Everton vs QPR Preview | Team News, Key Men & Stats

Everton vs QPR Preview | Team News, Key Men & Stats

Struggling Everton welcome Harry Redknapp’s just-above-the-drop-zone Queen’s Park Rangers on Monday night in what will be viewed as a game that could potentially set the tone for both sides for the rest of this year. Roberto Martinez’s Everton are nine points off the Champions League places and with only two home wins so far, three points against the Rangers who have yet to accrue points from their travels, could provide a timely boost ahead of the second half of the season. They fielded an experimental squad for their final Europa League group stage encounter on Thursday which they ended up losing 1-0 which was essentially a dead rubber, having already qualified for the knockouts. With a shrinking injury list and no European games until February, it’s time the Toffees started improving their domestic form and most importantly at Goodison.

evevsqpr

Queen’s Park Rangers travel to the north west at the back of an impressive home win against fellow promoted side Burnley, thanks to the vital second goal from Charlie Austin who also managed to get himself sent off in the same game, ruling himself out of Monday’s clash. Harry Redknapp pleased with his side’s marked improvement said:

We’re in good form at home and I couldn’t be more pleased with how we’re playing. The key now is improving our away form, although there has been a big improvement in performances. Now we need to turn that improvement into points.”

Having picked up some much needed momentum ahead of this fixture, the Rangers will be determined to take home their first point(s) from an Everton side that  somehow fail to get results at home.

Team News

There are question marks over the availability of James McCarthy, Steven Naismith (both hamstring), Darren Gibson (knee) and John Stones (ankle/foot), who all face late fitness tests. Following his performance in the Europa League, Luke Garbutt may find himself on the bench.

Queen’s Park Rangers have no new injury concerns and Steven Caulker is fine after receiving treatment at hospital for a cut head. However, they will be missing suspended top scorer Charlie Austin after his red card in their 2-0 win over Burnley.

Possible Lineups

Everton v QPR - Possible Lineups

Everton v QPR – Possible Lineups

Recent Meetings

Everton 4 – 0 QPR –  Jan 2014

Everton 2 – 2 QPR – Apr 2013

Everton 1 – 1 QPR –  Oct 2012

Interesting Numbers

Everton have won just six points from their last six Premier League matches (W1 D3 L2).

QPR have lost all seven Premier League away games this season, scoring just two goals.

Everton have made more errors leading directly to goals than any other team in the top division this season (8).

QPR have lost all seven Premier League away games this season, scoring just two goals.

Key Men

Leighton Baines – Everton

The Everton left back has been integral to Roberto Matinez’s style of play that reaped rewards last season, which involves the provision of width by fullbacks when the midfielders take care of the pressing. He’s picked up where he left off last campaign and contributes at both ends of the pitch game after game proving to be a vital asset for the Toffees. He’s already set up 6 goals and created 33 chances in total (including assists). Defensively, he’s involved in 5 actions per game and has managed to win more than half of his 1 v 1 duels (56%). With a remarkable 60% shots on target, Baines also poses a serious threat in dead ball situations. QPR, being particularly leaky at the back should struggle to deal with defending against Lukaku and Eto’o especially when Baines can whip them balls in like he usually does, on Monday.

Eduardo Vargas – QPR

Vargas has gradually grown into his role at QPR and the Chilean is now one of the most important players at the club with his ability to work his socks off throughout the game. He’s created 2 goals in the league and scored one himself in ten appearances so far. Unsurprisingly for a Chilean, he does all the running and not to mention some crucial tackles and overall defensive work at the back averaging 2 defensive actions per game. He’s not been very impressive with his passing, averaging a 76% success in finding a teammate. But his link up play with the midfielders and Charlie Austin in particular has kept them ticking in games and with their top scorer unavailable due to suspension, Vargas will be their main man come Monday to get the hoops their first points away from Loftus Road.

Betting Section

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Prediction

I do not see an away win. Without Charlie Austin, QPR could find it difficult to score. Home win and a comfortable one at that, for once.

Everton 2-0 QPR.