It was at Old Trafford in November’s reverse fixture that Harry Redknapp began his QPR journey with a 3-1 defeat against Manchester United. In the 15 games since Ranger’s have won three, drawn eight and lost just four. Have their been signs of progress? You might just think so but the reality is that Redknapp’s side remain rooted to the floor of the Premier League basemen. Despite that the Loftus Road faithful still see light at the end of a very dark tunnel and the late defeat to Swansea two weeks ago was QPR’s first in six Premier League matches. Coming up against leaders Manchester United, albeit it at home, represents a daunting assignment especially when you’re scrapping for points at the bottom. But in the mercurial Adel Taarabt there is a match winner for Redknapp to work his motivational magic on. And when the Moroccan ticks, so do QPR.
United know fixtures like these are pose a greater significance to their title aspirations and can’t afford to take struggling QPR side lightly on home turf. But in the same breadth Sir Alex Ferguson is the master in ensuring his side retain their focus at a critically important stage of the season. In spite of their 24-year-old unbeaten stretch at Loftus Road its improbable that Ferguson will allow his champions elect to take their foot even an inch off the gas in West London. The difference for United this season is the attacking potential that exists in the current setup. Even though Wayne Rooney looks likely to be consigned to the sidelines this week Robin Van Persie and Javier Hernandez are more than capable of making difference. In fact Van Persie’s haul of 19 goals is equivalent to the collected total mustered by QPR this season.
QPR are unlikely to risk Loic Remy, who is struggling with a groin injury, but are boosted by the return to fitness of Junior Hoilett and Samba Diakite.
A sinus problem should prevent Wayne Rooney from taking part and he will join midfield duo Phil Jones and Paul Scholes in the treatment room.
What the managers said…
Pre-Match Statistic: QPR haven’t beaten Manchester United in a top-flight fixture since May 1989 when Andy Gray scored a brace in a 3-2 success.
Prediction: QPR 0-2 Manchester United