Premier League preview: QPR v Wigan
By Football News
If Queens Park Rangers want to avoid relegation, a win is a must at home to fellow strugglers Wigan on Sunday.
Wigan have won three of their past four English Premier League outings, lifting them out of the drop zone while they still have a game in hand.
Roberto Martinez's men have staged great escapes to avoid relegation in the past and again face a huge task to secure top-flight survival.
Harry Redknapp's QPR come into the clash at Loftus Road on the back of consecutive 3-2 losses – against Aston Villa and Fulham.
Sitting seven points from safety and with a tough run-in, they desperately need a win against Wigan.
Playing in front of their home fans has rarely proven an advantage for QPR, who have won just one of their past seven home league outings.
If QPR want to grab a vital three points, they must stop in-form Wigan striker Arouna Kone.
The Ivory Coast international has netted four times in his past three league outings, including winners against Norwich City and Newcastle United.
Wigan face a busy run-in as their run to the FA Cup semi-finals begins to take its toll, and they could reach the decider with a win over Millwall on April 13.
Redknapp has been unable to find a regular goalscorer this campaign and his decision to omit Andy Johnson from his 25-man league squad could prove costly.
The former Fulham striker is nearing a return from a knee injury but will play no part in the relegation fight.
QPR owner Tony Fernandes has assured Redknapp of his future even if the club slip to the Championship.
The defensive frailties of QPR and Wigan mean goals should be expected as both have conceded more than 50 in the league this campaign.
Wigan are yet to play out a 0-0 draw in the league this season – the last time they did that was in February last year.
Both sides will be desperate for a win at Loftus Road in the relegation six-pointer, and anything less for QPR would prove a costly result.