QPR vs Arsenal – Premier League preview and team news

Arsenal will be looking to cement their grip on third place in the Premier League with victory over Queens Park Rangers, who are yet to win at home in 2015.

The R’s were not in action at the weekend, but were still one of the big winners as all of the teams around them in the bottom six suffered defeat. Now they must capitalise and make the most of two games in a row at Loftus Road, with a visit from Tottenham coming up on Saturday.

Last time out they lost a key game away to Hull City, where Joey Barton was eventually punished for his careless sending off, but given the circumstances it was another battling effort under Chris Ramsey, who has made a positive impression since taking over. They also came close to taking something from Arsenal from the reverse fixture on Boxing Day.

Following the debacle against Monaco in the Champions League which once again had manager Arsene Wenger under the spotlight, a comfortable win over Everton on Sunday was the ideal way for the Gunners to respond, with Olivier Giroud particularly relieved to return to the scoresheet.

The French striker received a considerable amount of criticism after missing several chances against Monaco, but repaid the faith shown in him by Wenger with a classy finish. Here, he will provide the focal point of the Arsenal attack, with the pace of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez among others likely to cause QPR problems.

Barton is missing for the home side, but fit-again Sandro could replace him. This game will probably come too soon for Mauricio Isla and Nedum Onuoha.

The visitors are still without Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere, but Aaron Ramsey is back from injury while Francis Coquelin is available despite suffering a facial injury in the Everton game.

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