Liverpool vs QPR: Match Preview, Preferred Team & Predicted Score

By on December 9, 2011

Liverpool host Queens Park Rangers at Anfield this Saturday afternoon. Liverpool are behind their rivals (seventh place) in the race for a Champions league spot and a run of easier games now represents a chance to reduce that gap.

QPR on the other hand have done reasonably well in their reemergence in the Premier League and sit in 12th place with a significant buffer between them and the relegation zone. Liverpool’s 11 match unbeaten run came to an end with their defeat to fulham on Monday night and the match also saw Jay Spearing suspended after a challenge which resulted in a straight red card.

With Steven Gerrard also out that leaves Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey as Liverpool’s only central midfielders and no true defensive midfielder among them, a position that has become one of the most important in the modern game. With no defensive midfielder the Reds could be vulnerable on the counter attack, with defensive mindedness not something that’s easily picked up by a player with more attacking instincts.

Adding to Liverpool’s woes, the FA have decided to charge Luis Suarez with an offensive gesture to Fulham fans as he walked down the tunnel on Monday night. The Uruguayan should still be available for selection however as he has until Monday December 12th to respond to the charges. Let’s not forget, of course, that he is already playing with racial charges against him.

Other than that, Dalglish has no fresh injury concerns to choose from and the only real questions will be whether he sticks with Andy Carroll who was unfortunately ineffective again at Fulham, or whether Craig Bellamy slots in next to Suarez (as has worked so well already) and Liverpool play their best front four.

The opposition

Neil Warnock’s Rangers come to Anfield with just two wins in their last six and a draw at home to West Brom in their last outing. Paddy Kenny, the R’s number one keeper, is still out with an injury so Radek Cerny continues to deputise in goal.

DJ Campbell, a player Liverpool fans know all too well after he terrorised the Red’s defense in those horror losses against Blackpool last season could return to the line-up, while Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips are well established threats.

Preferred lineup

Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Skrtel, Agger, Adam, Henderson, Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy, Suarez

Predicted Score:

Liverpool are undefeated at home this season but they haven’t exactly been sweeping all before them either. With the teams habit of beating the top five teams and dropping points to weaker ones I see no reason for that pattern not to continue tomorrow afternoon. I can see a 1-1 draw here.  With Liverpool’s profligacy in front of goal don’t expect them to score many goals, and with no recognized defensive midfielder in the side, the defense could be very exposed, so don’t be surprised if the Reds concede a goal or too.

Then again, I’m probably wrong and tomorrow could be the day Liverpool clicks and starts a 20 match winning streak.

Thanks to Liverpool Football Blog for submitting this guest post.

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