Liverpool’s hopes of achieving Champions League qualification effectively ended with the midweek defeat to Hull City, and it remains to be seen whether the Reds can find motivation for the final four games of the season. Meanwhile, QPR are four points adrift of safety after missing a chance to beat West Ham, meaning they have no choice but to go for a win at Anfield.
Liverpool had a pretty disappointing start to the current season as Brendan Rodgers’ charges struggled to cope with busy schedule and numerous absentees, but the Reds eventually managed to return to the right track. The Anfield outfit were pretty impressive after the festive fixtures, coming on the verge of top 4 positions with eight wins in nine Premier League matches. However, just as they had the opportunity to climb to Champions League places, Liverpool were completely outclassed at home by arch rivals Manchester United and they never quite recovered from that loss. The Reds went on to end their top 4 hopes by taking mere four points from as many matches, while also losing to Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Liverpool have since failed to score a single goal, sharing spoils with West Brom before losing to Hull City, and chances are they will face problems against QPR as well, seeing as Rangers are fighting for their lives at the moment and not playing too bad at all. The likes of Daniel Sturridge, Lucas Leiva, Alberto Moreno and Jon Flanagan remain on the sidelines, while the games comes too soon for Mamadou Sakho.
Queens Park Rangers are in a very difficult position with four games to go seeing as they are four points adrift of safety and do not exactly have the easiest of fixtures remaining, with Chris Ramsey’s side facing Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City away while playing host to Newcastle United. Looking at team’s performances this season, they probably do not deserve to go down, but the lack of cutting edge has cost them dearly in some games, especially of late. Over the last few weeks, the Rangers missed several excellent opportunities to improve their point tally and boost their survival hopes and now have odds stacked firmly against them. Following the impressive 4-1 away triumph over West Bromwich, QPR had a 3-2 lead over relegation rivals Aston Villa, but they eventually had to settle for one point. Rangers then gave a very good account of themselves against leaders Chelsea, but once again paid the price for conceding a late goal. Chris Ramsey’s charges then outplayed local rivals West Ham at the weekend, with Charlie Austin missing a first-half penalty as the score remained goalless. And while confidence will be low after several frustrating results, QPR can take a lot of heart from their recent performances and maybe they will manage to surprise out-of-sorts Liverpool at Anfield. Chris Ramsey is sweating over the fitness of Bobby Zamora, whilst Vargas, Faurlin, Traore, Ferdinand, Furlong and Doughty remain sidelined.
Liverpool have been utterly disappointing of late and with not much left to play for, we cannot expect them to show considerable improvement at the weekend. Meanwhile, QPR have produced several very good showings in a row and I can see them producing an upset at Anfield.
Verdict: QPR +1.5 AH
Best Odds: 8/9