Premier League Preview: Chelsea - QPR
The Hoops travel the short distance to Stamford Bridge one point above the drop zone and with a poor away record, while the host is still buzzing from European success on Tuesday.
by John Stammers
Ferreira, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Mata, Sturridge
Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo
Mackie, Barton, Derry, Buzsaky
Chelsea is facing a defensive crisis ahead of the west London derby with QPR on Sunday. David Luiz and Gary Cahill are both sidelined with hamstring injuries and Branislav Ivanovic misses the final game in his three-match ban after being charged with violent conduct after an incident with Wigan's Shaun Maloney earlier this month.
These problems leave Roberto Di Matteo with just one recognized center back in John Terry. Jose Bosingwa is likely to fill in and Paulo Ferreira should replace his fellow countryman at right back.
Aside from the back-four the manager's other issue is whether to rest his squad after it successful efforts against Barcelona on Tuesday, and with FA Cup and Champions League finals on the horizon, or whether to keep full focus on trying to finish in the top four.
As for the visitors, Mark Hughes will make late decisions on both Djibril Cisse and Clint Hill, who are likely to recover from knocks. It is less probable that Samba Diakite will make the starting line-up. Adel Taarabt is also unavailable for QPR after the midfielder saw red against Tottenham in his last game.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea has only beaten QPR twice in Premier League history, though one of those occasions came this season.
- Out of four home ties with the Hoops, Di Matteo's side has won three without conceding, drawing the other.
- Since Di Matteo (pictured right) took over, the Blues have lost just once in 15 across all competitions, against Manchester City.
- However, the hosts have not managed a single London derby victory this season in the League, drawing five and losing two.
- QPR, on the other hand, has mustered three wins out of its seven Capital derbies so far this season, although all of those were at home.
- Hughes' men have gained just 11 points from their travels this campaign, the lowest in the league.
- In their last eight fixtures, the visitors have recorded alternate away victories and away losses - should this trend carry on to Sunday, Chelsea would win.
- The Hoops have received eight red cards in the league this season, which is one away from Sunderland's record high of nine in 2009/10.
- Ahead of the clash, the Premier League have announced that pre-match handshakes have been suspended due to 'specific legal context' regarding John Terry's alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea 3-0 QPR
- 21.47 %
Chelsea 2-0 QPR
- 16.45 %
Chelsea 3-1 QPR
- 10.68 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Jan 2, 2013||Chelsea 0 - QPR 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Sep 15, 2012||QPR 0 - Chelsea 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 29, 2012||Chelsea 6 - QPR 1|
|FA Cup (FA)||Jan 28, 2012||QPR 0 - Chelsea 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Oct 23, 2011||QPR 1 - Chelsea 0|
|Dec 17, 2013||Sunderland 2 - Chelsea 1||CCUP|
|Dec 14, 2013||Chelsea 2 - Crystal Palace 1||EPL|
|Dec 11, 2013||Chelsea 1 - Steaua 0||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Stoke 3 - Chelsea 2||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea 4||EPL|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed