United starting team: Lindegaard; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Young, Scholes, Fletcher; Welbeck,Van Persie, Rooney.
Venue : Old Trafford
Kick off 3.00pm
Referee: Lee Probert, this season 7 matches, Y 23, R 1
Assistants: S Beck, S Child
Fourth Official: G Eltringham
Head to Head
Last 10 : United 9, QPR 0, Draw 1
Overall: United 30, QPR, 6, Draw 13
Leading Scorer: Van Persie 8
Leading Scorer: Zamora 3 (out injured)
Wayne Rooney has been declared fit after being absent through a throat infection, missing the last two matches .Chris Smalling on his road back from long – term injury has recovered from a shoulder injury. Phil Jones continues his return also from a lengthy injury as he builds up his match sharpness.
Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson are both out for QPR with injuries. Fabio da Silva while fit again is ineligible to play against his parent club. We will hopefully welcome back to Old Trafford Park Ji Sung but he takes away no points from his first appearance back at United.
This is the 50th competitive meeting between United and the R’s. The West London clubs last victory against United was on New Years day 1992, when Dennis Bailey scored a memorable hatrick in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford. That win remains their only success in 20 league visits to Manchester United.
QPR have failed to win their last 19 away matches and conceded in their last 22. Overall a mere 3 points from the 57 available, (W0, D3, L16)
United are yet to draw a Premier League game this season, only four teams in the leagues history have not drawn any of their first 13 games. However United’s Achilles heal this season continues to be going behind and having to make a comeback, having gone behind in 11 of their 19 matches this term, managing to recover in eight to go onto win.
United are the leading scorers in the Premier League this season with a conversion rate of almost 15% of their shots. The down side to United’s fantastic ammunition in attack is we only have the 11th best defensive record. United have suffered three League defeats. They have never won the title with more than six defeats in a season.
Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will be in caretaker charge after the sacking of Mark Hughes. QPR have turned to Harry Redknapp, sacked 5 months ago in controversial circumstances from the White Hart Lane hot – seat to arrest their fortunes and save them from dropping through the relegation trapdoor.We expect to see Redknapp in the stands at Old Trafford today to monitor in action at close quarters his most recently acquired team.
After an unexpected 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road last weekend, where Norwich exposed some of United’s frailties particularly in defensive midfield. This setback allowed current Premier League Champions, Manchester City to go to the top of the league ahead of United by a point. Trailing City by just one point, and the title holders not in action till Sunday against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Can United take advantage and apply pressure to both City and Chelsea by capitalizing with three points against bottom of the table QPR.
Sir Alex Ferguson still believes the Barclays Premier league is a three horse race involving United, Manchester City and Chelsea, despite the managerial changes at Stamford Bridge this week, also !
He went onto say ” Certainly a few weeks ago it looked like a three – horse race, ” he told reporters at Carrington on Friday. ” I don’t think that is out of the question either because there are only a few points between the three teams anyway. ”
With QPR manager-less today in the technical area and Harry Redknapp watching on, will this be the motivation for the R’s players to put on a performance today to impress their new boss to ensure they remain in the new managers longterm thinking at Loftus Road. While a similar situation exists at Chelsea with the recent unbelievable dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo, will Rafa Benitez inspire his new team to go out and defeat Manchester City in the late Sunday afternoon kick-off. Lets hope this is the case as far as Chelsea are concerned, for this one game ! Which all going to plan and United taking care of and beating toiling QPR should see Manchester United sitting top of the table by two clear points ahead of Manchester City, come 6.00 pm Sunday evening.
Prediction : United 3 QPR 0.