On January 17th, Louis Van Gaal takes his Manchester United side to face Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses. QPR continued their historically bad away form becoming the first team in the Premier League era to lose their first 10 away matches with their loss to Burnley. United lost 1-0 at home to fellow top four challengers Southampton. United failed to register a shot on target at home for the first time since 2009. Both teams will be looking to rebound from their disappointing results in this one with three points.
After having to deal with a huge amount of injuries earlier in the campaign, Manchester United have most of their players back from injury. However, the Red Devils may be without star striker Robin Van Persie after he limped off the pitch vs QPR. Louis Van Gaal will also be unable to select his wing back revelation, Ashley Young, as he recovers from his torn hamstring. It does look like one of Van Gaal’s other wing backs will be fit to play with Rafael recovering from his fractured cheekbone.
Harry Redknapp has had pretty good luck with injuries, especially if you compare their luck to teams like Arsenal, Newcastle, and Manchester United. The hoops could have the long time Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, back from injury in time to face his former club. QPR will be without Sandro and Yun Suk Young who are both out at least until the end of the month. Harry Redknapp will also be unable to select Alejandro Faurlin as he continues to miss time with his torn ACL.
- Manchester United have not lost to QPR since their meeting on New Years Eve in 1991.
- The Rangers have been able to get a draw with the Red Devils only once in their last 13 meetings.
- QPR have only scored one goal in their last six meetings with United.
- The combined score of those last six matches is 14-1 in favor of the team from Manchester.
- In the 44 times the two teams have met, United have only lost six times and have won 28 times.
- Despite being second bottom in the table, QPR have the fewest home losses and the most home wins of any bottom half team.
Queens Park Rangers: Charlie Austin
It’s pretty obvious to everyone that Charlie Austin is the key man at QPR. The in form English striker has been one of the few bright spots in QPR’s season. Austin is the third top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals and has scored a stunning 56.5% of his teams goals. All of the striker’s teammates combined have actually scored fewer goals than he has. If that stat doesn’t illustrate his importance to his team, then I don’t know what will. This season, if Charlie Austin hasn’t been firing, QPR aren’t firing, so Harry Redknapp will try everything to keep his star striker firing.
Manchester United: Angel Di Maria
The Manchester United squad is brimming with talented players. Angel Di Maria is arguably the most talented of the bunch and, after a poor performance against Southampton, will be looking to use all of that talent to put in a strong bounce-back performance. The Argentine was just voted into the FIFA team of the year earlier this week. While there were some controversial picks in that team, Di Maria was one that many people could agree deserved to be in that team. The former Real Madrid star will hope to prove FIFA right in picking him and get Manchester United back on track after their disappointing loss to Southampton.
QPR are in the relegation zone and are having a pretty terrible season, but they have proved themselves tough to beat when in the confines on Loftus Road. The fact that they are at home gives the Rangers a chance, but I think United will come out on top. QPR have a horrible history against United and have caught the Red Devils after a loss that they will be looking to avenge.