For all that’s gone wrong, or seemingly gone wrong, for Manchester United over the last few months, things are suddenly looking brighter than they have been in one area for some time. With a win this afternoon at QPR, United will go top of the Premier League table for at least a few hours, and if the right result happens later in the day when City host in-form Arsenal, United will end the weekend in the best position they’ve been in since…you know when. For a side that’s dealt with so much recently, that would be a fantastic way to kick off the busy festive period, wouldn’t it?
The last time United faced QPR in the Premier League was in the 1995/96 season, when United notched a 2-1 win at home and drew 1-1 at QPR.
The most recent meeting between the two sides, however, was in a Carling Cup fourth-round tie in November 2008. In that match, Carlos Tevez’s 76th-minute penalty was all the difference in a 1-0 home win for United.
1) QPR currently sit 15th in the Premier League table with 16 points from 15 matches, having won four, drawn four, and lost seven.
Of those four wins, only one has come at home, where they’re 1-4-2 thus far. But that one win was a big, big one, as they stunned Chelsea 1-0 in late October.
2) QPR have scored only 15 league goals so far this season, with six of them coming from Heidar Helguson. Also, they’ve scored only six goals in their seven home matches.
On the other hand, they’ve surrendered 26 goals, a total that’s inflated somewhat by heavy defeats against Bolton (4-0 at home in August) and Fulham (6-0 away in October).
3) QPR invested in some established Premier League talent in the summer, landing Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, DJ Campbell, Danny Gabbidon, and Anton Ferdinand, and just as importantly, they managed to hold onto their prized asset, Adel Taarabt, who looked to be on the verge of a move to Paris Saint-Germain at one point.
However, the Barton-SWP-Taarabt trio hasn’t performed as some might have expected, though Barton is off to a fairly good start individually.
Here’s a look at today’s United lineup:
Starting XI: De Gea; Smalling, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Jones, Carrick, Nani; Rooney, Welbeck.
Subs: Lindegaard, Fryers, Giggs, Park, Young, Berbatov, Hernandez.
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