After advancing to the quarterfinals of the Capital One Cup in midweek, Chelsea will be back in action on the weekend, in the Premier League encounter against QPR.
The Harry Redknapp managed club has been our bogey team for quite some time now, and the struggling side would make the short trip to West London on Saturday with the intention of upsetting the Premier League leaders on their own turf. With just two wins in the season so far, our neighbours sit on the 19th position in the league table battling relegation and salvaging at least a point against us would be their main aim tomorrow.
Chelsea, on the other hand, had to be satisfied with a point at Old Trafford in the Premier league last weekend, but still sit four points clear at the top of the table. Jose Mourinho, after resting most of the first team players in the midweek game, will field a strong squad on Saturday which prompted us to analyze some key players battle that could possibly influence the outcome of this game.
Here’s what we learned:
DIEGO COSTA vs STEVEN CAULKER
Yeah, you read it write. Diego Costa is back from the hamstring injury and is declared fit and ready by Jose Mourinho ahead of our London derby, which means, he would be the one to come up against QPR defender Steven Caulker tomorrow.
Caulker has been the best at his position for the R’s, after his transfer from Cardiff this season. The 6ft 3in tall centre back has put on some commanding performances for Harry Redknapp’s side at the heart of the defence, but the Englishman will likely face his most difficult test of the season, when he lines up against the most lethal goalscorer in the league.
Diego Costa’s injury has kept him out of the starting lineup for nearly a month, but the Spanish striker would be willing to continue his glorious form that saw him take the league by storm. If that happens tomorrow, the evening might not end well for Caulker and co. Either way, a fun battle to watch out for!
CHARLIE AUSTIN vs JOHN TERRY
QPR has scored just eight goals in this league season so far, and half of them have come from the boots of Charlie Austin. That’s how dependent they are on their forward’s individual brilliance! After scoring a brace in the last game against Aston Villa, the Englishman would make a short trip to Stamford Bridge, in a hope to continue his goalscoring form, but this time he would be up against the might of John Terry.
Our “Capitano” is still one of the best in the league at what he does, and Austin, for all his goals and creativity, would still find it very difficult to get past Terry tomorrow, making it one of the battles to watch out for.
EDEN HAZARD vs MAURICIO ISLA
Everybody knows how talented Eden Hazard is, but it’s only been this season that the Belgian has started to realize his true potential, with consistent performances that have seen him terrorize opposition fullbacks. Eden Hazard has been a constant threat on the left wing for the Blues and this time he would be up against the R’s right back, Mauricio Isla.
The Chilean fullback / winger on loan from Italian side Juventus has started every game for Harry Redknapp’s side so far and has been an important cog in the wheel for the London side.
But, with the kind of form Hazard is in, he could easily turn the Chilean’s good form into something of a nightmare with his daunting runs and magical dribbles, when he starts tomorrow. When Hazard is in this mood, no matter who he is up against, the battle on the left side of our pitch is always fun to watch. Do keep an eye on this clash tomorrow!
Edited By: Girish Bhangre