Given the very late win by Aston Villa last night this is becoming a critical game for QPR. 3 points adrift of safety with some tough games ahead, they are struggling.
The number of teams who come up from the Championship only to return the following season are legion, Leicester are doomed and I fear QPR will have the same fate. Leicester came up as champions with 102 points yet are rooted to the bottom of the PL, QPR arrived through the play-offs, retained most of their squad, added Caulker, Mutch, Fer and Sandro for a combined cost of €30m and still struggle – proof once again of the gap in quality between the two divisions.
In Charlie Austin they have a fine player who is the fulcrum of their attack. Barton is missing through suspension which will probably mean Sandro the violent ex-Spud will start. Hope our players are wearing titanium shin pads and ankle protection.
Essential kit when playing against Sandro
I think it is indicative of QPR’s ambitions that they have installed Chris Ramsey as manager – though sacking Harry was a major positive!
On paper we should win this. The bookies are offering 6/1 for a home win! We have taken 18 points out of 21, OG is scoring regularly, Ozil has 5 assists from 12 games, …. you know all the positives and negatives of this Arsenal team.
But before we get too confident – we have won just one out of our last 7 visits to Loftus Rd. A preposterous return.
Arsenal: Ramsey is back in the squad and I would give him an hour tonight ahead of the MU game at the weekend. I believe we are a better team with Ramsey than without and if that results in dropping (rotating) Santi, Alexis or Ozil then so be it. This has not been Aaron’s best season thanks to disruption with injury but he remains our best box-to-box MF. I would give Cazorla a rest and bring him on in the last 15 minutes to enjoy himself.
Coquelin? Other players have performed with a smashed bugle and the lad is no oil painting anyway. If he can breathe he should start.
Bellerin BFG Gabriel Monreal
Once again we have a very strong bench.
The only reason which I foresee Arsenal losing this game is over-confidence.
This is another game where none of the opposition players would get into the Arsenal squad, let alone starting 11 (perhaps Austin). But we are Arsenal and things do not always go as we hope, too often the side over-complicate or make stupid defensive mistakes. If we continue to be less concerned with possession and more concerned with efficient use of the ball we will win, however ….. this Arsenal team is so damned unpredictable.
I am 55% confident
Written by Big Raddy