Alex Ferguson has named his Manchester United starting team to play QPR away at Loftus Road.
Manchester United Team: De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Ferdinand, Giggs, Hernandez, Vidic, Carrick, Nani, Young, Van Persie
QPR team: Cesar; Traore, Hill, Samba, Bosingwa; Taarabt, Mbia, Granero, Townsend; Mackie, Zamora
QPR boss Harry Redknapp says the fitness of Bobby Zamora will be crucial to his team’s survival hopes despite an ongoing hip problem. “Maybe Bobby will need an operation at the end of the season,” Redknapp said. “The aim is to keep him going because he is that important to us.”
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to extend his team’s advantage over Manchester City but is wary of a Rangers team who recently held City to a goalless draw. “These games have to be treated exactly as we would Real Madrid or anyone else,” the Scot said.
QPR have never beaten Manchester United in 11 previous Premier League encounters, managing just two points from a possible 33. Their only home draw during this period came in March 1996 when a stoppage-time Eric Cantona equaliser cancelled out Denis Irwin’s own goal.
Rangers’ last home win against United was a 3-2 top-flight success in May 1989 when midfielder Andy Gray scored twice.
Manchester United have never failed to score at Loftus Road during the Premier League era, hitting three goals in three of their five visits.
Harry Redknapp hasn’t won any of his last 11 Premier League matches against Manchester United since his Portsmouth side won 2-1 at home in August 2007. In total, he has won three of 32 career Premier League matches against them (21 defeats).
Defeat last time out was QPR’s only loss in their last six league games – their best run of form this season.
The R’s have registered three successive goalless draws at home. It’s 332 minutes since they last conceded a league goal at Loftus Road – Daniel Agger’s header in Liverpool 3-0 win at the end of December.
QPR are four points down on this stage of last season when they had 21 points from 26 games.
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 14 league matches. They have taken 38 points from a possible 42 during this period.
Only three clubs in top-flight history have had a better record after 26 league matches than this current Manchester United side – Tottenham in 1960-61, Liverpool (66 points) in 1987-88 and Chelsea (66 points) in 2005-06. All won the title that season.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are looking to keep a third successive clean sheet for the first time this season.
United have conceded the opening goal in 12 league fixtures this season but have gone on to claim a league-high 27 points from losing positions.