QPR vs Chelsea
QPR vs Chelsea Preview
Chelsea Team News
Ramires will miss out on the west London derby following the knee injury he suffered last weekend against Everton. Fernando Torres will sit out for the last of his three games for the red card suspension.
AVB has been spot on so far with this team rotation giving enough time for all players to have match time under their belt. 5-0 win against Genk saw AVB bring in six changes to the team that defeated Everton 3-1 last weekend and would be looking to do the same for the game against QPR with the likes of Sturridge, Terry, Mikel, Mata and Drogba being brought into the starting line-up.
Hilario and Essien remain our long term absentees.
QPR Team News
Warnock will be without striker DJ Campbell for the visit of the Blues as he is sidelined with a cracked metatarsal. Heidar Helguson who scored in the 1-1 draw against Rovers should retain his place.
Adel Taarabt is pushing for a recall having emerged from the bench against Blackburn Rovers.
Defender Daniel Gabbidon (knee), striker Rob Hulse (knee) and midfielder Kieron Dyer (foot) are all unavailable for QPR.
What could be the starting line-up for the QPR vs Chelsea tie at Loftus Road??
Probable Team Line-ups:
QPR: Kenny, Hall, Ferdinand, Young, Traore, Wright-Phillips, Derry, Barton, Taarabt, Faurlin, Helguson.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Ivanovic, Cole, Meireles, Mikel, Lampard, Mata, Drogba, Sturridge.
Referee: Chris Foy
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AVB on team rotation ahead of the game against Queens Park Rangers -
"We were able to make six changes to the team and were able to perform how we did and not lose our consistency in terms of play and result, and this is what gratifies the technical staff."
"The talent is so immense that we are able to change those players and still perform up to that level. That shows the kind of commitment and the kind of squad at our disposal."
"When changes like that happen and you have that kind of performance, you have to take that into account so everybody is competing for places. At the moment the minutes played by the players this season are spread out more or less in an even way, and this reflects the depth of our squad. We are able to choose from any 11 or 18 and keep the same level of performance and the same result."
AVB on certain players not getting match time under their belt -
"A couple of players still fall short and compared with last year, playing time has fallen short for Josh McEachran, but it is due to more midfield competitiveness and numbers than last year. His talent is enough to play for the team but it is down to a question of choice when everybody is up to the top of their form. I have just been choosing the other way but it doesn't mean that Josh's future won't be at Chelsea because I believe it will be."
"It is 26 players and just 11 playing and everybody with less playing time wants to play more and Salomon Kalou is no exception, He is training well and is competitive and he showed against Genk that he can play a part for his team and he just has to continue to compete."
AVB on Queens Park Rangers and their manager Neil Warnock -
"Neil Warnock is a person with great charisma, great personality and when he got Queen's Park Rangers promoted in that difficult situation it was fantastic."
"QPR have been able to stamp their way in the Premier League quite comfortably for a club coming up and they are able to compete to a good standard, so it is going to be a difficult game. It is a tight ground with a lot of emotions and I respect the job he is doing because he brings that charisma to the team."
Chelsea head into this weekend hoping we will make it even tighter at the top of the table with Manchester United playing Manchester City ahead of our kick off. Until now its been all about the Manchester clubs with experts and the media focusing on them being the only title contenders.
Chelsea head into this game three points behind leaders Man City and one point behind Man U so a win for Chelsea will put them at par along with the Manchester clubs.
AVB shared his thoughts on the same pointing out that this wont be three-horse race let alone a two-horse one -
"I have not in my short experience of managing or assisting Jose [Mourinho] seen a Premier League so tight as this one, or one with so many good teams."
"I think it is more competitive than the other years Chelsea won, and that is not taking merit from what the club has already done because in the 2005/06 Premiership win it was nine wins in the first nine games, and the record of points was beaten in the 2004/05 season, but I am saying more teams look like being in contention."
"Tottenham keep surprising everybody, But with the amount of talent that they have and the humble nature of what they are saying and the values of what they are doing, they are a competitive team. They will never put themselves across as title contenders because nobody likes that kind of pressure."
AVB also shared his thoughts on the impact and importance of this weekends fixtures and how too early it is to decide the title credentials at this stage in the league -
"If these games should happen with these distances between teams in March or April I would say it would be a big opportunity, but not at the moment."
"Anything that happens between us and the Manchester clubs won't dictate what is going to happen in March and April. From being five points from Man United we are just one point away so things have changed dramatically in a couple of weeks and there is still no pattern to how the table is going to behave regarding the future."
"Let the Manchester clubs play each other and see what happens. What is more important for us is to get the three points from our game. Without us doing that nothing that happens in Manchester will be important for us."
Games played 48
Chelsea wins 18
Rangers wins 13
Head to head in the league at Loftus Road
Games played 20
Chelsea wins 4
Rangers wins 7
Biggest league win at Loftus Road for each team
QPR 6-0 Chelsea -31/03/1986
QPR 0-4 Chelsea -14/09/1968
So get ready for some pulsating action at Loftus Road. Come on CHELSEA!!! KTBFFH.