Premier League preview: Everton v QPR
By Football News
Realistically, Queens Park Rangers must beat Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday if they hope to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Harry Redknapp's side have spent the season near the foot of the table and are in 19th position, a worrying seven points from safety with just six games left to be played.
Their recent form has been up and down, with crucial lapses badly affecting their results, such as the first-half performance in a 3-2 loss to Fulham and conceding a late equaliser against Wigan after battling hard to retain their lead despite being reduced to 10 men.
Everton by contrast have won three of their past four league games, with an outstanding 2-0 victory against Manchester City last month the pick of those results.
David Moyes' men are in sixth position, four points behind fifth-placed Arsenal.
They are also still in the hunt for a Champions League qualification berth, with Tottenham six points ahead in fourth position, but having played one game more.
The last meeting between QPR and Everton came in October at Loftus Road, and ended in a 1-1 draw, with Junior Hoilett's early opener for the hosts cancelled out by Julio Cesar's 33rd-minute own-goal.
January signing Loic Remy has given QPR some slim hope of top-flight survival, smashing in five goals in his eight appearances since signing from Marseille, and the pressure will be on the French international with Bobby Zamora suspended.
Redknapp will have a relatively healthy squad to choose from - only Shaun Wright Phillips (ankle) and Samba Diakite (knock) are unavailable because of injury.
The man in form for Everton is Belgian attacker Kevin Mirallas, who has produced two spectacular solo goals in his past two matches against Stoke and Tottenham.
QPR defenders will be well-advised to put a challenge in before Mirallas - on current form - jinks past and lashes a shot on target.
There is a relatively empty physio room at Everton, with only veteran fullback Tony Hibbert (calf) unavailable.
With QPR out of the top flight between 1996 and 2011, the two teams have only played three matches in recent years, meaning Everton will be out to record their first triumph over the west London side since November 1995.