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Premier League

  • 31 March 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Loftus Road Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 18033

QPR - Arsenal Preview: Relegation-threatened Hoops seek to prevent eighth successive Gunners win

QPR - Arsenal Preview: Relegation-threatened Hoops seek to prevent eighth successive Gunners win

Getty Images

Mark Hughes' side begin their challenging run-in and face Arsene Wenger's on-form side as they look to extend their lead over their London rivals for a Champions League spot



Young, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo
Barton, Derry, Diakite, Mackie

Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Arteta, Song
Walcott, Rosicky, Gervinho
Van Persie

QPR defenders Fitz Hall and Clint Hill are both doubts for this match due to injury, meaning that Nedum Onuoha is likely to play alongside Anton Ferdinand at centre-back. Taye Taiwo will take the left-back slot with Armand Traore sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The Hoops could deploy Bobby Zamora in a lone forward role, having lost striker Djibril Cisse to suspension last weekend in addition to the injured Heidar Helguson and DJ Campbell.

The recently-dropped Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips are in contention to return, and both could feature alongside the in-form Jamie Mackie.

Arsenal have fielded a settled side in recent weeks, with Kieran Gibbs having recovered from injury problems to take his place at left-back, alongside Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny in defence behind Mikel Arteta and Alex Song in midfield.

Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky have played the last few matches for the Gunners in attack behind Robin van Persie, while Gervinho was last week preferred to Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left flank.

  • QPR are just one point below safety in 18th place, having dismissed manager Neil Warnock and replaced him with Mark Hughes in January.
  • The Hoops have won just one of their last eight Premier League matches, seeing Djibril Cisse sent off twice and Samba Diakite dismissed on his debut in the process.
  • Hughes’ side have not kept a clean sheet for 21 Premier League games, their last coming in October when they held nine-man Chelsea at home for a 1-0 win. They have now conceded seven goals in their last three games.
  • The London side have also struggled in attack despite several new arrivals in the transfer window, losing formerly ever-present midfielder Alejandro Faurlin along with eight-goal top-scorer Heider Helguson to injury in January.
  • The last game between the two finished 1-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on December 31, as Robin van Persie (pictured right) scored his 35th league goal in 2011, one short of Alan Shearer’s record for most league goals in a calendar year.
  • A run of form has pushed the Gunners up to third place in the Premier League, three points ahead of rivals Tottenham, as they chase a Champions League spot.

Players to watch

J. Barton

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The midfielder was was not selected for QPR's last game away against Sunderland, and will be keen to prove manager Mark Hughes was wrong to drop him if he returns to the side.

His drive and set piece delivery could be crucial in resisting an in-form Arsenal who will bring superior quality to Loftus Road.

T. Walcott

Position: Attacker

Games: 8

  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
The winger has impressed for the Gunners in the last few weeks and scored last week against Aston Villa to add to his two strikes in the recent spectacular 5-2 comeback victory against Tottenham.

His pace will be a constant source of danger for the Hoops' defence as he seeks to secure a place in the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2012.

Editor's Prediction

Aside from an unlikely comeback victory from two goals down against Liverpool, Mark Hughes' side have been short of luck and short of form in recent matches, and will struggle to threaten the Gunners having lost January signing Djibril Cisse to suspension.

In contrast Arsene Wenger's side have won seven successive games having improved throughout the season and will likely have too much quality on the day for their opponents to handle.

Last Five Matches

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