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Premier League preview: QPR v Norwich City

Last-minute reinforcements have dominated the agenda in the build-up to Queens Park Rangers versus Norwich City on Saturday.

Bottom side QPR – seeking to equip themselves for a relegation escape act – have accelerated their transfer business as the January window draws to a close, shipping out defender Anton Ferdinand to Turkish club Bursaspor.

Manager Harry Redknapp has signed South Korean fullback Yun Suk-Young and lured striker Peter Crouch from Stoke C
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ity, adding to the capture of centre-forward Loic Remy from Marseille.

QPR have also triggered a 10 million-pound release clause in the contract of Anzhi Makhachkala defender Christopher Samba, as Redknapp looks to reinforce his backline with the imposing former Blackburn Rovers captain.

Norwich have also been active in January, bringing in striker Kei Kamara on a loan deal from Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer, while making two bids for Celtic forward Gary Hooper, both of which have been rejected.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has freshened up the fringes of his squad, allowing reserve goalkeeper Declan Rudd to go to Preston North End on loan.

Lee Camp arrived from Nottingham Forest to act as back-up for Mark Bunn and injured first-choice shot-stopper John Ruddy.

Each club will be keen to take away all three points from their clash at Loftus Road, but QPR’s need is undeniably greater.

The west London outfit occupy last place in the standings, four points adrift of safety.

Their defensive record is far from the worst of the teams in the wrong half of the table, but they are in dire need of goals – QPR have netted just 18 times this season, a sorry statistic Remy and Crouch will be charged with improving in the second part of 2012/13.

Norwich meanwhile are far from secure – they sit 14th on the table, seven points above the relegation zone, but with no illusions about their proximity to the drop zone.

Both teams recorded encouraging draws in their previous outings, with QPR gaining a point in a 0-0 stalemate at home to champions Manchester City, while Norwich held fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.

And while a share of the spoils against heavyweight opposition cannot be discounted, Redknapp and Hughton know victories are the only means of guaranteeing top-flight survival.

Thu 31 January, 2013
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