QPR v Stoke City – Match Preview

Loftus_RoadAlthough the thread QPR are clinging on to can’t snap on Saturday but there is already a sense of resignation in the air at Loftus Road. Accumulating 10 points from safety with five games remaining isn’t beyond impossible especially given three of those are at home. The R’s have lost just once on their own turf in 2013 and visit fellow strugglers Reading next week meaning all is not lost. However, the look of surrender on Harry Redknapp’s face after the draw with Wigan a fortnight ago tells its own story and that of their chances of remaining a Premier League club. Yet, with Loic Remy proving himself quite the goal threat recently, there’s always a chance of Harry Houdini pulling off his greatest escape act yet.

Plummeting out of the top-flight is a reality that is beginning to grip Stoke with each passing game. Tony Pulis’ men have plunged like a stone towards the drop zone since the turn of the year and have managed just five points in 2013. Unfortunately for the Potters they aren’t showing signs of arresting the slide any time soon unless they find form soon. Away from the Britannia Stadium they’ve struggled badly and have lost their last six on the road. Right now they need to adopt a win at all costs mentality if they’re to haul themselves back on the road to safety and can start by leaving west London with maximum points.

Team News

Bobby Zamora is unavailable again for QPR as he serves the second of a three-match ban. Full back Armand Traore (calf) is hoping to be available.

Stoke have doubts over winger Matthew Etherington as he struggles to overcome a back injury. Marc Wilson is also hopeful of a return to the squad.

What the managers said… 

“The dream is still alive – it’s not dead yet and we’ve got to keep going. We need four wins and a draw for the final five to have a chance. We’re still not down. We’ve still got five games to go – we all know it’s a tall order but we will keep going. If relegation happens, we’ve got to regroup and come back stronger, but we’re not giving up yet.” Harry Redknapp still believes QPR can avoid relegation (Daily Express)

There might be a small portion of supporters that have done that but it is not the majority. We have been having a difficult run and minorities get a lot of publicity in this country. The majority of supporters have been brilliant. They understand we are in a battle, a scrap, and they are right behind the team. We have got five games, five throws of the dice to get the six points we need.” Tony Pulis insists he still has the support of the Stoke fans (The Sun)

Pre-match Statistic: With just four wins in 20 Premier League games Harry Redknapp has the same win percentage (20%) as predecessors Neil Warnock and Mark Hughes.

Prediction: QPR 2-2 Stoke City

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