QPR vs Southampton – Premier League preview and team news

Queens Park Rangers face a tricky test against high-flying Southampton in their first game since the sudden resignation of manager Harry Redknapp.

Tim Sherwood looks likely to be the new boss at Loftus Road, and he would face a challenge to keep the R’s in the Premier League, particularly as they are on a winless run that stretches back to December 20, and still without an away point after their latest reverse at Stoke City.

They did at least put up a fight in the Midlands, although once again their defending left plenty to be desired. A lack of business on transfer deadline day has not helped their prospects, and here they must be at the top of their game to see off a strong and stingy Saints side.

Ronald Koeman will be targeting a return to form after their loss to Swansea City, which came despite dominating possession and territory throughout. However, they were lacking quality in the final third and as a result created few opportunities on a frustrating afternoon.

They will begin this game outside the Champions League places due to Tottenham and Arsenal meeting in the early kick-off, but Southampton are serious contenders, and should triumph if they can starve Charlie Austin of service. In attack, the return of Sadio Mane to the starting XI could turn the game in their favour.

Sandro is likely to miss out again for QPR along with long-term absentee Alejandro Faurlin, but they are hopeful over the fitness of Adel Taarabt.

New permanent signing Ryan Bertrand misses out through suspension for Southampton, but they could give a debut to loanee Filip Djuricic. Toby Alderweireld and Shane Long are still injured.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on QPR v Southampton

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