Queens Park Rangers travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the last of two teams' clashes this year, against the backdrop of the racism controversy surrounding Blues' captain John Terry and Hoops' defender Anton Ferdinand that erupted during the reverse fixture between these sides, which, incidentally, ended in a 0-1 defeat for Chelsea.
Fast forward to today and Chelsea are as full of confidence and good thoughts as they have ever been, following their progression to the Champions League finals (and a semi-final victory over Barcelona, to boot). The Blues will be hoping to ride that confidence to wins in their four remaining league games, as they push to qualify for next season's Champions League. This is, of course, if they do not actually win the tournament this year, in which case, as defending champions, they would automatically gain entry.
On the other hand, QPR, who are dangerously close to the relegation zone, may well need positive results, if not outright wins, in all three remaining games - against Chelsea, Stoke City and Manchester City - if they are to avoid being relegated. Fortunately for them, they have enjoyed memorable wins this season and having already beaten the Blues once, will be throwing everything including the kitchen sink in order to land a double over their fierce rivals.
The Blues are facing a defensive crisis at the moment. They continue to be without the services of Brazilian centre-back David Luiz and Englishman Gary Cahill, both of whom are sidelined with hamstring problems. Meanwhile, Serbian international Branislav Ivanovic will also miss the game (he is serving a suspension for a red card against Wigan). The Blues will, however, be at full strength otherwise.
QPR, on the other hand, will have late fitness tests for French striker Djibril Cisse and defender Clint Hill. Italian striker Federico Macheda, Argentinean midfielder Alejandro Faurlin, English defender Fitz Hall and Malian defensive midfielder Samba Diakite have all been sidelined due to various injuries and Moroccan attacking midfielder Adel Taarabt will also be unavailable due the red card from the previous game.
- Chelsea have won three (without conceding a goal) of their last four home games against QPR. The fourth was a draw.
- The Blues have only lost one of their last 15 games in all competitions since Andre Villas-Boas' sacking.
- QPR have the lowest away points score (11) in the Premier League this season.
- The Hoops have eight red card suspensions this season, only one less than Sunderland's all-time record of nine.
- The Premier League cancelled pre-match handshakes before this match due to legal complications involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand.
- Probable Teams:
Chelsea: Cech; Ferreira, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole; Essien, Meireles; Ramires, Mata, Sturridge; Torres
QPR: Kenny; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo; Mackie, Barton, Derry, Buzsaky; Cisse, Zamora