TEAM NEWS: QUEENS PARK RANGERS V CHELSEA

John Terry returns to the Chelsea line-up following his suspension for the Super Cup match and is partnered in central defence by David Luiz.

Ashley Cole is also fit to start with Ryan Bertrand playing ahead of him and Ramires on the right of midfield. Eden Hazard is expected to play in the centre.

There is a place on the bench for the first time for our new right-back Cesar Azpilicueta.

Jose Bosingwa starts his second league game for QPR who make just one change from their last outing – new-signing Julio Cesar taking over in goal from Robert Green.

Chelsea are expected to line up in the following 4-2-3-1 formation:

1 Petr Cech
2 Branislav Ivanovic
4 David Luiz
26 John Terry (c)
3 Ashley Cole
12 John Mikel Obi
8 Frank Lampard
7 Ramires
17 Eden Hazard
34 Ryan Bertrand
9 Fernando Torres

Substitutes: 22 Ross Turnbull, 28 Cesar Azpilicueta, 24 Gary Cahill, 6 Oriol Romeu, 11 Oscar, 13 Victor Moses, 23 Daniel Sturridge.

QPR are expected to line up in the following 4-4-2 formation:

Cesar; Bosingwa, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Fabio; Wright-Phillips, Granero, Faurlin, Park (c); Zamora, Johnson.

Subs: Green, Onuoha, Dyer, Hoilett, Cisse, Taarabt, Mackie.

The referee is Andre Marriner.

Follow the game via our Live Matches from 2.30pm.

CAHILL: BOUNCING BACK

Following a three-week hiatus, the Blues return to league action with a short trip to Queens Park Rangers later today, and Gary Cahill, who has played in his fair share of local derbies, is relishing the prospect of competing in such an atmosphere.

Our first London derby of the campaign pits us against a side still without a league win, but having lost the corresponding fixture last season 1-0, there is little danger of Roberto Di Matteo’s side underestimating a team managed by former Chelsea striker Mark Hughes.

Given the chance to choose one game in which they were guaranteed three points, there is no doubt that the Loftus Road faithful would plump for this one, but as Cahill explains, his team-mates are heading into the game looking to avenge last season’s disappointment.

‘I remember watching the game last season before I came here, which unfortunately Chelsea lost,’ Cahill tells the official Chelsea website. ‘That game, with the sending offs, had the feel of a real derby, and I think it sticks in the lads’ memory as well.

‘There are loads of teams around Bolton, so there’s no real needle fixture,’ he adds as he assesses his past experience of local rivalries.

‘But years ago, when I was on loan at Burnley, we played against Blackburn and that’s their proper derby. We met in the cup and that was a fiery game.

‘The Aston Villa v Birmingham game [where Cahill scored a famous and spectacular late equaliser for Villa] is another big memory for me, but derby games are great, the supporters love them. They’re always like cup finals to play in.’

The Blues currently top the table with maximum points following our opening three matches of the season and, in terms of performances, there have been plenty of positives to take.

The opening day win at Wigan was followed by a 4-2 home win against Reading, but perhaps our most significant display thus far came in the 2-0 win against Newcastle, a fixture we lost by the same scoreline back in May.

Since the victory over Alan Pardew’s men, however, we endured a disappointing night – both in terms of performance and result – when we were beaten 4-1 by Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, a game which the players are desperate to bounce back from, as Cahill explains.

‘Sometimes the best thing [after a defeat] is for the next game to come around as quickly as possible, but that hasn’t been the case because of the international break,’ says the 26-year-old.

‘The lads have been away, we’re all back now and, as I said before, I think it was just a freak game. It was one of those where we just need to draw a line under it. We can’t let it affect what we’re doing in the league where we’ve had a great start.

‘They know how big the game is, we know how big the game is. As well as being important in the league to keep our momentum going, it’s been a long time since we played, or at least it feels like it has, so it’s good to be back playing again.’

Visit Chelsea TV’s online access now for exclusive pre-match interviews with David Luiz and Roberto Di Matteo.

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.