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QPR dealt Ilias Chair blow

QPR have been dealt an early blow ahead of this weekend’s game against Burnley, as the Hoops will certainly be without Ilias Chair after Morocco’s World Cup progression.

The Hoops are yet to appoint a new manager to replace Michael Beale at Loftus Road but whoever takes over will be forced to contend without the influential Chair at first.

After a superb start to the Championship season, which saw the former Stevenage man contribute three goals and six assists in 21 appearances, he was called up to Morocco’s squad for the World Cup by Walid Regragui.

The Atlas Lions have been the surprise side of the tournament thus far as after topping a group containing Belgium and Croatia, they knocked out Spain in the round of 16 on Tuesday to set up a quarter-final tie against Portugal this weekend.

Although Chair is yet to play a single minute of the tournament, he will undoubtedly remain in Qatar until Morocco are knocked out, which means that the £7.1k-per-week earner will not be available when QPR face Burnley at Loftus Road on Sunday, when second-tier football returns after a month’s break.

That is undoubtedly a blow to the Hoops’ chances of beating the league leaders, as Chair has statistically been their best player so far this campaign.

Will QPR cope with Chair?

Yes

Yes

No

No

According to WhoScored, the 25-year-old has averaged an impressive 7.11 rating for his performances in the Championship, which ranks him as the number one player for the Hoops, ahead of joint-top scorer Chris Willock.

Former player and Sky Sports pundit Glenn Murray was full of praise for Chair last year as he starred at Loftus Road, hitting nine goals and five assists in the Championship.

Murray said on Sky Sports (via TEAMtalk): “There’s no question about his talent. He’s such an exciting prospect. I noticed him a couple of years ago and he’s the real deal.

“He’s got that low centre of gravity, he can get underneath players but he’s also got vision, he can see a pass and he can score a goal.”

QPR desperately need to rectify their recent form if they are to mount a promotion challenge this season but losing Chair for such a difficult first game back could make things very tough for the new manager, so Hoops fans will be disappointed that the attacking midfielder isn’t available.