QPR vs Liverpool Preview
Written by JamesMartin
Follow @JamesMartin013 on Twitter
At 1:30pm, 10th placed Liverpool travel to QPR, who currently sit 20th in the league. With their opponents having taken just four points from their first seven games, the reds will be fairly confident of a victory – that said, the fresh injury to Daniel Sturridge, who was set to return in this match, will make the task harder.
QPR: McCarthy, Isla, Onuoha, Dunne, Caulker, Suk-Young, Henry, Fer, Sandro, Austin, Zamora
Subs: Murphy, Traore, Ferdinand, Phillips, Kranjcar, Hoilett, Vargas
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Enrique, Gerrard, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Balotelli.
Subs: Jones, Toure, Manquillo, Allen, Markovic, Coutinho, Lambert.
In the continued absence of Sturridge, the task of leading the line will probably fall to Balotelli. Whilst I think that he should be played in a two up front with Raheem Sterling, it is likely that he will play the role of lone striker. He has struggled to perform since signing for Liverpool, netting just once since joining from AC Milan. Many FPL owners are getting impatient and offloading the Italian; the Liverpool fans themselves will likely start getting on his back if he doesn’t increase his goal tally soon. QPR seems as likely a place as any for Balotelli to score his first Premier League goal for Liverpool – Rangers have kept just one clean sheet this season. On top of this, they have conceded 3 and 4 goals respectively against the only strong teams they’ve come up against thus far, Spurs and United. Liverpool will be hopeful that this leaky defence can be capitalised on.
It isn’t only Balotelli who provides a threat; fresh from his controversial rest on international duty, Raheem Sterling will be hoping to come back firing for Liverpool. Always a danger, it seems likely that he’ll be able to score some good FPL points in this fixture. Jordan Henderson is another one to look out for. He has been one of Liverpool’s best players so far this season, notching a goal and assist in their previous game. With his price still at just 6 million for the time being, many managers will surely be considering him as a budget option if he can produce another good performance.
It isn’t only Liverpool who will look at the opposition’s defensive record and consequently fancy their chances. QPR will surely be hopeful of a goal or two against Rodgers’ side- like the London outfit, they have only managed one clean sheet all season. Charlie Austin and Eduardo Vargas are both dangerous going forward, and Nico Kranjcar poses a threat from dead ball situations. Liverpool’s propensity for conceding from set pieces will also encourage QPR, who’s central defensive pairing of Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand are both capable of scoring headed goals.
Both teams certainly have the incentive to get the win – a victory for Liverpool would send them up to 5th place and potentially top 4 if the winning margin is significant. QPR desperately need to get a result to lift them off the bottom of the table.
My prediction is that Liverpool will take all three points; although they’ve been sub-standard so far this season, even a below par Liverpool attack should be enough to get past QPR.
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!