Apologies for the late distribution of this match preview, which is taken from Tomkins Times.
Don’t forget the launch of the Anfield Road Lounge in Muscat this weekend, and very soon I hope to be doing the same in Doha!
QPR @ Loftus Road 21st March 2000 GMT
A convincing 3-0 victory over local rivals Everton was quickly followed up with a hard fought but deserved 2-1 win over Stoke City in the FA Cup quarter-finals, sealing our second Wembley final appearance of the season. What a difference a week can make in the crazy world of football! Next up for the Reds is a trip to West London to face Queens Park Rangers (8pm kick off UK time).
Liverpool won at Anfield, 1-0 thanks to a Luis Suarez header. Neil Warnock was sacked less than a month later as Q.P.R. slipped into the relegation zone early into the new year, with Mark Hughes appointed as his successor. But the Hoops have continued to struggle, recording just one league victory since Hughes’ appointment. The boost that usually comes from a new managerial appointment has clearly decided to give Loftus Road a wide berth.
The Reds have the second best defensive record in the league, having conceded just 26 goals in 28 matches, while Q.P.R. have the fifth worst defensive record with 48 goals conceded prior to this match. Unsurprisingly given that stat, the Hoops have kept just four clean sheets in the league so far – just two at Loftus Road – and those four “shut outs” all occurred within the first nine games of the campaign.
Liverpool in comparison have kept 11 clean sheets, with only Manchester Utd (14), Manchester City (13) and Swansea (12) managing to shut out the opposition on more occasions than the Reds. Q.P.R.’s failure to keep a clean sheet is a big contributor towards their lowly league position, but matters have not been helped by their failure to score on nine occasions. Of those nine games where they’ve failed to find the back of the net, the Hoops have lost eight.
Liverpool have also failed to score on nine occasions in the league this season – six other teams have failed to score on more occasions than Liverpool and Q.P.R. – and of those nine games, the Reds have lost five and drawn four times.
Liverpool’s away Premier League record against Q.P.R.:
Played: 4 Won: 3 Drawn: 0 Lost: 1 F: 7 A: 4 GD: +3 Pts: 9
Liverpool’s overall record against Q.P.R. in the league:
Total: P: 41 W: 29 D: 6 L: 6 F: 69 A: 34
Home: P: 21 W: 18 D: 2 L: 1 F: 41 A: 14
Away: P: 20 W: 11 D: 4 L: 5 F: 28 A: 20
Liverpool’s biggest away victory and defeat v Q.P.R. (league):
Biggest away win (overall): 4-0 (three occasions)
Biggest away defeat (overall): 2-0 (two occasions)
Biggest away win (Premier League): 3-1 (18/8/1993)
Biggest away defeat (Premier League): 2-1 (31/10/1994
Liverpool’s 3-0 derby win over Everton on Tuesday night ended our three match losing sequence and temporarily reduced the gap to 6th placed Newcastle to two points, before the Magpies defeated Norwich 1-0 and regained a five point cushion having played a game more than the Reds. Interestingly, we’ve won six times away from Anfield in the league this season and on each occasion we’ve scored at least two goals en-route to sealing the victory.
Queens Park Rangers have won just one of their last 16 Premier League games – 3-1 against Wigan at Loftus Road – and have recorded five league victories all season. When the two clubs met earlier in the campaign, just seven points separated the two sides – with Q.P.R. sitting in 12th place – but now the gap stands at 20 points as Q.P.R. find themselves in the relegation zone and are faced with a battle to retain their top flight status.