Fresh from the glorious Champions League victory over Barcelona Chelsea shift their focus to their Premier League campaign and the clash with QPR. With the Blues desperate to close the gap behind their top 4 rivals and R’s fighting for their lives, we should see a great game of football at Stamford Bridge.
What a comeback from Chelsea!
When Andre Villas-Boas was sacked from the post at the beginning of March, Chelsea were on the verge of Champions League elimination and far away from the top 4 finish in the Premier League and it is really remarkable what they have achieved under Roberto Di Matteo. Less than two months later the Blues are much closer to Champions League qualification, while they have qualified for Champions League and FA Cup finals. The remarkable 3-2 aggregate victory over Barcelona and the manner in which it was achieved speaks volumes about team’s new-found confidence and character, so it is fair to expect that the Blues will produce another convincing performance when they take on QPR. Five days were more than enough for the players to regroup and shift their focus towards the Premier League campaign, although they are not expected to have an easy job against resurgent Rangers.
Roberto Di Matteo faces a real defensive headache seeing that David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are all unavailable.
Rangers back in business
Just like their fellow promoted sides Swansea and Norwich, QPR have been defying the odds from the very start to the season and Mark Hughes’ side have done well to climb out of the bottom three thanks to some scintillating displays over the last few weeks. Rangers have done brilliantly to beat Liverpool, Arsenal, Swansea and Tottenham in their last four home games and their impressive form at Loftus Road could make all the difference. However, in order to survive this season, QPR will probably have to bring at least one point from the travels, which will be no easy task seeing they face Chelsea and Manchester City in their last two away games. Rangers may have lost last five away games in the Premiership, but they have scored in four of last six, and with Chelsea missing three starting defenders, the visitors can be trusted to score at Stamford Bridge as well.
Adel Taarabt misses out through suspension, while Djibril Cisse and Samba Diakite are both doubtful.
Chelsea desperately need a win on order to keep their Champions League hopes alive and they should have no problems scoring a couple against QPR, although they will have to be wary of players like Zamora, Mackie and Cisse, especially with three starting defenders unavailable. Therefore, I see a good value in backing both teams to score.
Our prediction: Both teams to score
Odds: 1.93 (37/40)