Date:Friday October 19 2012
With the International break done and dusted, the focus shifts to the Premier League once again. Everton travel to the capital to take on a struggling QPR side still seeking their first win of the season. Everton were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw at Wigan last tie out, but nevertheless, they currently sit in 4th with 4 wins from their first 7 matches and have eyes on moving up the table with 3pts. For the hosts, QPR manager Mark Hughes is under some serious pressure following the winless start to the season, especially since QPR were one of the big spenders in the summer. Hughes will be hoping to see a repeat of last season where QPR picked up their first win of the season at Everton. This game should be hotly contested with 3pts vital for both sides.
Everton and England centre back had this to say on the short turnaround between representing country and club
'We have had a chat with the rest of the lads, Some people kick off at 12.45pm on Saturday and a couple of us have Sunday kick-offs which I am sure our manager will be delighted with. We have the extra day to rest up the legs but it's out of our control really. It's been like chalk and cheese, on Tuesday it didn't stop raining and Wednesday was a beautiful day. That's just the way it goes.'
QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt pleading for patience for the new signings saying
'We have a lot of players it's true but we have foreign players who have not yet adapted to English football. For Esteban he tries to get the ball down and play it there - but it has been difficult and we need more time.'
Everton have a couple of injury concerns after the international break. The major injury concern for Everton is influential midfielder Marouane Fellaini who looks set to miss the game with a knee injury he aggravated whilst training for Belgium. Other concerns are for his club and international team mate Kevin Mirallas who strained his hamstring whilst on international duty, however, he should be fit for the clash. Tony Hibbert is still struggling with a calf injury and looks a doubt for the game. In a boost for Everton, it looks like Darron Gibson is set for a return to the squad after overcoming a thigh strain sustained against West Brom.
Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Mirallas, Naismith, Jelavic
Everton frontman has seemingly found his scoring boots after a slightly subdued start to the season. Saying that, he has scored 3 times in 6 games this season, and 13 goals in 16 games for Everton since he started against Tottenham. The Croatian is a natural goalscorer, a poacher, a finisher, he is the perfect striker for Everton, given a chance the Croatian will put it away. I am sure he will be aware that QPR has shipped 16 goals already this season and will be looking to contribute to that total on Sunday.
Queens Park Rangers have no new injury concerns following the international break, however, they are set for the return of on loan fullback Fabio after overcoming a hamstring injury. However, the big thing for QPR as Taarabt mentioned was making sure the new signings such as Granero, Mbia, Hoilett and others have enough time to bond.
Possible Starting XI: Cesar, Hill, Ferdinand, Mbia, Bosingwa, Park, Granero, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Zamora, Cisse
The enigmatic midfielder will be the key for QPR. He showed his class against West Ham with a stunning goal and Hughes will be relying on his creativity and goal threat to help pick up their first win of the season. The defensive midfield duo, whoever that may be for Everton, as well as the defenders will need to have an eye on the Moroccan as on the ball, he is extremely talented and dangerous, couple that with some space, and it will be very dangerous for Everton.
1. With Friedel being benched by Spurs last game, it means that Everton stopper Tim Howard now holds the current record for most consecutive starts, the shot stopper is currently on 190 games and will be looking to add to that total on Sunday
2. The visit to Loftus Road will signal Everton manager David Moyes' 200th away game in charge of Everton. He has won 58 of those matches.
3. Everton players Phil Neville and Tim Howard will be looking for their 100th Premier League win in an Everton shirt against QPR.
4. Head to head, Moyes and Hughes have faced each other 14 times, with the Everton manager leading 5 wins to 3.
5. QPR manager Mark Hughes made 22 appearances for Everton in his short spell with the club.
It is a tough game to call. Given QPR's start to the season you must think they will be even more desperate for the 3pts especially since they will be at home. Everton have enjoyed a decent start to the season, and 3pts is crucial to maintain their hope for a top 4 finish. Fellaini will be a big loss for Everton as he has been the standout this season, but I still think Everton have too much quality going forward especially for QPR, however, I don't think QPR will make it easy for us. I am going to be conservative and say 2-2 draw, with Jelavic and Mirallas for Everton and Taarabt and Hoilett for QPR. COYB!!!!!!! LETS KEEP THIS DECENT START GOING LADS WITH 3PTS!!!!
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Date:Friday October 19 2012
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