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After last year’s controversies, Chelsea return to Loftus Road looking to continue their fine form in what guarantees to be a heated affair.
Pre match talk has been dominated by reports Anton Ferdinand is ready to snub John Terry and Ashley Cole’s handshakes ahead of the FA’s inquiry into the events of last October’s game. The Premier League has stated they expect the handshakes to go ahead so controversy before the game is to be expected.
However, the whole issue could be avoided if Terry and Cole aren’t passed fit ahead of the game. Terry is still recovering from an ankle knock he picked up on international duty against Moldova and Cole is also struggling with an ankle injury from the win over Newcastle. Another selection issue is who will partner John Obi Mikel in the other defensive midfield position, Raul Meireles’ departure means Frank Lampard may come straight back into the side after his time away with England or Oriel Romeu may be in line for his first start.
QPR’s ever expanding squad means Mark Hughes could have a major selection headache ahead of Saturday’s game. Late signings Stephen Mbia, Esteban Granero and Julio Cesar are all in line to start alongside Samba Diakite, Ji-Sung Park and Chelsea old boy Jose Boswinga. Hopefully Boswinga will recreate some of his masterful defensive performances against Eden Hazard.
Both sides have had contrasting starts to the season and with Mata, Hazard and Torres all looking very dangerous, it’s hard to see Chelsea not scoring. QPR have conceded 9 goals in 3 games, the most noticeable being their 5-0 home loss to Swansea, so a comfortable Chelsea victory could be on the cards. As long as focus is maintained and no heads are lost like last year’s tie, I’d say 3-0 victory.