QPR face a mammoth task to survive the Premier League relegation fight this season and the games do not get easier with the visit of league leaders Manchester United to Loftus Road on Saturday. United are unbeaten since November 17th, just over three months, and hold a comfortable 12 point cushion over Manchester City in second.
Hoops boss Harry Redknapp believes that 37 points will be enough for survival, but with QPR 20 points adrift of that mark with 12 games to go, home form is vital. Their last three home fixtures have seen goalless draws against Norwich, Manchester City and Tottenham, but that is not enough for Redknapp. A drab performance away at the Liberty Stadium in their last league game saw their first defeat in six league games, but wins are key and it will be difficult against a red-hot United.
January signing Loic Remy is still struggling with his groin problem and will be a major doubt to feature on Saturday. Junior Hoilett and Samba Diakite are both available once again, but Redknapp is still without Bobby Zamora who is struggling with a hip injury. QPR may have to deploy Jamie Mackie as a lone striker once again and despite the need for victories, a draw against the league leaders would not be the worst of results.
United have not lost at Loftus Road since 1989 and have not lost against QPR in the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were given a scare in the earlier fixture between these two sides this season, as QPR went 1-0 ahead before United kicked into gear and comfortably won 3-1. This came before this monstrous 14 match unbeaten run the league leaders find themselves on and there are no signs of slowing down, as they pursue their 20th top-flight title. During this unbeaten run, they have conceded just 14 league goals, which will be a positive for young goalkeeper David de Gea.
At the other end, the goals have been flying in. Wayne Rooney has 10 goals in his last 12 games, but will miss the fixture at Loftus Road with a sinus problem. Phil Jones suffered an injury in the FA Cup win over Reading on Monday night, so joins Paul Scholes on the sidelines. Top marksman Robin van Persie is expected to return to the starting line-up, having been rested against the Royals. United’s tally of 65 points is their best record in Premier League history after 26 games and they will be keen to make the gap 15 points, before City host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
United are flying and with the chance of a treble looming large, Ferguson’s side are ominously closing in on success in all three competitions. QPR will be looking to put a dent in the works of the league leaders, and aid their own survival bid, but the chances of victory are bleak. United have two successive clean sheets in their last two games and will be looking for a third for the first time this season, as they close in on the Premier League title.