By Christopher Boulay
Liverpool won’t be able to celebrate its FA Cup quarterfinal win over Stoke City for very long, as the club heads to London for a Wednesday evening match-up against struggling Queen’s Park Rangers.
The Reds are looking for any points possible, as the side looks to build on its 3-0 win over Everton last week. If there was a match that could help the club do it, this would be it. QPR is struggling mightily. How bad? The West London club hasn’t won a match in the league since January – and that was against Wigan.
However, when being honest, Liverpool has not been without struggle in the past few months. This was somewhat alleviated by making a second cup run, and many will be happy with a cup double. However, the main prize of fourth place seems to have slipped through the club’s fingers. With this in mind, Kenny Dalglish’s men can go a long way to helping take the pressure off of the squad by getting a win against the Hoops.
Liverpool will still be without Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger, who are dealing with injuries. In addition, Craig Bellamy is recovering from a knock and could be out, as well.
QPR will likely be without Heidar Helguson and DJ Campbell, who are recovering from injuries. However, Adel Taarabt and Federico Macheda could be in the squad if they are fit enough. Alejandro Faurlin and Kieron Dyer are both out for the remainder of the season with long-term injuries.
If Liverpool is to take advantage of this opportunity, not only will it be necessary for Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez to take charge up front, but whatever partnership in the central midfield is, they will not be able to hang back. QPR has two talented strikers in Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora, and with Joey Barton leading the distribution, Liverpool will need to be solid all-around.
QPR is not only going to have the feeling of desperation increase in the side, but they have quite an animated group of supporters that will make the atmosphere at Loftus Road difficult for any side to enter and pull out three points.
While this may not be a match on the calendar that many fans would have noted as one to keep an eye on, a strong performance for Liverpool here could mean good things heading into the last stretch of the Premier League season.
QPR v Liverpool
When: Tuesday, March 21st 1600 EST/ 2000 GMT
Where: Loftus Road, London
Premier League Table: Liverpool 7th (42 points), QPR 18th (22 points)
Last Premier League Match: Liverpool 3-0 Everton, Bolton 2-1 QPR
Projected QPR Starting 11:
DEF: Hill, Traore, Ferdinand, Onuoha
MF: Diakite, Derry, Barton, Wright-Phillips
FW: Cisse, Zamora
Subs from: Cerny, Gabbidon, Young, Taiwo, Buzsaky, Bothroyd, Mackie, Campbell, Taarabt, Macheda
Projected Liverpool Starting 11:
DEF: Kelly, Skrtel, Coates, Enrique
MF: Kuyt, Gerrard, Spearing, Maxi
FW: Suarez, Carroll
Subs from: Doni, Carragher, Flanagan, Wilson, Robinson, Downing, Adam, Henderson, Bellamy