Chelsea take on relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers on Sunday with another three points to move them closer to the title at stake. Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend puts the Blues in pole position to add a third premier league trophy under the leadership of Jose Mourinho. And despite second-placed Arsenal’s fine form of late, only a major miracle will prevent Chelsea from holding onto their league position till the end of the season.
That said Mourinho won’t be taking anything for granted as his side travel to Loftus Road to face a struggling QPR. The Hoops are neck deep in the relegation battle with just one point separating them from bottom-placed Liecester City, but the Portuguese knows from previous experience that few are more dangerous than a side battling to avoid the drop. A recent 3-3 thriller between QPR and Aston Villa further shows how dangerous the home side can be if allowed to play their game.
Many see this game as an easy three points for Chelsea but knowing “The Special One,” he wouldn’t be too comfortable as he prepares his side for Sunday’s encounter. The Londoners have had a terrible knack for letting their leads slip of late which is uncharacteristic of a Mourinho-led team. Their last game against Stoke City, where a spectacular Charlie Adam strike leveled the scores, is the latest example of this newfound weakness.
Therefore, expect Chelsea to come out playing like a side with a point to prove– that the defensive solidity of the earlier months of the campaign hasn’t completely left them. I expect the blues to win this tie comfortably and edge closer to the title.
Predicted Chelsea Lineup
Courtois had a moment to forget last weekend, failing to keep out a ferocious, once in a lifetime, Charlie Adam strike. To be fair to him, no goalie would have expected that thunderbolt from that far out and only the most cynical of critics would blame him for that goal. That aside, the young Belgian had a decent game and should once again start in goal.
Jose Mourinho has stuck with pretty much the same back four for the majority of the season, and is expected to do so again against QPR. This makes Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill and Azpilicueta favorites to start at Loftus Road.
The only doubt in the midfield position is Cesc Fabregas who underwent surgery on a broken nose during the week.
Although he is deemed fit to face QPR, albeit with a protective mask, the “Special One” might want to play it safe this time to avoid making the same mistake he did with Costa in the last game.
As such Ramirez may be given the nod to partner Matic in defensive mid-field. Willian, Oscar, and the excellent Eden Hazard are expected to keep their places in the starting eleven.
With Diego Costa injured, this is the perfect time for Loic Remy to make a case for a starting spot by leading the Blues’ line superbly. He scored the winner in the last game after some excellent work from Hazard, and should be given the nod ahead of Didier Drogba in Sunday’s game.
Via – Lineup Builder