Three points will never feel any more precious as second-place Manchester United host 20th place Queens Park Rangers. In what is a real battle between two teams on opposite ends of the table, three vital points are a necessity for both clubs to restart their campaign.
Manchester United go into this game on the back of a poor 1-0 defeat at Norwich, resulting in rivals Manchester City overtaking them for the first time this season. Alongside another 1-0 defeat in Europe to Galatasaray, United have had two stalemates in a row. With Wayne Rooney back in the side however, surely the prolific strike force of the Red Devils will be too much for QPR?
Top scorer last season and on his way in the new campaign too, Robin Van Persie will be the biggest threat for Mark Hughes’ side. Having bagged eight league goals in twelve games, the Dutchman has begun 2012/13 exactly where he left off last year. QPR, on the other hand, have only scored nine goals all season and their top scorer with three goals, Bobby Zamora has just been ruled out until February. (The Guardian)
The Hoops are yet to win a single game and QPR owner, Tony Fernandes is under real pressure to make a decision soon. After last week’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton, Fernandes took to Twitter to say sorry to fans. “I can only apologise to the QPR fans. We keep fighting. They deserve better.” (ESPN)
On paper, this looks like a walk in the park for the nineteen time champions but how many people said that when United travelled to Carrow Road? As Manchester City stay a point clear at the top, United will be eager to pull their rivals back and a win at Old Trafford should be a formality.
As much as a victory would be essential for QPR’s survival hopes, it is difficult to see where the goals will come from as the London side struggle to find the back of the net. What is more, their defence have been a liability in every game, conceding twenty-three goals, largely coming from a 5-0 loss on the opening day of the season.
QPR will have to pull off a piece of tactical genius if he is to mastermind three points at Old Trafford but in a season full of improbable comebacks and ridiculous score-lines, maybe another upset might be on the cards. For Sir Alex Ferguson though, this is three points that are already halfway in the bag.