Premier League preview: Blackburn v QPR
Blackburn and QPR will try to bounce back from contrasting but equally shattering losses when they meet at Ewood Park on Saturday.
Steve Kean’s Blackburn side were ruthlessly put to the sword by Arsenal at the Emirates last weekend, on the wrong end of a 7-1 hiding at the hands of the north Londoners.
Blackburn were 3-1 down at half-time, but the dismissal of defender Gael Givet for a two-footed lunge on Robin van Persie swung the match even further in Arsenal’s favour, and they piled on another four goals after the break to complete an emphatic victory.
The loss leaves Blackburn second-bottom of the English Premier League with 18 points, three behind Mark Hughes’ QPR – who were beaten 2-1 by Wolves on Saturday in a match that also swung on a sending off.
New signing Bobby Zamora put QPR ahead after 16 minutes, but when fellow new arrival Djibril Cisse was given his marching orders after an altercation with Roger Johnson, QPR were always going to struggle to keep Wolves out.
Second-half goals from Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle helped Wolves climb out of the relegation zone and draw level with 16th-placed QPR on goal difference.
With just three points separating the two sides, Saturday’s match takes on paramount importance.
As well as the suspended Givet, Blackburn are likely to be without Michel Salgado, who is still nursing a rib injury, while Australian Vince Grella has made just one league appearance for the club this season as he continues to struggle with a hip problem.
Hughes, meanwhile, is without several of his best players, with Cisse’s three-match suspension adding to his woes.
Kieron Dyer and Alejandro Faurlin are both out for the rest of the season with respective foot and knee injuries, and defender Luke Young is in serious doubt after limping out of the Wolves match with a hamstring problem.
Danny Gabbidon (hip), Heidar Helguson (groin) and Jay Bothroyd (groin), however, are each nearing returns to competitive action.