Liverpool are favourites to take all three points at Loftus Road today where the Reds will be taking on an under strength Hoops midfield lacking three of the club’s most inventive players.
Going into this afternoon’s fixture Liverpool will be the more confident of the two teams despite Daniel Sturridge picking up yet another injury that will rule him out of today’s fixture in London.
So far this season both teams have been fighting early season injury lists. QPR manager Redknapp is left with an under weighted midfield with three of his first choice midfielders unavailable for selection. The Hoops are missing Joey Barton and they will still be without the £6 million rated summer arrival Jordan Much from Cardiff City.
New signing Mutch has been suffering from a hamstring injury; while one of the team’s most prominent midfielders from last season, Joey Barton, is also suffering from a hamstring injury leaving Redknapp tapping into a second best midfield selection going up against an almost fully fit Liverpool squad.
Adding to Redknapp’s woes, midfielder Niko Kranjcar may also be sitting this one out after he broke his toe in training; however, the Croatian may still make a brief appearance. It seems unlikely Kranjcar will be able to play for the full 90 minutes even if his name does feature on the team sheet before kick-off.
Rodgers is also facing problems of his own as with Sturridge expected to be back in the mix, this was supposed to be the first real look at what Rodgers hopes to be a potent partnership between Balotelli and Sturridge. Nonetheless, it looks likely that the duo will have to wait anything up to a month for the return of England striker Sturridge as he is now ruled out with a calf injury sustained during training.
Sturridge has played just three games this season, but even without his pace up front, Liverpool have shown marked improvement in their away performances over the latter half of last season and going into the first few away games this season.
The return of Glen Johnson will also give the Reds more pace on the right, and with Sterling expected to play a major role in today’s game, his pace will be key to pushing QPR’s weakened midfield aside. If Liverpool do succeed today at Loftus Road, this will be their sixth victory in the last seven meetings between the two teams.