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…
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.
‘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.
‘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.’
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’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.
||Manchester City (Community Shield)
||Atlético Madrid (Uefa Super Cup)
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
|Sat 22 Sep
||Stoke City home
|Tue 25 Sep
||Wolves (League Cup) home
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.
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
||League Division Two
||League Division Two
||Walsall (League Cup h)
||Manchester City (a)
2012/13 Premier League scorers
League games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 6
A home defeat: 0
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).
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.
There are no suspensions.