On January 10th, Harry Redknapp’s QPR travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley. Both of these teams have struggled after being promoted into the Premier League with both sitting in the bottom 5. Burnley started terribly not winning any of their first 10 matches, but have turned it around a bit winning three of their last 10 league matches and losing only three times in their last 11 games in all competitions. QPR have been an interesting side this season. The Hoops have been very strong at home losing only two of their 11 home matches. On the road, QPR have been historically bad losing all nine of their road matches. While Burnley have done slightly better at home than on the road, Harry Redknapp will look for this to be an opportunity to break their win less streak away from home. Both of these sides need points to stay in the division and they need to perform against the teams in and around them. This would be a huge opportunity for either side to get three points to give them confidence going into the rest of the season.
Both of these sides will be missing a fair few players going into this fixture. Sean Dyche will be without Kevin Long and Stephen Ward through long term injuries. Burnley will also be missing Jason Shackell, Mathew Taylor, and Michael Duff, but they could be returning soon. Sandro and Alejandro Faurlin are unavailable for selection due to long term injuries. Harry Redknapp will also be without controversial midfielder Adel Taarabt through injury as well as left back Yun Suk Young. It is unclear when either of those two will be able to return to first team action.
QPR have conceded 35 goals more than any other team in the Premier League. Burnley have the leagues worst goal difference at minus 15 and have scored fewer goals than any other Premier League team outside of Aston Villa. QPR have a worse goal difference than any team outside of the bottom three. The hoops have only scored four times away from home and have a goal difference of minus 18 away from Loftus Road. QPR won the meeting between the two sides earlier this season, but prior to that QPR were winless in their last nine matches against Burnley.
Burnley – Danny Ings
Teams that are fighting relegation often need a talismanic goalscorer to lift them away from the bottom three. This is something teams like Hull City, Crystal Palace, and Sunderland have struggled with. When Burnley came into the Premier League they were hoping that 22 year old Danny Ings would be able to fill that role for them. So far this season Ings may not have reached the prolific heights he may have envisioned before the season, but he has still been a good goalscorer for Sean Dyche. The young Englishman has bagged five goals, more than any other Burnley player. The former Bournemouth striker has also assisted on more goals than any other Burnley player with three assists. The striker has shown that he is more than just a goalscorer completing 32 of his 59 attempted dribbles and creating 17 chances for teammates. If Burnley want to stay in the top division of English football they will need someone to step up and score goals more consistently. The most likely candidate to make that step up is Danny Ings and he will hope he can start scoring more goals against QPR in this vital six pointer.
QPR – Charlie Austin
QPR have been terrible on away from the confines of Loftus Road both when it comes to conceding too many goals and their inability to score goals away from home. One player that has done his job home or away has been striker Charlie Austin. The 25 year old striker has scored 12 league goals more than any Premier League player other than Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa. Austin has also scored three of the Rangers four away goals this season. The English striker scored five goals in five games in the month of December and will hope for similar fortunes in the month of January.
QPR have gone through half of the league season without picking up any points away from home. That is an incredibly bad run and one that I do not think will continue. Burnley have shown themselves tough to beat in recent games, playing out come from behind draws in their last three matches in all competitions, but they have not won in their last five matches. I see this one playing out to be an exciting draw.