Preview - QPR vs Liverpool, Sunday 30th December, 4pm

Posted by JerseyKloppite on December 23, 2012, 06:13:49 PM

vs

at Loftus Road, Sunday 30th December, 4pm.



2012 draws to a close, and as it does we have our final match, away at QPR. An eventful year for both sides.


QPR

The story of 2012...

QPR stayed up by the skin of their teeth, a solitary point more than Bolton Wanderers in 2011-2012. Sparky kept his job, but his reprieve proved only temporary. The Hoops continued to assemble an expensive squad of players at the wrong end of their careers, who may have flashes of talent but who have struggled to appear motivated, a factor picked up on by new boss Harry Redknapp. He recently criticised members of his own squad, commenting that there were one or two players who don't pull their weight and let down the rest of the team. His remarks specifically referred to José Bosingwa who was fined £130,000 for refusing to sit on the bench in last week's game against Fulham.



The season so far

They started the season at a snails' pace, and as I write this sit at the foot of the table, with 10 points from 19 games (half of which have come in December). With just a solitary win, at home to Fulham, they're 6 points from safety with Southampton having a game in hand.

Last five

Queens Park Rangers 1 - 1 Aston Villa   
Wigan Athletic 2 - 2 Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers 2 - 1 Fulham   
Newcastle United 1 - 0 Queens Park Rangers   
Queens Park Rangers 1 - 2 West Bromwich Albion


While their form isn't scintillating either (their last 5 games yielding 5 points, and they face Liverpool after back to back defeats against Newcastle and West Brom) there's renewed hope amongst QPR fans that their fortunes may be turning. December has certainly been their best month already this season with a game to spare.

Likely line up

R. Green

Fábio
A. Ferdinand
C. Hill
A. Traoré

S. M'Bia
A. Faurlin
J. Mackie
A. Taarabt
S. Wright-Phillips

D. Cissé

This was the team that played against West Brom - it'll be interesting to see if Harry shuffles his pack after a disappointing performance, but I'd be surprised if QPR shifted from the 4-5-1 they've been using so far. Some pace and invention clearly - Taarabt on his day is a wizard, but his days don't come often enough. We're familiar with Cisse too, and will be hoping he can be kept quiet. QPR's weakness really lies in a defence which hasn't proved strong enough this season. Potential for Suarez and co?



Liverpool

The story of 2012...

Our opposition's tale is simple enough. Being just good enough, followed by not good enough, and now probably not good enough.

Liverpool on the other hand have had a year best described as 'complicated'. This isn't the place for in depth discussion - this is a match preview after all. But it's easy to feel retrospective as 2012 ends. A year which saw the highs of success at Wembley, and the lows of... well, defeat at Wembley. And the end of the second coming of King Kenny, who left us in the summer in disappointing circumstances. Brendan's arrival was greeted with cautious optimism, which has been sustained with football that has at times been absorbing, sometimes even sparkling, but which has been tempered by some performances which have left fans scratching their heads. Or banging them into walls.


The season so far

We've seen a new system, and new faces. Faith in youth, and progress. But also frustration, as familiar faces and club stalwarts have been through patches of indifferent form. Struggling to adapt to a new system? Perhaps - time will tell. The games I've been to have been a microcosm of our season so far. United, Newcastle and Southampton at home, and Norwich away. Some where we didn't get what we deserved, others where we didn't really deserve anything. Some where we looked superb, others where we really struggled to get going.
10th place as I write, level on points with Norwich and Swansea. Ahead of the former and trailing the latter, on goal difference. As Liverpool go into 2013, what do they need to improve their lot? A couple of new faces, a few better decisions from referees, and a decent bit of luck would be nice...

Last five

Liverpool 1 - 0 Southampton
West Ham United 2 - 3 Liverpool
Liverpool 1 - 3 Aston Villa   
Liverpool 4 - 0 Fulham
Stoke City 3 - 1 Liverpool   


Such a mixed bag. We dared to dream after seeing off Southampton and a stirring comeback at West Ham. People murmured about the top four (and Rodgers' was misquoted as saying we were targeting 2nd...) Back to back wins! How we then sobbed as we lost at home to one of the worst Aston Villa teams I've ever seen. A rousing performance against Fulham, followed by more disappointment against Stoke. Which team will turn up at QPR? Hard to say really, and I certainly don't feel confident picking any result.

Likely line up

Reina

Johnson
Skrtel
Agger
Enrique

Lucas
Gerrard
Sterling
Shelvey
Downing

Suarez

Much like QPR, it's hard to guess how BR will react to a poor performance against Stoke. I'd be surprised not to see Sterling start, although Suso was the least of our culprits at the Britannia. Allen may also return - perhaps in place of Shelvey, in which case I'd expect Gerrard to be pushed up.

Head to head.

I was going to do a 'last 5 meetings', but we've only played them twice since 1996 so it seems a little pointless. Both games went to the home side.

Liverpool 1 - 0 QPR, 10 December 2011

Luis Suarez scored the only goal against QPR as a dominant Liverpool avoided a fifth successive home draw and climbed to sixth in the table. QPR kept the hosts out until 69 seconds into the second half when an unmarked Suarez headed in Charlie Adam's cross. After 15 games we were 6th, just 3 points behind 4th placed Arsenal. What we'd give to be in that position now...

QPR 3 - 2 Liverpool, 21 March 2012

When next we met, we had won the Carling Cup and were on our way to an FA Cup final. Our league form however had been indifferent.
Sebastian Coates scored a spectacular volley to put Liverpool ahead, before Dirk Kuyt prodded in a second. Shaun Derry gave QPR hope with a header before Reds old boy Djibril Cisse nodded in to haul the home side level. A Jose Enrique error left Mackie clear to slide in an injury-time shot under keeper Pepe Reina for the QPR winner. And I felt like I'd been repeatedly punched in the face.

At the end of the day we were 7th, and gap between ourselves and the Champions League was 12 points, and one we never threatened to make up.

In conclusion

2012 has been a funny old year, and December a funny old month. Which Liverpool will turn up? No idea, but I'll keep my fingers crossed. In any case, this has to be looked at as a good chance to pick up three points and end the year on a high.

Good luck boys!

JK

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