Second-placed Manchester United have the chance to move back to the top of the Premier League ahead of rivals Manchester City’s Sunday clash with Chelsea, provided they can secure victory over relegation-haunted basement club QPR at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are coming off the back of two consecutive defeats, disappointingly at Norwich last weekend and at Galatasaray in the Champions League in midweek, but will still be confident of victory against the R’s, who’s desperately poor 3-1 home defeat to Southampton last week left them cut adrift at the bottom, five points off safety and still without a win in the league this season.
Man Utd welcome back Wayne Rooney after missing the Norwich loss with tonsilitis, while Chris Smalling should also feature due to Jonny Evans missing out through injury. Rooney’s return means Ferguson has a decision to make up front between pairing the England international with Robin Van Persie ahead of the in-form Javier Hernandez, or perhaps even playing all three. Elsehwere, after making his injury return against Galatasaray, Phil Jones looks set to miss out while Shinji Kagawa and Nemanja Vidic remain out for the foreseeable future.
Mark Hughes was shown the door by Owner Tony Fernandes, and new manager Harry Redknapp is expected to travel to Old Traffod. With Park Ji Sung and Andrew Johnson both out injured, QPR were hit by the news this week that Bobby Zamora would be missing for up to three months after undergoing hip surgery.
Hughes said after the Southampton defeat last week that changes would be made and the likes of Shaun Derry and Jamie Mackie are all pushing for starting places, with Djbrill Cisse a possible contender to be dropped after his recent poor form.