Saturday’s big match preview
- Credit: PA
West Ham United v QPR Saturday, January 19, 3pm The team who are bottom of the Premier League at Christmas almost always get relegated, but if anyone can dispell that myth it is former Hammers’ boss Harry Redknapp.
They are the thoughts of West Ham legend Tony Cottee, who worked under him on his return to Upton Park and looking at how fortunes are slowly changing at Loftus Road, there is every chance that he will be right.
Mark Hughes brought a gallery of big-name, highly-paid stars to the club during the summer, but forgot that he needed some hard workers in his line-up to turn it into a team.
He paid the price in November and since then Redknapp has changed things around and started to get the results the club are desperate for.
The surprise win at Chelsea was the only one they have managed in the Premier League, while Tuesday’s FA Cup victory at West Brom will give them further confidence.
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After his superb goal in the corresponding fixture at Loftus Road, the enigmatic Adel Taarabt must still be the one to watch and indeed he is their top scorer, though only with four goals.
The team are unbeaten in their last four and are proving hard to beat at least, but coming towards the end of January, they are still at the bottom of the table with 14 points from 22 games.
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Former Hammers Rob Green and Anton Ferdinand are unlikely to start, while Bobby Zamora is injured, but there will be plenty for West Ham to worry about – not least the Harry effect itself.
Potential new signings Loic Remy and Yann M’Vila may well also be in the squad by the time Saturday comes round.
QPR have not played at Upton Park since 2004 when two Marlon Harewood goals dispatched them by 2-1.
Saturday will not be easy, but West Ham need to bounce back in the league after their demise at Sunderland and that could be the incentive they need to win it.
Possible team: Cesar, Hill, Onuoha, Nelsen, Da Silva, Mbia, Derry, Park, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Mackie.
Prediction: West Ham 2 QPR 0