Iron Tulip To Bag Maiden VictoryStats
Manchester United v QPR
Manchester United are beginning to get desperate in their search for a first win of the season and will be very eager to get it at the fifth attempt against QPR on Sunday afternoon.
Louis van Gaal has endured a torrid time since taking over as United boss and is yet to taste victory in English football having seeing his side lose twice and draw twice in his four games in the dugout, scoring just twice in the process.
They began with defeat at home to Swansea before coming away from the Stadium of Light with a 1-1 draw against Sunderland. The Dutchman then suffered a humiliating 4-0 turnaround against MK Dons in the Capital One Cup and after being held at Turf Moor against Burnley in their most recent outing Van Gaal’s men now find themselves seven points adrift of the leaders and are rapidly running the risk of being cut adrift of the pack.
QPR have found their re-introduction to the top flight difficult, but put successive Premier League defeats behind them to claim all three points against Sunderland in their last game after Charlie Austin’s first of the season proved the only goal of the game, and their season to date.
The R’s are also out of the Capital One Cup after suffering a 1-0 loss to Burton Albion, after previously getting turned over by both Hull and Spurs, with boss Harry Redknapp enduring a particularly chastising 4-0 beating on his return to White Hart Lane.
Following the arrival of both Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao on transfer deadline day and the belated international clearance being granted to Marcos Rojo, their are a host of new faces vying for debuts for United with all three expected to feature.
Luke Shaw is also available to take his competitive bow in a United shirt after recovering from a hamstring injury which ruled the defender out for the opening month of the season while Ander Herrera and Rafael are also fit again but Phil Jones and Chris Smalling remain doubts while Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini are out.
How, or if, Van Gaal intends to fit the attacking threats of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Angel Di Mario and Falcao into one lineup is, anyone’s guess.
Midfielder Alejandro Faurlin is the only definite injury absence for the visitors after the Argentine suffered a serious knee injury. Redknapp could give debuts to new arrivals Sandro and Niko Kranjcar while Rio Ferdinand is expected to continue at centre back against his former club.
Head to Head
United have won each of the past four games between the sides, conceding just once in those clashes. Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez scored inside a seven minute spell in the last meeting between the pair at Old Trafford to secure a home win after Jamie Mackie had given visitors a shock lead. QPR haven’t won there since New Year’s Day 1992.
United are again big favourites (2/7) to win, as they have been in every game this season, although with their new acquisitions and facing a team who’ve failed to score in three of their four matches it does seem more justifiable this time out.
Despite the Londoners struggles in front of goal the 11/8 on both teams scoring seems the pick of the punts as United’s defenders have struggled to adapt to their bosses demands to date.
The goalscorers market seems a crapshoot until the Dutchman shows his hand but Austin is a great price at 5/1 for the visitors although I still see the ‘Iron Tulip’ finally getting a first win here so both teams scoring in a United win is well worth investment at 12/5.