A classic relegation six-pointer will be played at Loftus Road, with out-of-form Queens Park Rangers and Southampton battling for what could be a life-saving victory for one of the two sides. Sitting five and four points adrift of safety, it’s now do or die for both Rangers and Saints.
Now or never for QPR
Money can’t buy success and few other phrases spring to mind when one thinks of Queens Park Rangers, but I, for one, am shocked to see Mark Hughes’ side still sitting at Premiership rock bottom. Even if their back line does seem a bit shaky at times, other areas of the team appear to be in full working order, but Lady Luck never seems to smile on the Rangers. QPR have produced several very good performances this season, especially at their Loftus Road, but much awaited victory always eludes them somehow. Everybody at the club is aware that things would be much more difficult if they fail to beat fellow strugglers Southampton, so the hosts will need no special motivation for this match. With Esteban Granero, Adel Taarabt and Junior Hoilett all in the side, QPR can again be trusted to carve out plenty of clear-cut chances, and maybe this time Cisse or Zamora will prove why they were rated some of the best Premier League strikers not so long ago.
Ryan Nelsen is doubtful with ankle and knee injuries, while Stephane M’Bia serves the final game of his three-match ban. Park Ji-Sung could return from injury, but Fabio and Andy Johnson remain sidelined.
Make or break time
Southampton did well to return to the top flight following a seven-year absence, but the club failed to properly prepare for what awaited them in the Premier League. Despite spending almost €40 million on new players, Steven Davis was their only signing with past Premiership experience, and it is the lack of seasoned Premier League footballers that is costing the team dearly this season. Boss Nigel Adkins is doing his best with the players he has at his disposal, but 5 points from 11 league games prove the Saints lack the quality to play at this level. Team’s dismal away form is another reason for concern before the trip to Loftus Road, with Saints losing all five away games this term, scoring 5 and conceding 18 goals in the process. The visitors should be very motivated to beat their direct relegation rivals, but motivation alone cannot help them get something from this game.
Boss Nigel Adkins has no fresh injury worries ahead of the trip to London, with Frazer Richardson and Richard Chaplow the only unavailable players at the moment.
There may be just one point separating the two sides at the moment, but the fact is QPR have shown a lot more promise this season and I am positive Rangers can finally record their first Premier League victory this season. On the other hand, Southampton look set for sixth successive defeat on the road.
Top pick: Home win 1.95 (19/20) @ William Hill
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 1.73 (8/11) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score 1.57 (4/7) @ SkyBet