Lineups from 3pm
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Rojo, Blackett, Blind, Herrera, Mata, Di Maria, Rooney, van Persie
Subs: Lindegaard, Shaw, Fletcher, Januzaj, Valencia, A Pereira, Falcao
QPR: Green, Isla, Ferdinand, Caulker, Hill, Sandro, Kranjcar, Fer, Phillips, Austin, Hoilett
Subs: McCarthy, Traore, Onuoha, Henry, Vargas, Zamora, Taarabt
Manchester United vs QPR Preview
Written by JamesMartin
Follow @JamesMartin013 on Twitter
After three gameweeks in the 2014/15 season, both Manchester United and QPR find themselves languishing towards the lower end of the table. Louis Van Gaal is finding himself under increasing pressure, and will be hoping his side can notch their first win of the season against Rangers. However, it won’t necessarily be a stroll in the park- QPR put in a solid defensive stint in their last game, a 1-0 victory against Sunderland (who, incidentally, drew 1-1 with United in gameweek 2).
The big talking point from a United perspective is new signing Radamel Falcao. Although questions have been raised about the wisdom of bringing in a world class striker instead of properly addressing the glaring deficiencies in the defence, there is no doubting that Falcao is clinical in front of goal. Priced at 11 million in FPL he is certainly a gamble, but a gamble that 9.5% of players have decided to take. Spurs proved that QPR’s defence is vulnerable against good teams, and Falcao will be hoping to make a dream start by scoring against them. Another new signing, Angel Di Maria, could also have an impact. Other than one or two stand-out passes he was distinctly average on his debut (a 0-0 draw with Burnley), but if deployed centrally he could cause QPR a lot of problems- there is a decent chance that he could rack up an assist or two.
QPR’s team is less star-studded, but will certainly be hopeful of capitalising on United’s extremely shaky start. If deployed in the hole, Leroy Fer could definitely be one to watch out for from an FPL perspective. Priced at just 5.5 million, and selected by only 0.1% of players, he couldn’t be more of a contrasting option to Angel Di Maria, but he could be just as effective. He demonstrated his powerful strike on multiple occasions when playing for Norwich, so if the questionable United defence don’t close him down quickly enough then they could be in trouble. He can also turn creator; he got the assist for Austin’s goal in their 1-0 win against Sunderland. Austin himself could prove important- his game time has been patchy so far this season, but when playing he’s looked a potent threat.
Despite failing to win a match so far, United have to be viewed as the favourites. The attacking strength of Rooney, Van Persie, Falcao and Di Maria will likely be enough to prevail against a QPR defence who, by and large, haven’t covered themselves in glory so far this season. However, if Alex McCarthy (recently signed from Reading, priced 4.0 million in FPL) is given the nod over Rob Green, he could play a key part. Renowned as an excellent shot-stopper, he is extremely highly rated by those who have watched him regularly. If he does manage to wrest the first choice keeper slot from Rob Green, he’s certainly one to consider for your FPL team at such a cheap price.
That said, I don’t think McCarthy will be enough to get QPR a clean sheet. I think it’s extremely probable that United will score (although we thought the same when they played Bunrley), and also quite likely that they will concede. As such, I wouldn’t recommend having defenders from either side in your FPL team for this fixture. Both teams like lining up with 5 at the back; whilst this would usually make the full-backs worth considering for their attacking threat, if both sides start with five defenders then the wide defenders will somewhat cancel each other out. The more likely of the two teams to keep a clean sheet is Man U- let’s face it, Austin isn’t quite at Falcao’s level- but my score prediction is 3-1 United.
My name is James Martin, (follow me on Twitter @JamesMartin013) and I’m a keen blogger as well as a huge Liverpool fan. I’m also a complete FPL addict. I guest blog for multiple websites, and have my own blog (www.jamesmartinblogs.blogspot.com) where you can see all of my Liverpool-related articles. Enjoy!