It’s title favorite against relegation threatened as Queens Park Rangers looks to earn a famous victory against Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea machine from Loftus Road live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Mourinho’s men can restore a healthy lead at the top of the table with a win, where Arsenal has closed things down to just a four point gap, but Chelsea has a pair of games in hand to pull back ahead.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, they are down a very important man in leading scorer Diego Costa, out with his hamstring injury that has troubled him all season and flared up last week against Stoke City. He is expected out for close to a month, and Mourinho will rely on Didier Drogba and Loic Remy for most of the way. Drogba starts today, and Remy fails to even make the squad thanks to a late calf injury in yesterday’s training, leaving 18-year-old Isaiah Brown as the only up-front option on the bench.
Cesc Fabregas is in the lineup despite a broken nose and will wear a protective mask. Both he and Nemanja Matic are staring two-match yellow card suspensions in the face with one more booking, with back-to-back games against Arsenal and Manchester United on the horizon.
For QPR, things look bleak on the injury front as they hope to avoid relegation. Defender Richard Dunne is on the bench as he returns from knee surgery, while Rio Ferdinand and Michael Doughty are both out with injuries. Eduardo Vargas, Leroy Fer and Alejandro Faurlin are all suffering from long-term knee injuries and remain out. Yun Suk-young will miss out with a concussion as well. If Chris Ramsey can somehow pull out three points, it would pull QPR out of the relegation zone and into 16th place.
QPR: Green, Isla, Caulker, Onuoha, Hill, Phillips, Sandro, Barton, Henry, Zamora, Austin.
Bench: McCarthy, Traore, Dunne, Kranjcar, Hoilett, Grego-Cox, Comley.
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Ramires, Willian, Hazard; Drogba.
Bench: Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Mikel, Oscar, Cuadrado, Brown.