Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Chelsea, QPR set for heated affair at Loftus Road

English Premier League action resumes this weekend with a London derby in which there are more than bragging rights on the line.

QPR welcomes Chelsea to Loftus Road on Saturday, an encounter that has been quite cagey given events that transpired last season.

Chelsea's John Terry was accused of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand in the corresponding fixture last term and has spent a great deal of time in the court room as a result.

Last season's return match at Stamford Bridge saw the two sides abandon the customary prematch handshakes, but Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo hopes that both sides have moved on from those previous tribulations.

"We are going to respect the protocol and set a positive standard for the millions of people that are going to watch us all over the world, and make people focus more on the football side than other issues," said Di Matteo. "The Premier League is being watched all over the world now and we have to set a good, positive standard for everybody that is watching us and the handshake is just a part of it. It is part of the respect campaign as well and hopefully the game will be played in good spirit."

On the footballing side, Di Matteo will be looking to prolong Chelsea's perfect to the season after the Blues took maximum points from their three opening games, but it certainly will prove difficult in a derby atmosphere.

"Every time we go to Loftus Road it is always a feisty derby for us," said Di Matteo. "It is a small ground with very passionate supporters from both sides, and the rivalries are well known so it is going to be a heated atmosphere."

For QPR, it's early days but it desperately will want to climb out of its position in the relegation zone. Mark Hughes' men sit second from bottom with just one point from their three opening matches.

Floundering in the relegation zone along with QPR are Liverpool and Southampton.

Liverpool's two losses have not inspired much confidence, falling to West Bromwich and Arsenal by a combined score of 5-0. In between though, the Reds battled Manchester City and looked likely to come away with three points until a gift from Martin Skrtel granted the champions a point in a 2-2 draw. Liverpool will have all to do on Saturday as it goes for its first win of the season, facing Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Southampton is the only Premier League club still searching for its first point of the season. The Saints have looked impressive in stretches, getting Manchester City and Manchester United on the ropes before conceding late goals in both affairs to come away empty-handed. They will face another tough test on Saturday, taking on Arsenal at the Emirates.

Also on Saturday, Manchester United will try to build upon its dramatic defeat of Southampton when it welcomes Wigan to Old Trafford, West Ham goes for its third win of the early season against Norwich City at Carrow Road, and Manchester City, West Bromwich and Swansea City look to preserve their unbeaten starts to the season with trips to Stoke City, Fulham and Aston Villa, respectively.

Sunday's lone match will see Tottenham and Reading battling for their first wins of the season when they square off at the Madejski.

And on Monday, Everton will attempt to get back in the win column when it hosts Newcastle at Goodison Park.

See the latest updates on the hottest midterm races from Fox News

Full Elections Coverage →

Keep up with all the 2014 races in

Coverage →