PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: QUEENS PARK RANGERS V CHELSEA – PART TWO

Continuing their look at the weekend’s fixture, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton are joined by Clive Walker who played for both sides…

TACTICAL BRIEF
Chelsea are regenerating the squad, but QPR manager Mark Hughes bought virtually a whole new team this summer. This game provides the chance to measure their respective progress, albeit with the headiness of a west London derby.


Key Battles
‘As a QPR fan you would have to have some concern that Mark Hughes has brought in so many new players,’ says former Blue, Clive Walker.

‘He had some money to spend and he wanted to stamp his mark and establish his way of playing, but with international games, some of the new players have only had a few days training with their teammates. It takes longer than that to nurture the understandings you often rely on in the heat of battle.

‘Then there’s the fact that if you’re arriving from, say, the Spanish, French or Italian league like Esteban Granero, Samba Diakite, Stéphane Mbia, there is a period of adaptation to the frenetic pace here. That even goes for a goalie, and an experienced one, such as Júlio César. It’s a big test for them but I don’t think César will have any problems.

‘There could be an awful lot of players making their debut for the hosts, and they will feel a lot of pressure from the QPR fans, for whom this game is bigger than the FA Cup final.

‘César maybe thrown straight into what the Rs themselves are claiming will be a ‘white hot cauldron’ atmosphere. Robert Green had only recently arrived too but when I have seen them he has seemed too error-prone.

‘I think the Brazilian is a little ambitious hoping his new club “win the league,” but he brings a wealth of experience. He played in both legs when Inter beat us back in 2010. But the Premier League, with west London’s pride at stake, is a totally different culture to the Champions League.

‘Chelsea will look to put him under a lot of pressure early, with plenty of pace and intensity, lots of pot shots and chances created. Of course you look to Fernando Torres on that front. When he was with Liverpool he scored the only goal of the game past César at San Siro, and he netted a hat-trick at the Bridge when these two sides last met.

‘QPR have a back four that is settling in too. You would expect Man City to test any side, but the Rs’ defence looked at sixes and sevens in their last home league game against Swansea, which they lost 5-0. It takes time to make a back five work.

‘Do experienced players such as Fabio and José Bosingwa, who have been used to working alongside top, top players, have what it takes to knuckle down and avoid the drop? That’s the gamble the manager makes. We know all about Bosingwa, of course, and he put in some stout performances at times. I felt those often came when he was forced to think more about what he was doing, as at Barcelona when he excelled as an emergency centre back.

Bosingwa

‘As a right-back we know that he likes to go forward as much as possible and many Chelsea fans will look forward to seeing how he copes with Eden Hazard, who continued his fine start to the season for Belgium during the break.

‘Hazard has also been bringing the best out of Juan Mata, and the little Spaniard has just enjoyed a good rest after his busy summer, and he’ll remember he scored the winner last time we were at Loftus Road.

‘Bosingwa can leave acres behind him for Ashley Cole, and that draws the middle over. Centre-back Ryan Nelsen is 34 and he won’t move out of the middle.

‘Nelsen must think of us as a bit of bogey side: he has played Chelsea 11 times and only won once – in the League Cup on penalties.

‘But Chelsea need to tighten up at the back too. I’m not overly concerned about the Super Cup loss to Atlético but lots of the defending in that game was below the high standard we have set ourselves. And if you look at the fact we also conceded three against City in the Community Shield and two to Reading, the manager knows there is work to be done as a group.

‘Di Matteo will have watched César Azpilicueta in training and will know if he’s integrating quickly. But we are not in a panic to bring him in. The manager may prefer Gary Cahill in this one for his concentration levels, given last season’s performance.’

Squad News
Ashley Cole and John Terry are over ankle injuries, Juan Mata will be considered for the squad having trained once since his two-week break from football. Marko Marin is close to a return from a hamstring strain having played 45 minutes in the Under-21s last night, but not yet.

For QPR, defender Stephane Mbia is a doubt due to an injury while away with Cameroon. Midfielder Samba Diakite is reported unavailable due to personal reasons.

CHELSEA STATS
Chelsea’s defeat at QPR last season is our only reverse in the last 68 games against newly promoted teams, over a period of 11 years. We have won 56 of those matches.

Aug 12 Manchester City (Community Shield) L 2-3
Aug 19 Wigan (a) W 2-0
Aug 22 Reading (h) W 4-2
Aug 25 Newcastle (h) W 2-0
Aug 31 Atlético Madrid (Uefa Super Cup) L 1-4

2012/13 Premier League scorers
Ivanovic 2, Lampard 2 (2 pens), Torres 2, Cahill 1, E Hazard 1 (pen)

League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 2
An away defeat: 1

Wed 19 Sep Juventus home 7.45pm
Sat 22 Sep Stoke City home 3.00pm
Tue 25 Sep Wolves (League Cup) home 7.45pm

MILESTONES
Frank Lampard is one goal away from equalling our all-time league scorer in top-flight matches – Bobby Tambling with 129 goals. He is currently level with Roy Bentley with 128.

John Terry needs one goal to reach 50 in all competitions for the Blues.

Fernando Torres, if selected, will play his 50th Premier League appearance for the Blues.

RANGERS STATS
Formed
1886

Major trophies
1 League Cup in 1967

Rangers best season was in 1975/76 when they finished runners-up to Liverpool in the old First Division.

QPR have played in 19 different locations since their formation.

Rangers’ defeat to Swansea on the opening day ended a five-match winning run at Loftus Road which included the scalps of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.

The Rs have not had a goalless draw for over a year.

Manager Mark Hughes
Days in charge: 249
Played 24
Won 8
Drawn 3
Lost 13

Pts Pos Division Level
2002/03 83 4th League Division Two 3
2003/04 83 2nd League Division Two 3
2004/05 62 11th Championship 2
2005/06 50 21st   Championship 2
2006/07 53 18th Championship 2
2007/08 58 14th Championship 2
2008/09 61 11th Championship 2
2009/10 57 13th Championship 2
2010/11 88 1st Championship 2
2011/12 37 17th Premier League 1

 

PMB

 

Aug 18 Swansea (h) L 0-5
Aug 25 Norwich (a) D 1-1
Aug 28 Walsall (League Cup h) W 3-0
Sep 1 Manchester City (a) L 1-3

2012/13 Premier League scorers
Zamora 2

League games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 6
A home defeat: 0

SUMMER MOVES
QPR

Ins Esteban Granero (Real Madrid, £9m), Stéphane Mbia (Marseille, £4.5m), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan, free), Junior Hoilett (Blackburn, tribunal), Ji-sung Park (Man Utd, £2m), Samba Diakite (Nancy, £4m), Robert Green (West Ham, free), Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham, free), Andrew Johnson (Fulham, free), José Bosingwa (Chelsea, free), Fabio (Man Utd, loan)
Outs Paddy Kenny (Leeds £400,000), Fitz Hall (Watford, free), Rowan Vine (St Johnstone, free), Heidar Helguson (Cardiff, indisclosed), Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace, free), Danny Shittu (Millwall, free), Matthew Connolly (Cardiff, undisclosed), Tommy Smith (Cardiff, undisclosed), Lee Cook (Leyton Orient, free), Patrick Agyemang (Stevenage, free), Akos Buzsaky (released), Gary Borrowdale (released), Danny Gabbidon (released), Joey Barton (Marseille, loan).

Chelsea
Ins Eden Hazard (Lille, undisclosed), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen, undisclosed), Thorgan Hazard (Lens, undisclosed), Oscar (Internacional, undisclosed), Lamisha Musonda (Anderlecht, undisclosed), Tika Musonda (Anderlecht, undisclosed), César Azpilicueta (Marseille, undisclosed), Victor Moses (Wigan, undisclosed).
Outs Didier Drogba (out of contract, now Shanghai Shenhua), Salomon Kalou (out of contract, now Lille), José Bosingwa (out of contract, now QPR), Marko Mitrovic (released, now Brescia)), Rhys Taylor (released, now Southend), Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburg, loan), Thibaut Courtois (Atlético Madrid, loan), Ulises Davila (Sabadell, loan), Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen, loan), Matej Delac (Vitória Guimaräes, loan), Rohan Ince (Yeovil, loan), Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnham, loan), Milan Lalkovic (Vitória Guimaräes, loan), Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnham, loan), Ben Gordon (Birmingham, loan), Romulu Lukaku (West Brom, loan), Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers, loan), Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest, loan), Conor Clifford (Portsmouth, loan), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough, loan), Archange Nkumu Yeovil, loan), Thorgan Hazard (Zulte Waregem, loan), Amin Affane (Roda JC Kerkrade, loan), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford, loan), Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnham, loan), Michael Essien (Real Madrid, loan), Yossi Benayoun (West Ham, loan), Jhon Pirez (CD Leganes, loan), Kenneth Omeruo (Den Haag, loan).

THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
The referee is Andre Marriner. His last Chelsea and QPR games were both against Stoke towards the end of last season. Chelsea have won just over half the games he has officiated since 2007.

OTHERWISE ENGAGED
There are no suspensions.

DI MATTEO: SETTING STANDARDS

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s local derby, Di Matteo has given good news on the health of his squad as well as discussed his hopes for a game played in good spirit.

The manager has also reflected on the news concerning the Hillsborough disaster.

Squad news
It is certainly not always the case coming off the back of a two-week break for international fixtures, but Di Matteo’s choice is an extensive one as he considers the 11 names on the teamsheet for the visit to Queens Park Rangers.

John Terry and Ashley Cole have trained for two days as they shake off ankle injuries and should be available for selection. Juan Mata returned on Friday morning from his well-earned break from football and also trained. A late decision will be made on whether the Spaniard can play a part against Rangers, but if not then he will definitely be in the squad for the Juventus match on Wednesday.

Marko Marin, who has been out with a hamstring problem, will be involved in the Under-21 game tonight versus Liverpool at Brentford. The German will therefore not be in the squad for tomorrow’s match.

Di Matteo has given an update on Petr Cech who was rested from the Czech Republic’s friendly international midweek. He has a minor elbow condition which won’t affect his availability for Chelsea games.

‘It is very good that the Czech Federation has cooperated with us and our goalkeeper doesn’t need to play in the friendly games,’ said the manager. ‘We have been managing his elbow and it is not decided yet if he will need anything done to it.

‘He has been playing with it for some period now and it is not an issue at the moment. If he stays without any pain then it is possible he will play on with that. If not, our medical department with the player will make a decision.’

On facing QPR
Talk in the build-up to the derby has been on whether there will be a handshake between the two teams. The usual pre-match ritual was suspended when we played QPR at Stamford Bridge in April but will go ahead on Saturday afternoon.

‘We are going to respect the protocol and set a positive standard for the millions of people that are going to watch us all over the world, and make people focus more on the football side than other issues,’ said Di Matteo.

‘The Premier League is being watched all over the world now and we have to set a good, positive standard for everybody that is watching us and the handshake is just a part of it. It is part of the respect campaign as well and hopefully the game will be played in good spirit.

‘We would like both sets of supporters, especially our fans, to support their team and hopefully there will be no incidents. Football is here to unite people rather than divide people.’

When the whistle blows, Di Matteo is anticipating a match that showcases all that is good in a top-flight match between close neighbours.

‘Every time we go to Loftus Road it is always a feisty derby for us. It is a small ground with very passionate supporters from both sides, and the rivalries are well known so it is going to be a heated atmosphere.

‘We had a bad start in our last game against Atletico Madrid and after that it was always an uphill struggle for us in that game. We know we need to start well against QPR to try to retain our positive start we have had this season.’

On Hillsborough
With the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel dominating not just the sports news but all news this week, Di Matteo had some words for the Chelsea supporters on that subject.

‘Our message is to respect the victims’ families because that day was a tragedy for those who have lost their love ones and for football in general,’ he said.

‘Now that hopefully there is an end to the uncertainty there was over that tragedy, we can look forward and remember the victims and our sympathy goes out to the families who lost people. The message to our fans is to respect that and show a good example of what our fans are like.’

In addition, Chelsea Football Club has made a statement which reads:

‘Chelsea Football Club’s sympathy to those that suffered as a result of the Hillsborough disaster 23 years ago is well known and has been consistently made clear.

‘We have also stated on a number of occasions our view of Chelsea supporters who engage in inappropriate and unacceptable chants, songs or statements that dishonour all those that suffered as a result of the tragic events that day.’

In other news
Since Chelsea last played a game, Raul Meireles has left the club for Fenerbahçe and Florent Malouda has been told to train with Chelsea’s Under-21 squad rather than the first team group.

‘There was a decision by the club and the player,’ Di Matteo said on the transfer of Meireles.

‘The player has a new contract with a very good club and the offer the club received was very good, and we both decided it was the best way to go forward.

‘We have taken a decision as a club to put Malouda with the Under 21s. In the past there has been some expression from the player as well to maybe part company and it hasn’t happened, so in the end we moved forward and we brought in some other players and those are the players we are going to work with this season.

‘The other players have accepted the decision and they have to focus on what is there to achieve this season.’

NEWSFLASH: INJURY FREE

Roberto Di Matteo reports that John Terry and Ashley Cole have recovered from ankle injuries and should be available for Saturday afternoon’s game at Queens Park Rangers.

Marko Marin, who has been out with a hamstring problem, will be involved in the Under 21 game tonight versus Liverpool at Brentford. The German will not be in the squad for tomorrow’s match.

A decision has yet to be made on the availability of Juan Mata who returned to training today following a planned break from football. The Spaniard will definitely be in the squad for the Juventus match on Wednesday.  

BERTRAND: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

As the team prepare to return to action at Loftus Road, Ryan Bertrand with two league starts and new contract to his name this season, speaks to the official Chelsea website…

Following one of the most dramatic and celebrated summers in British sporting history, many have risen to fame or cemented it further. One of our own who played his part in Britain’s golden summer was Ryan Bertrand, starting three times for the Team GB football squad before their quarter-final elimination against South Korea.

An Olympic showing for Bertrand was just one highlight of what has been an incredible few months for the 23-year-old. Since starting in his first Champions League game in the final in Munich, and winning it, Bertrand has also scored his first Chelsea goal, made the step up to full international level and signed a new five-year contract at the club.

‘It’s been a lot!’ Bertrand tells the official Chelsea website. ‘It’s slowly, slowly settling in though. It’s been a crazy few months but I’m looking forward to getting more games under my belt.’

The Olympics certainly aided Bertrand’s development according to the young left-back, and he was full of praise for the whole event where London excelled under the spotlight of the watching world.

‘It was fantastic to be part of such a special occasion. It doesn’t happen very often, especially with regards to the football team. We wanted to contribute to add to everyone else’s success around us and though it didn’t work out that way, we did our best’, he explains.

The Team GB squad consisted of Welsh and English players ranging from the ages of 19 to 38. This mix of experience and youth only served to add to the occasion in the eyes of the London-born defender.

‘A lot of us had played together so it was quite easy to gel. There were a couple of experienced heads like Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs who were great role models for us and gave us a chance to learn off them.’

Barely days after the curtain was drawn on London’s Olympics Bertrand was called up to the full England squad for the very first time for the friendly against Italy in Berne. He replaced Leighton Baines moments before Jermain Defoe scored the winning goal to seal a 2-1 victory. After so many appearances for England’s younger teams, how did this compare?

He acknowledges it was a moment he had been waiting for having come through the youth systems for England from Under-17s all the way through to the Under-21s. The next step was always to edge towards the senior team and now the hope is that he can just keep it going.

He built on that cameo against Italy within a month, making his competitive debut on Tuesday at Wembley against Ukraine, again as a substitute. It was his cross that led to the penalty which teammate Frank Lampard successfully converted. Although the team didn’t win Bertrand is clearly delighted with the role he played on his Wembley bow.

Bertrand

‘To come on in a World Cup qualifier and manage to have the impact that I did, with the cross that I put in leading to the penalty, was a bonus. First it’s good to get on the pitch and then to have an impact on the game was fantastic.’

Life has been going pretty well for Bertrand in the blue of Chelsea, too. After a strong finish to last season, culminating in that night in Munich, he has started two of our opening three league games this campaign, impressing in the victories over Wigan and Newcastle. He scored his first goal (pictured below) in the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, but wasn’t able to celebrate it in quite the way he had hoped, with the goal proving a mere consolation in the 3-2 defeat.

‘If it had come in other circumstances, if we had taken the lead or it was another goal, I would have been able to celebrate it properly – hopefully it won’t be too long a wait for the next one.

‘The manager, along with Steve Holland and Eddie Newton, have put massive faith in me,’ he stress. ‘They’ve been fantastic to me, believed in me, given me my chance – and I feel my performances have rewarded them as well.’

Bertrand

For somebody who has achieved so much in such a short space of time Bertrand is still keen to keep looking forward, and earlier this month signed a new five-year contract with the club. His hopes for those five years are simple – to win more trophies, increase his playing time year by year and keep progressing as a footballer.

With a succession of excellent performances convincing the club to offer Bertrand a new deal, it comes as no surprise to see him featuring more and more regularly. He does, however, remain behind one of the world’s greatest left backs in the pecking order at Chelsea in Ashley Cole. The venerable defender remains a source of inspiration on a daily basis.

‘Ash has won everything there is to win, he’s won the FA Cup more times than anyone else and he still has the same attitude towards his football every day in training,’ notes Bertrand. ‘The way he approaches games is full-on 100%, and that’s the one thing I always take from Ashley: to have the right attitude and approach games in the right way.’

It was Cole who started in our last game in Monaco. Bertrand, who featured as a very late substitute with the damage already done, says the squad is keen to put that result behind them.

‘I think it was just a one-off. We’re not looking into it too deeply. We’re really disappointed that we couldn’t top it off [the Champions League success] and go and win that cup as well, but it’s important we just focus on the league now. We’ve been fantastic in that, with three wins out of three, so we just need to forget that bad result.’

Saturday’s derby against QPR represents a chance to return to winning ways and keep the run going, and if Bertrand does feature he may well face directly a very recent former teammate in Jose Bosingwa.

‘Getting the chance to play against him will be strange with him on the other side. He’s one of their players now so we want to get the better of him!’

Ryan Bertrand is on course to get the better of many more while his career path remains so upwardly mobile. Despite having achieved an abundance of landmarks in the past few months he has his sights set on celebrating further success in the future for both club and country, and if the recent past is anything to go by it will take a very brave man to bet against that happening.

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: QUEENS PARK RANGERS V CHELSEA

14.09.2012

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: QUEENS PARK RANGERS V CHELSEA

The wait for the fourth league game of the season is nearly over…

14.09.2012

PRESS CONFERENCE LIVE THIS AFTERNOON

Chelseafc.com is offering fans the facility to watch Roberto Di Matteo’s pre-match press conference live on your PC…

14.09.2012

UNDER-21S: VITAL EXPERIENCES

Our Under-21s will be looking to build on an impressive 5-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers when we welcome Liverpool to Griffin Park…

14.09.2012

MATCHDAY TRAVEL NEWS

Supporters heading to Loftus Road for our game against QPR on Saturday may find the following information useful…

13.09.2012

CHELSEA TV HEADLINES: DUO BACK INVOLVED

Chelsea TV reports from Cobham where our two previously injured England defenders trained ahead of the weekend’s game against Queens Park Rangers. The bulletin can be viewed here …

13.09.2012

GILES SMITH’S THURSDAY THOUGHTS

He counted them all out and he counted them all back. Chelsea fan and columnist Giles Smith was holding his breath while their nations took our players away, as well as pondering an Olympic Stadium

13.09.2012

THE RIGHT RIVALRY

This Saturday is Chelsea’s first local derby of the season as we take on our west London neighbours Queens Park Rangers…

13.09.2012

LATEST ARSENAL TICKET DETAILS ANNOUNCED

The latest ticket selling arrangements for our Barclays Premier League game away at Arsenal on Saturday 29 September have now been announced…

13.09.2012

WOMEN’S WEEKLY

Successive defeats, albeit against strong opposition, have ensured Emma Hayes’ reign has got off to a difficult start…

13.09.2012

CYSTIC FIBROSIS TRUST WINS FIRST ONLINE CHARITY POLL

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has won the opportunity to hold a bucket collection at Stamford Bridge following our ground-breaking Online Charity Poll.

13.09.2012

JAPANESE JOINS OUR LOCAL LANGUAGE LIST

Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the launch of our new official Japanese language website…

12.09.2012

CHELSEA TV EXCLUSIVE: MEIRELES SAYS FAREWELL AND THANKS

On Wednesday afternoon Raul Meireles visited Cobham for the final time before he begins to play for his new club Fenerbahçe. Chelsea TV spoke to the Portuguese midfielder before he left…

12.09.2012

CHELSEA TV HEADLINES: RETURNING TO NORMAL

The lunchtime Blues News bulletin, which can be viewed here, is anticipating the return of the bulk of the squad following games across the globe…

12.09.2012

BACK TO 70S AND 80S FOR NEW LEGENDS CHOICE

Another two Blues have been inducted into the Legends section of this website, the choice of fans who have been selecting names to add over the past few years…

12.09.2012

TRAINING CHANCES

Assistant first team coach Steve Holland discusses Cobham with the internationals away…

12.09.2012

CHELSEA TV’s NEW SATURDAY SOLUTION

Presenter Jason Cundy can’t wait for the game at QPR, and a new way to follow the action…

12.09.2012

LATEST ARSENAL TICKET DETAILS ANNOUNCED

The latest ticket selling arrangements for our Barclays Premier League game away at Arsenal on Saturday 29 September have now been announced…

12.09.2012

WOLVES TICKETS NOW ON GENERAL SALE

Having won both the FA Cup and Champions League last season, the Blues begin our quest to lift the Capital One Cup on 25 September…

11.09.2012

INTERNATIONALS: LAMPARD SPOT ON

Frank Lampard scored his third international goal in five days to rescue a home point for England and Branislav Ivanovic continued his prolific start to the season…

11.09.2012

TROPHIES RELOCATING

Having been available for photo opportunities in the Stamford Gate store at Stamford Bridge, the FA Cup and Champions League trophies will return to the Chelsea Museum from Monday 17 September…

11.09.2012

CHELSEA HANDED EUROPEAN CLUB ACCOLADE

Chelsea Football Club has been named European Club of the Year 2012 by the organisation representing the leading clubs across the continent…

11.09.2012

PAT NEVIN: GROUP TASK

This time next week the Italians will be arriving to herald the start of a 10th consecutive Champions League season at Chelsea…