Competition: Premier League – Queens Park Rangers vs. Chelsea
Venue: Loftus Road – Sunday, April 12th – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)
Match Odds: QPR 15/2 – Draw 15/4 – Chelsea 4/11
It was in this fixture back in October 2011 when Chelsea captain John Terry was accused of racially abusing former hoop Anton Ferdinand, whose brother Rio is now on the books at QPR and this is just the second Premier League fixture between the two since that game.
The match will be the second this week for QPR, after drawing 3-3 at relegation rivals Aston Villa on Tuesday, but this time Rangers will be back on home turf, and it’s at Loftus Road where they have picked up most of their 26 points this season.
QPR will be feeling confident after what turned out to be a comfortable afternoon at the Hawthorns last weekend, beating West Brom 4-1. The R’s were 3-0 up at halftime in that game, and a fast start against the Blues on Sunday will put them in a good position to win.
QPR do have a good record against Chelsea at Loftus Road, winning twice, drawing twice and losing just once.
The Hoops are just two points adrift of Hull City in 17th, but the Tigers have played a game less and time is running out for QPR to retain their Premier League status going into next season.
Chelsea have been able to enjoy a bit more rest time as they haven’t played since last Saturday in that 2-1 home win against Stoke.
Jose Mourinho will have told his players that this match is a must win so they can try and wrap up the title sooner rather than later. Getting 15 more points will see Chelsea lift the title for the first time in five years and supporters will see an away trip to QPR as a winnable one.
The match will be see Jose Mourinho manage against Queens Park Rangers for just the second time in the Premier League.
Chelsea can also take confidence from the fact that they have taken the lead in 12 of their last 15 matches and haven’t lost since January 1st against Tottenham Hotspur.
The return fixture saw Chelsea run out 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Oscar and Eden Hazard for the Blues and Charlie Austin for QPR.
Queen’s Park Rangers will be without Eduardo Vargas, whose season ended last week at West Brom with a knee ligament injury. Richard Dunne and Leroy Fer will also miss out but are due back in training next week. The good news for QPR is that Darnell Furlong is due back after returning from his calf injury.Embed from Getty Images
For Chelsea, top scorer Diego Costa has been ruled out for two weeks with his latest hamstring injury setback that saw him have just 10 minutes of action last time out against Stoke City. Cesc Fabregas has been in Milan in the week to get a protective face mask after his broken nose sustained against the Potters but is expected to feature.
Chelsea’s last five: W/D/W/D/W
QPR’s last five: L/L/L/W/D
Key Stat: If Eden Hazard starts it will be his 100th for Chelsea. He scored the winner at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Charlie Austin – He scored in the reverse fixture and will be full of confidence after scoring two goals in his last two games.
Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea – This derby should be tight despite the gulf in class and a draw looks the most likely result, although that won’t help Chelsea in their quest for the title or QPR in the bid to avoid relegation.