The pressure is firmly on Arsenal this weekend as they welcome bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers to the Emirates Stadium for a fixture that could make-or-break their season. Arsene Wenger’s side are already 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea and have suffered one of the most difficult weeks of the Frenchman’s 16 year tenure in North London.
Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road was followed by a shock 2-0 home defeat to Schalke in the Champions League. Arsenal’s current woes were coupled with a hostile shareholders meeting on Thursday and now Wenger faces pressure to pick up what should be a routine three points against QPR on Saturday. Fans are in the view that the club’s board are sacrificing success on the pitch for balancing the financial books and Wenger has been left to deal with a squad disrupted by sales.
The Gunners are focusing on their football and the return of Jack Wilshere is a positive for Wenger. Wilshere could make his first senior appearance for 17 months after a troublesome period with injuries and Arsenal could be boosted by the return of Bacary Sagna. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a doubt with a hip problem suffered on international duty, so with Theo Walcott still sidelined, the Arsenal front three is expected to comprise of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Gervinho.
QPR will be looking to capitalise on the poor week for Arsenal fans, but their season has been a tale of poor performances and no victories. Their summer redevelopment has seen no improvement on their attempts to escape the clutches of relegation and Mark Hughes has a battle on his hands to stop Rangers falling deeper into trouble. With a huge clash against Reading next weekend, QPR will not be focused on three points at the Emirates Stadium, but they would be a much-wanted surprise.
Clint Hill should be back in contention for a starting place after overcoming a head injury and Manchester United loanee Fabio may recover from a hamstring worry. Club captain Park Ji-Sung is doubtful with a knee worry and Djibril Cisse could make his 100th appearance in the Premier League, which has accumulated with three different sides after spells at Liverpool and Sunderland.
Arsenal fans will be craving the victory to move them to within seven points of the Blues before Chelsea host Manchester United on Sunday. QPR will be looking to salvage something from the game and the Gunners will have to break down a defensive wall in order to obtain three points.
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