CHELSEA v QPR: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 1 November
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

Here we go again then, not five minutes since a surprisingly tough game against Shrewsbury and it’s back to the Premier League for some tired legs at home to QPR. Not that we’d be expecting to see Didier Drogba start again after the workout he had in Costa’s absence. You the fan, though, have no excuse – if you’re not already attending the game today, pick up your Chelsea tickets here.

It’s probably just as well we do have Costa back in time for today’s game as well, given our apparent inability to score against them in more recent meetings. Notably, the last time we played QPR at Stamford Bridge it was a 1-0 defeat and a pretty poor performance from us, although we know Mourinho will be expecting much better if we’re to keep our 100% record going so far this season – no pressure Diego.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into this afternoon’s game, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says “What they did before is not important for me. What they can do Saturday is more important for me. I think I know what I can expect from them and I think I can, in a very simple way, say that it will be a difficult game for us.
Everyone knows that London is a special place because in the end you play eight or 10 derbies, sometimes Fulham and Charlton and the traditionals – West Ham, Arsenal, Tottenham.
So there’s always about ten derbies a season, which makes it unique and causes the London teams to have more difficulties than others because a derby’s always a derby.”

QPR boss Harry Redknapp meanwhile, says “I think it’s tougher for me to finish 17th than for Jose to win the title with his team. He’s proved that he’s a fantastic manager wherever he has been. You don’t go and win Champions League’s like he has unless you’re a top manager, but to be a top manager it helps if you have top players. He’s going to be in the game for many years to come and he could end up as the greatest manager of all time. Could he do it at QPR? It wouldn’t be easy. He wouldn’t take a team in the bottom four or five at the moment and turn them into a top six team. That’s not going to happen. I think he is very clever but you’re not going to go in and turn a team around.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Loic Remy (groin) and John Obi Mikel (foot) are out, but Ramires (groin) is back and Diego Costa is available again. Ivanovic is also back after his one match ban while Cesar Azpilicueta has his turn on the naughty step.
For QPR, Jordon Mutch and Joey Barton (both hamstring) remain out although Adel Taarabt might be in with a shout now he’s made up with his boss.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Luís, Ramires, Matic, Hazard, Fabregas, Willian, Costa
QPR (Possible line-up): Green, Isla, Dunne, Caulker, Yun, Vargas, Henry, Sandro, Fer, Zamora, Austin

LAST SEASON
N/A

OTHER STUFF
• Chelsea have kept 10 clean sheets and conceded just four goals in their last 12 league home games
• QPR have won two of their opening nine games
• QPR have won just one of their last 18 away trips to rival London clubs in the Premier League (D3, L14)
• QPR have lost only one of their last five games against Chelsea in the Premier League
• Chelsea have failed to score in three of their last four Premier League games against QPR

PREDICTION
Oh come on, this should be a walk in the park shouldn’t it? Redknapp’s teams always lose against Mourinho right? It’s QPR right? We always score against them don’t we? Oh….
PS It’s November

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