Sunday 12th April 2015, Loftus Road. Live on Sky Sports 1. Kick-off 1:30pm.
Sunday’s 1:30pm kick off is a London derby between two sides desperate for the points for contrasting reasons.
Queens Park Rangers entertain Chelsea with the hosts aiming to move out of the Premier League relegation places while the Blues hope to extend their lead aloft the table.
Rangers are down in 18th but moved to within two points of safety after achieving a resounding 4-1 success of West Bromwich Albion before a highly-entertaining draw with fellow strugglers Aston Villa.
Against Villa, QPR’s faithful were put through the emotions. Matt Phillips gave Chris Ramsey’s men a seventh-minute lead before Christian Benteke struck twice, Clint Hill’s header and a Charlie Austin goal gave Rangers the lead again but Benteke completed his hattrick in the 83rd minute to ensure the points were shared.
While Sunday’s game could prove pivotal at both ends of the table, Ramsey is hoping the game is low-key and there are no early setbacks.
“We are hoping that there are no goals until the 91st minute and then we get a penalty – we would take that now,” the former England Under 20s manager told the Daily Mail.
“But the way we have gone this season the game will still end up 4-3! We are hoping it is not a good game from that point of view. 3-3 is a great game for the neutral but not very good form the point of view that we know we can defend and play better than that.
“We have had two games this year with really questionable periods, 20 minutes at Crystal Palace and the same at Villa, that has meant we have had mountains to climb and we are hoping we don’t fall into that trap this time.”
Chelsea are closing in on their first league title since 2010 as a run of 10 games unbeaten has helped them build a healthy lead at the top of the table.
The Blues have been beaten just twice this term in the league and head into the final stretch with only one injury concern – Diego Costa will be the only absentee – but manager Jose Mourinho knows it won’t be easy against QPR.
The 52-year-old said; ”Only Diego is injured. Everybody else is fine and ready. Mikel is ready, Fabregas with a mask is ready too. No problems.
“Obviously it’s a very important match for both teams. We know that, we know they want to win. Nobody is expecting an easy match. We go to play, we go to win, the people in the stands can play a role, but they cannot score goals.”
While form isn’t on their side, QPR hold the advantage in previous encounters at Loftus Road. Rangers haven’t lost at home to their London rivals since 1996.
Looking at Sunday’s encounter, Chelsea should be too good for Ramsey’s men and leave with the points to continue their push for the title. Totesport are offering 4/9 for a Chelsea win, while another option with more value is 3/4 with BetVictor for there to be over 2.5 goals in the game.