Loftus Road side take on high-flying Baggies.
QPR – SOS! What a year 2012 has been for Rangers. Zoom back to Christmas 2011 and you’ll find Neil Warnock in charge, picking a team which included Paddy Kenny, Fitz Hall, Heidar Helgusson, Luke Young and Joey Barton.
Warnock, Mark Hughes, a host of players and a lot of credibility have been sacrificed in a calendar year in which they have amassed more red cards than Premier League wins.
New boss Harry Redknapp has revealed how Loftus Road seems to have become a kind of retirement home for the seriously overpaid and under motivated; all in all Rangers look like a shining example of how not to go about running a football club; think Portsmouth with bling.
And of course the mention of Portsmouth takes me back to the 2005-06 season. Like QPR this season, Portsmouth had played 15 games and just lost at Manchester United when the clarion call came for Harry Houdini to work his spell. Like QPR now,
Portsmouth had been stuck in the bottom three from the off and looked a hopeless case. Like QPR now, they hoped Redknapp could save them by weaving some magic in the January window.
Harry did not disappoint. In came Pedro Mendes, Sean Davis, Wayne Routledge and Noe Pamarot from Spurs, Dean Kiely from Charlton, Benjani from Auxerre and Andres D’Alessandro from Wolfsburg. Portsmouth escaped.
However, unlike QPR, Portsmouth had ten points when Harry took over; Rangers had only four. I’ll say it again; QPR – SOS.
West Brom could not be more different. Admirable on and off the pitch they deserve every plaudit coming their way. With their solid, unflashy, modest approach they are achieving some spectacular results and playing some very good football on the way. WBA – QED.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT.
TV: Highlights, BBC ONE Match of the Day.
Queens Park Rangers (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Green; Ferdinand, Nelsen, Hill, Fabio; Mackie, Faurlin, Mbia, Granero; Taarabt;
Out: Ephraim (hamstring), Johnson, Park (both knee), Zamora (hip).
Tests: Julio Cesar (back), Dyer (unspecified), Onuoha, Traore (both hamstring).
West Bromwich Albion (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov; Mulumbu, Brunt; Gera, Morrison, Odemwingie; Lukaku.
Tests: Reid (shin), Yacob (hamstring).
Referee: Chris Foy (Matches 12, R0 Y20).
West Brom have lost just one of their last four league visits to QPR.
In three previous encounters in the Premier League, West Brom have won two and drawn the other.
This is the 40th meeting between the sides in all competitions. West Brom have won 17, QPR 13 and there have been nine draws.
Against Newcastle, Harry Redknapp lost his first match since taking over at QPR (W1, D3, L1).
Redknapp is unbeaten in his last 10 league matches as manager on Boxing Day. His last defeat on 26 December was a 1-0 loss at Arsenal in 1998.
QPR have scored only one goal in the final 15 minutes of Premier League games this season, fewer than any other side.
Coincidentally, that goal was scored against West Brom, although Esteban Granero’s 90th-minute goal could not prevent Rangers losing 3-2.
Zoltan Gera’s goal against Norwich was West Brom’s first in the Premier League for five hours and 58 minutes.
Romelu Lukaku has averaged a goal every 110 minutes in the Premier League this season. Of the 18 players to have scored six or more this season in the top flight, this is the second best rate (after Edin Dzeko – 97 mins per goal).
The Baggies have not won on any of their last 11 league visits to London, since a 3-2 win at Arsenal in September 2010.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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