Manchester United - QPR Preview: Hosts bid to bounce back from consecutive defeats with a win against struggling Hoops
Under-fire manager Mark Hughes will return to one of the clubs he enjoyed success with as a player as he bids to keep hold of his position at the top flight's bottom-placed side
By James McManus
Rafael, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Young
Rooney, van Persie
Bosingwa, Nelson, Ferdinand, Traore
Taarabt, Diakite, Faurlin, Granero
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be without Shinji Kagawa (knee), captain Nemanja Vidic (knee) and Nani (hamstring) for the game.
Both David De Gea (tooth) and Johnny Evans (groin) are expected to make a return, while Wayne Rooney (illness) was passed fit on Friday.
Managerless QPR have been dealt a big blow to the club's survival hopes, though, with striker Bobby Zamora needing to have surgery on a hip injury which will see him sidelines for three months.
Elsewhere, captain Ji-Sung Park (knee) and Andy Johnson (knee) are both long-term absentees, while Fabio is ineligible against his parent club.
There is some good news for Hughes, however, as Stephane Mbia is available after serving a three-match suspension and Hogan Ephraim (hamstring) nears a return to full fitness.
Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R's for the trip to Old Trafford following Mark Hughes' dismissal on Friday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester United have scored exactly the same number of goals (29) as the same stage last season but have conceded five more.
- The side lost their 100% unbeaten run in Europe after losing to Galatasaray in mid-week.
- The hosts have lost two consecutive games for the first time since last season when they were beaten by both Blackburn and Newcastle.
- They followed those two defeats last season up with a 13-game unbeaten run in the top-flight.
- United have kept just two clean sheets so far this term, less than ten other clubs in the top flight.
- Mark Hughes' (pictured, right) QPR side currently sit bottom of the league table, four points adrift of 19th place Southampton.
- The Hoops' have a strong connection to this weekend's opponents, with the club's boss and captain - Mark Hughes and Ji-Sung Park - both having plied their trade for a number of years at United, while Fabio is currently on loan at Loftus Road from there.
- Only Southampton (30) have conceded more than their tally of 27 goals this season.
- Four points from their opening 12 games is the joint-worst start to a league season ever in the Premier League, sharing the title with the Everton side of 1994-5, who went on to finish 15th that campaign.
- QPR have the lowest conversion rate of shots into goals of any team in the Premier League this season. at just 7.6%.
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Top 3 Predictions
Man Utd. 3-0 QPR
- 14.38 %
Man Utd. 3-1 QPR
- 10.77 %
Man Utd. 7-0 QPR
- 10.04 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 23, 2013||QPR 0 - Man Utd. 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 24, 2012||Man Utd. 3 - QPR 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 8, 2012||Man Utd. 2 - QPR 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 18, 2011||QPR 0 - Man Utd. 2|
|England - Capital One Cup(League Cup) (CCUP)||Nov 11, 2008||Man Utd. 1 - QPR 0|
|Mar 16, 2014||Man Utd. 0 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|Mar 8, 2014||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Man Utd. 3||EPL|
|Feb 25, 2014||Olympiakos Piraeus 2 - Man Utd. 0||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Crystal Palace 0 - Man Utd. 2||EPL|
|Feb 12, 2014||Arsenal 0 - Man Utd. 0||EPL|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|14||Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez||Striker|
|Robin van Persie|
Having settled into his new surroundings remarkably quickly, the Netherlands international hasn't scored in his last two league outings, so he may view a home game against the league's bottom club as the perfect occasion to return to form. The QPR backline will have to remain aware of the variety that of positions that van Persie takes up, as sometimes he'll look to exploit the gap between defence and midfield, whilst at others he'll look to run in behind the back four.
If QPR are to achieve what would comfortably represent the shock result of the season so far, they are going to need the mercurial Moroccan to be at his influential best, driving forward from midfield. He has the ability to beat his man one-on-one, but the main let-down for Hoops fans is his lack of end product at times. If he can remain composed in the final third, he'll certainly be a threat to United.
Given that Sir Alex Ferguson chose to rest his big guns for the European trip to Turkey and the visitors quite frankly awful away form this season, the result is all but assured, with only the exact nature of the scoreline left to predict. A reinvigorated Robin van Persie, in tandem with Wayne Rooney, will surely prove far too much for a ropey back four to handle.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed