Premier League Preview: Arsenal vs. Queens Park Rangers

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  • QPR are winless away from home this season (L8)
  • Arsenal have won seven straight Boxing Day matches at the Emirates
  • Queens Park have only scored three times away from Loftus Road

Queens Park Rangers have climbed out of the relegation zone but face a tough test as they travel to the Emirates for a London derby against Arsenal.

You can watch the match live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or online via Live Extra.

After going two goals down to West Bromwich Albion last match, Queens Park Rangers stormed back on the heels of a Charlie Austin hat-trick to steal three points at Loftus Road. The win moved QPR out of the relegation zone, but if they plan to stay safe, they must turn around their play away from home. QPR has lost all eight of its matches away from Loftus Road and remain the only team in the Premier League yet to earn a single point on the road.

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Despite their woes away from Loftus Road, QPR is staying afloat on Charlie Austin’s stellar campaign, which has seen the striker bag 11 goals in 15 matches. Unfortunately for Austin, his team has struggled defensively, conceding 32 times, tops in the league.

If it’s any consolation for Rangers’ fans, they won’t have to leave London tomorrow as they travel eight miles to take on Arsenal at the Emirates.

Arsenal may be disappointed after allowing a stoppage-time equalizer to Liverpool last match, but the team received good news as Tomas Rosicky, Yaya Sanogo and David Ospina are all fit to play after battling injuries. While the Gunners are still far from having a fully healthy squad, they have been able to get results through the play of Santi Cazorla, who has shone in the midfield, gathering three goals and two assists in his past five matches.

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What they’re saying:

Arsene Wenger on playing four matches in ten days: “It’s a shock to the system for everybody who is not used to it. They are mentally used to a break over Christmas when they can see their family. The players who are from South America used to go home and of course in England they cannot do it. You have to tell them, ‘Be careful, in England there’s no stop in winter’. Many of them suffer physically.”

QPR defender Clint Hill on playing away from home: “It would be nice if we could go and get back-to-back wins. It’s a tough place to go get that but stranger things have happened. We’re new to the Premier League and I still feel we are underdogs in most games. That’s fine by us we just know if we get that bit of luck away from home it could just switch our season around.”

Prediction:

My heart says QPR pull off a massive upset and earn their first points away from home, but my mind says Arsenal is too good. Harry Redknapp sees his side’s suspect defense exploited by the Gunners’ attack as The R’s remain winless on the road. Arsenal 3-0 Queens Park Rangers.