Queens Park Rangers will move out of the Premier League’s bottom three at Aston Villa’s expense if they can pull off their second West Midlands away win in four days.
This game – brought forward due to their participation in the FA Cup semi-finals – is a vital one for Aston Villa, who despite making an improvement under Tim Sherwood, still find themselves in a perilous position. Wins for three of the bottom four at the weekend have led to things becoming ever tighter.
As for Villa, they were being comfortably defeated at Manchester United, where a Christian Benteke goal gave them brief hope of a comeback. This promises to be another tense occasion for the home supporters, but their side’s superior pace in attack will surely be a factor in deciding the outcome.
Very few people expected QPR to take anything at West Brom on Saturday, so for them to breeze to a resounding 4-1 victory was a major shock which raises significant hopes of an escape. A wonderful third goal from Bobby Zamora particularly caught the eye, and that result will boost confidence following a poor run that preceded it.
One major disappointment is an injury to Eduardo Vargas that will keep him out for the rest of the season. The Chilean was impressive again at the Hawthorns, but QPR do at least still have Charle Austin. The key to success here will be giving the back four adequate protection to the threat of Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N’Zogbia.
Tom Cleverley returns for Villa after being ineligible for the Man Utd clash. Aly Cissokho and Kieran Richardson may return from injury, but Alan Hutton, Scott Sinclair and Ashley Westwood are all absent.
Along with Vargas, QPR will be without the concussed Yun Suk-Young as well as long-term injured pair Richard Dunne and Alejandro Faurlin.
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