Arsenal v QPR - Match Preview
QPR head to the Emirates tomorrow in search of their first league win of the season. The R's were much improved in several areas against Everton but still looked pedestrian in attack and after Everton scored, the defence were very nervy for a 10 minute period or so. Hughes will be pleased with the link up play between Junior Hoilett, Adel Taarabt and Esteban Granero but will want much more from Bobby Zamora who has reverted back to his form of last season after a bright start to this campaign.
Arsenal are in a bit of a rut themselves and appear to be suffering from a lack of confidence. Their defence is stereotypically suspect and they lack a real leader in the middle of the park, which was noticeable away to Norwich and at home to Schalke. They are there for the taking and ordinarily I would suggest QPR stand a fair chance of winning.
However, QPR are truly abysmal away from home and under Mark Hughes they've accumulated a meagre two points. Astonishingly poor by anyone's standards. However bad Arsenal are at the moment it would take a very poor performance from them for QPR to capitalise. That said, stranger things have happened and Rangers seem to perform better when their backs are up against the wall. If they can concentrate defensively for 90 minutes and eliminate the silly errors, they might be able to get something out of the game. A loss is expected, anything more is a bonus. A loss to Reading and the knives will be out for Mark Hughes.
QPR 1 (Hoilett)
Everton 1 (Cesar og)
Team: Cesar, Traore (Onuoha) Nelsen (Ferdinand), Mbia, Bosingwa, Diakite, Park Ji-Sung, Taarabt, Granero, Hoilett, Zamora (Cisse).
Schalke 2 (Huntelaar, Afellay)
Team: Mannone, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos, Jenkinson (Gnabry), Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Coquelin, Podolski (Arshavin), Gervinho (Giroud).
Arsenal Team News:
Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere could return. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a doubt with a hip problem, and Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Wojciech Szczesny, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky remain sidelined.
Possible line up:
Jenkinson - Vermaelen - Mertesacker - Santos
Arteta - Ramsey - Cazorla
Podolski - Giroud - Gervinho
Player to watch: Santi Cazorla
Santi Cazorla has been identified as the player to watch ahead of tomorrow's match against Arsenal.
For Vital QPR's comprehensive review of the playmakerClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Park Ji-Sung faces a late fitness test. Andy Johnson and Fabio are long-term absentees.
My possible line up:
Bosingwa - Nelsen - Mbia - Traore
Diakite - Faurlin - Granero
Taarabt - Zamora - Hoilett
Player to watch: Samba Diakite
He is a wonderful talent but there are still elements of Samba's game that need rectifying. The main cause for concern is his willingness to dive into almost every tackle without much pause for thought, leading him to foul the opponent. This lack of match intelligence is causing him to pick up a booking a game, which will cost him and the club dear further down the line. However, the reason why i've highlighted him as our player to watch is because judging by the Everton game, he is picking up his form again.
He was the Samba from last season. A graceful yet insanely powerful runner with a devastating turn of pace that leaves defenders no choice but to commit fouls in dangerous areas. Against Everton, Diakite showed the skill and perfect balance of aggression that saw him become coveted by many Rangers fans. I feel against Arsenal's fairly lightweight midfield, he could commit players and open up opportunities for our danger men. His physical presence could make a real difference tomorrow and provided he can curb his enthusiasm for a tackle, like last season's fixture, he could be our match winner.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LLLLD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 15
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League - 31/03/12
QPR 2 (Taarabt, Diakite)
Arsenal 1 (Walcott)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Derry, Taarabt, Diakite, Barton, Mackie, Zamora (Wright-Phillips)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: J Collin & J Brooks
Fourth Official: L Mason
Anthony Taylor is the match official for tomorrow's game. Last season Taylor issued 106 yellow cards and 8 red cards in 34 games.
Arsenal have many key players out at the moment which limits Arsene Wenger's options on the bench. That said, he will be boosted by the return of wonderkid Jack Wilshere, who could make his long-awaited return from injury. Wouldn't it be typical if he came off the bench to inspire a lacklustre Arsenal to victory? Fingers crossed this doesn't happen. Personally, I think if QPR play to their potential they could win the game. Unfortuntaley, for various reasons that potential hasn't been realised yet. Still, tomorrow is a great time for it all to click into place. With virtually a fully fit squad to choose from, Hughes has various options and I hope he is bold and takes the game to the Gunners. Players like Junior Hoilett, Adel Taarabt and Samba Diakite could do real damage against Arsenal but I fear the safe if albeit fairly unsuccessful selection of Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Where: Loftus Road