Arsenal come off the back of two lacklustre defeats and with a tempestuous AGM on Thursday needing a win.
If you’re in that situation, you probably want a home fixture against a team without a win in the Premiership this season. But Norwich away looked like quite a nice fixture an hour or two before kickoff, didn’t it?
Arsene Wenger acknowledged the dangers posed by QPR on Saturday, saying, ‘”I must say that QPR had a good team when we played at the Emirates and we won 1-0. It was a very difficult game so we have been warned,” said Wenger.
“I believe that you will see the influence of Mark Hughes more next season because he will choose his players, they will take time. At the moment he is focused more on saving QPR than dictating his style of play.
“I wasn`t surprised he took the job. He was looking for a job and when you can get a job in the Premier League, you take it.
“I don`t know the discussions he had with the directors there, maybe they are very ambitious. It is a club in central London with a good support and they are a big traditional club in England.”
Arsenal Team News:
rsene Wenger brings Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna back into the squad after long injury lay offs with their level of involvement his next concundrum. It’s widely thought both will start on the bench, with Wilshere definitely to be introduced at some stage.
Abou Diaby (thigh), Tomas Rosicky (achilles), Theo Walcott (ribs), Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (ankle), Lukasz Fabianski (ankle), Wojciech Szczesny (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (thigh) are all still short of fitness.
Arsenal (from); Mannone, Martinez, Jenkinson, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Djourou, Vermaelen, A.Samtos, Arteta, Coquelin, Frimpong, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Arshavin, Gervinho, Gnabry, Podolski, Giroud.
Player to watch: Jack Wilshere
After so long out, we should be patient in our expectations. It is thoroughly unlikely he’ll start, but I’d imagine he’ll come on at some stage.
The players and the fans could do with a lift at the moment and his mere presence should at least ensure some of the noise generated on Saturday will be positive. It will just be nice to see him on a pitch again in truth.
Queens Park Rangers Team News:
Andy Johnson (knee) and Kieron Dyer (calf) are absent, but Mark Hughes will run a late check over Brazilian left back Fabio (hamstring) and ex Arsenal full back Armand Traore (leg).
QPR (from); Cesar, Green, Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Mbia, Bosingwa, Traore, Fabio, Park, Taraabt, Derry, Diakite, Granero, Hoilett, Faurlin, Zamora, Cisse, Wright Phillips, Mackie.
Player to watch: Park Ji Sung
The Rs skipper, hasn’t missed a minute yet this season. Always bloody scores against us!
Match Facts & Stats
The last time QPR won at Arsenal was New Year’s Eve in 1994, but their 3-1 win was overshadowed by John Jensen’s infamous one and only goal for the club.
Mark Hughes has managed the away side at the Emirates 5 times in the Premier League and has lost every time so far.
QPR haven’t had a clean sheet away from home for 20 games.
Arsenal have only allowed their opponents 25 shots on target against them this season, fewer than any other team.
Referee will be Mr. A.Taylor. No, I’ve never heard of him either.
I’m backing Arsenal to get out of their slump, but I don’t think it will be pretty. 1-0. Gervinho.
Arsenal’s next fixture will be away at Reading in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening.