Arsenal vs. QPR Preview

Barclays Premier League

Published: 07/01/2012

Arsenal will get the chance to end a difficult year in style at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Eve when Neil Warnock’s QPR make the short trip across London from Loftus Road.

The Gunners may well be effectively out of the title race following a six pointer defeat to Manchester City earlier in December however Arsene Wenger is certain to remain positive heading into the New Year with so much promise and potential in his squad.

Unfortunately for Arsenal supporters, the club’s promise and potential has largely failed to transform into the finished article for quite some time and the end of 2011 will mark a sixth successive year without any major silverware.

A bitter pill to swallow perhaps, but on reflection it is hard to see how Arsenal could have been expected to compete consistently with the richer club’s around them.

Even New Year’s Eve visitors QPR can boast a bigger bank balance and transfer kitty despite their status and history being far less illustrious and lamented than the home side.

That should, nevertheless, not affect the outcome of this particular match as even despite their poor start to the campaign, Arsenal have a strong record at the Emirates.

With six wins and a draw from their opening eight home games, Arsenal have made giant strides towards making their new stadium a fortress in the same way Highbury was regarded for so many years.

QPR will have to buck an ever increasing trend if they are to prevent an Arsenal victory and further progress for Wenger’s men towards Champions League qualification.

Warnock’s outfit are undeniably stronger and tougher at home and more akin to loose cannons on the road.

Rangers have not been without points away from Loftus Road having recorded three wins from their opening eight away matches; however their defence is notably fragile having conceded an average of two goals per game.

Arsenal are just beginning to rediscover the kind of quick, decisive football played around the days of Messrs Henry and Pires and although the quality may not be up to the same level as their predecessors, this current Arsenal side still know where the net is and how to punish teams who fail to prepare and organise properly.

Any team shipping twice per game can hardly be fancied against a potent Arsenal attack and QPR look virtually certain to leave this fixture empty handed.

The likes of Shaun Derry and Luke Young look set to be run off their feet by the slick passing and movement of players such as Gervinho, Walcott and Van Persie.

It is the latter who the visitors must really look to contain and it could be down to captain Joey Barton to get stuck in and really make his presence felt.

Barton has the ability to suffocate creative players and operate destructively in the midfield and he must do this in order to keep QPR in the fight.

If Arsenal can bag an early goal, this could be a bit of a landslide, but either way the over 2.5 goals market appeals as QPR also have the ability to at least get on the score sheet at some point during the ninety minutes.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (07/01/2012) but are subject to change.

07/01/2012     © Frixo 2018

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