The excitement of the opening few weeks was brought to an abrupt halt following the 4-1 defeat against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup final. However, it is essential that Chelsea forget the memories of this defeat and look forward to the match against QPR this weekend.
This first London derby of the season is also the fiercest. This time around, there is a lot more to look forward to than just the derby. This is because Roberto di Matteo today confirmed that John Terry will play in this match, while QPR defender Anton Ferdinand will also be fit.
The history between the two players will be the talking point before the start of the match. However, Chelsea need a better performance in order to make sure that it is not the case after the match.
The form table certainly goes out of the window for this match. Hence, it is not matter whether QPR come into the match after having conceded nine goals in three matches. They certainly will be pumped up for this match along with the home fans. The QPR manager Mark Hughes also has a number of new players at his disposal. It could either work in their favour or not.
Last season, Chelsea came into this fixture with a lot of confidence after the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas. Two red cards and a defeat back then almost brought the season to its heels until it was recovered by Roberto di Matteo. He said,
“Every time we go to Loftus Road it is always a feisty derby for us. 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.”
The three wins in the first three matches definitely do not qualify as a good start to the season for Chelsea because there is still a long way to go. However, Torres and Hazard being in good form should help Chelsea take advantage of the lacklustre defending from QPR.
A repeat of the last season’s 6-1 thrashing would absolutely be spectacular, but most important is three points.
Roberto di Matteo has confirmed that both John Terry and Ashley Cole will be fit for this match. Apart from Marko Marin, he has a fully fit squad to choose from including Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Possible team line-ups:
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Oscar, Hazard, Ramires, Torres
QPR (4-4-2): Cesar, Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Fabio, Wright Phillips, Granero, Park, Faurlin, Zamora, Johnson
Prediction: Chelsea to win 2-1
Kick-off: Loftus Road, 15:00 (BST)