A win is a must for struggling Queens Park Rangers as they host beleaguered Everton, needing to close the gap between themselves and the safety line.
The West London club currently lie four points adrift of fourth from bottom Sunderland, and to have any chance of staying up they must avoid losing for the ninth time in 10 Premier League outings, with the promotion of Chris Ramsey to caretaker-manager having not quite worked out yet.
There are still huge concerns over the defence, and that was again in evidence at Crystal Palace last time out, where they were blown away in the first half. An astonishing strike from Matt Phillips failed to lift the mood on a day where Adel Taarabt and Shaun Wright-Phillips were included in the starting XI to little effect.
Everton finally got the home league win they were craving as they eased to success over Newcastle United as Romelu Lukaku continued his much-improved form and gave them a bigger lead over the bottom three. The Belgian was again on target on Thursday, but the Toffees paid the price for some wretched defending.
They duly became the last English club to be eliminated from European competition this season as Dynamo Kiev ran riot and created chances at will, leading to criticism for manager Roberto Martinez as well as the team. Antolin Alcaraz and Christian Atsu – one of the biggest transfer flops of the season – in particular underperformed.
Joey Barton returns to contention following a three-match ban and QPR will have Mauricio Isla back, but Darnell Furlong is doubtful because of a calf injury.
The visitors are likely to make changes from the defeat in Ukrainian capital, with Gareth Barry suspended and John Stones in line for a return after recovering from a virus.
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