Monday, May 29, 2017

Premier League preview: Queens Park Rangers v Fulham

SoccerNews in English Premier League 13 Dec 2012

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There is some good news and some not-so-good news for struggling Queens Park Rangers ahead of their match against Fulham.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp is yet to taste victory with the struggling team, having presided over three successive draws since taking over from the sacked Mark Hughes.

But the bright spot for the west Londoners is that they have not been defeated in those three matches, although their league position remains precarious.

QPR, who have yet to win in the league this season and have gone 16 matches without claiming three points, can take further steps toward survival when they take on 13th-placed Fulham in a capital city derby at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Redknapp knows he has to stem the flow of goals conceded if QPR hope to preserve their top-flight status.

The defence has let in 13 goals at home this season for an unacceptable goal difference of minus 16.

But veteran New Zealand centre-back and stand-in skipper Ryan Nelsen remains optimistic, despite the dire predicament.

“When a new manager comes in it’s not like they have a magic wand or something just changes so it’s going to take time,” Nelsen said.

“But I think we’ve been a lot better. We haven’t lost, we’ve had two awkward away games and got points out of them so we have to take the positives.

“We’re on a three-game unbeaten run so hopefully the win will come soon.”

Meanwhile, Hugo Rodallega’s second-half header was enough to end a seven-game winless run for Martin Jol’s Fulham side on Monday, a result which saw them pull clear of the relegation pack.

The 2-1 victory over Newcastle at Craven Cottage was Fulham’s first win since a 1-0 success over Aston Villa on October 20.

Fulham have only won once away from home this season but with 20 points under their belts and a positive approach from players, in particular the in-form Dimitar Berbatov, things are starting to improve for the Cottagers.

“My squad realise that Berbatov is a key player,” Jol said after the win over Alan Pardew’s men.

“He is the one that keeps us together. He probably covered more ground than ever before.”

The return of Brede Hangeland to the back four against Newcastle after a three-match ban also strengthened Fulham as they look to climb up the table.

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