gibbs (Santos), Rosicky, Arteta, Walcott (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Song, Van Persie, Gervinho (Ramsey).
QPR Team News:
Strikers Heider Helguson and DJ Campbell are back in training but Mark Hughes has ruled them out of tomorrow`s match as they are another week or two away from being ready for action. Djibril Cisse is yet again suspended after his ridiculous dismissal against Sunderland.
Possible line up:
Onuoha - Hill - Ferdinand - Taiwo
Wright-Phillips - Barton - Diakite - Taarabt
Mackie - Zamora
Player to watch: Paddy Kenny
Since his injury against Stoke last year, Paddy Kenny has struggled for form and has looked a shadow of his former self. Last season, Kenny was instrumental in our promotion and continued that form into the Premier League, looking every inch the top level keeper. However, since his return from injury, Kenny has looked dodgy and at fault for a couple of goals. Last week, against Liverpool it must be said that Kenny was superb and made countless top-draw saves to keep out the likes of Suarez and Gerrard. Hopefully, Kenny can continue that form tomorrow, as he will certainly be busy between the sticks.
Arsenal Team News:
Arsene Wenger welcomes back defender Laurent Koscielny after missing last week`s game against Villa owing to a knee injury. Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin (both hamstring) and Jack Wilshire (ankle) all miss out.
Sagna - Koscielny - Vermaelen - Gibbs
Rosicky - Song - Arteta
Walcott - Van Persie - Gervinho
Player to watch: Alex Song
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To read our profile of the player Click Here >>>
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LDLWL
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 14
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League - 31/12/11
Arsenal 1 (Van Persie)
Team: R Cerny, D Gabbidon, L Young, A Traore (B Orr, 78), M Connolly, S Wright-Phillips, J Barton, J Mackie (T Smith, 74), A Taarabt, A Faurlin, J Bothroyd (D Campbell, 64)
Referee: M Dean
Assistants: S Burt & A Watts
Fourth Official: L Probert
Mike Dean is the match official for tomorrow`s game. This season Dean has issued 113 yellow cards and 4 red cards in 34 games.
After losing to Sunderland, expectation levels for the match will yet again be at rock bottom, which in the past has eased the pressure and worked in our favour. Arsenal will keep the ball for long periods, it is up to the R`s to press them and get in their faces on what is a tight and unforgiving pitch. QPR will need to take whatever chance they get in front of goal and without Cisse this could be quite difficult. I expect Joey Barton to start and produce a performance his reputation expects. Got a feeling we might get something out of this one.
1-1 Think we will sneak a draw.
When:08/04/12 - 13:30