West Brom v QPR preview
Hoops eyeing away improvement
Last Updated: 13/04/12 11:04am
After boosting their survival hopes in midweek QPR will be desperate to continue their upward momentum when they take on West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Goals from Jamie Mackie, Joey Barton and Akos Buzsaky in a 3-0 success over Swansea gave Rangers their third in win five games, lifting them up to 16th place, two points above the drop zone.
But with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City lying in wait in the coming weeks Mark Hughes knows a good result is vital in the Black Country on Saturday.
West Brom meanwhile know they are all but safe, with the Baggies currently sat in 13th place on 39 points.
However, boss Roy Hodgson will be keen for a few more results to lift them beyond the 40-point mark before they can truly plan for a third successive top-flight season.
To that end Hodgson has demanded a response to their 4-0 hammering at Manchester City in midweek, with the former Blackburn and Liverpool boss determined not to see his season peter out.
The Baggies took the majority of their points on the road in the first half of the season but their form at home has picked up in recent weeks.
They have won three of their last four Premier League games at home, scoring nine goals, having won just two of their previous 12 at the Hawthorns this season.
In contrast QPR have struggled away from Loftus Road this campaign, one of the main reasons they are where they are in the table.
Hughes' men have taken just two points from the last 30 available on the road in the league and their total haul of 11 is the lowest in the division.
West Brom skipper Chris Brunt and left-back Liam Ridgewell are both expected to be fit after they missed the defeat at the Etihad Stadium with knee injuries.
Gareth McAuley, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Peter Odemwingie are in contention for a recall after they were rested in midweek.
Midfielders Zoltan Gera and James Morrison (both knee) and right-back Steven Reid (foot) remain sidelined.
QPR can welcome back Shaun Derry after he missed the Swansea game through suspension. Derry was controversially sent off at Trafford last weekend, a decision he subsequently failed to get overturned on appeal.
That poses a selection dilemma for Hughes, who saw Barton make a goalscoring return to the first team on Wednesday.
Striker Djibril Cisse remains suspended following his red card at Sunderland last month while Alejandro Faurlin and Kieron Dyer are both long-term absentees.
Possible starting XIs:
WBA: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Scharner, Mulumbu, Andrews, Brunt, Odemwingie, Fortune.
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Diakite, Taarabt, Derry, Barton, Mackie, Zamora.