Southampton-Queens Park Rangers Preview
LONDON (SE) - The Premier League's bottom two meet at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon when Queens Park Rangers host Southampton.
At the foot of the table after 11 games, QPR have become the first team to fail to win by this stage of the season since Norwich City in 2004, despite bring in a raft of new players in the summer. Just three points from five games at Loftus Road is the worst home record in the English top flight, but one of Rangers' summer acquisitions is hopeful of turning the tide this weekend.
"We know this is going to be massive for us," said midfielder Esteban Granero, who joined Rangers from Real Madrid in the summer. "We play at home against one of our rivals. We know the supporters are with us and they deserve more than we are giving to them. All we can do is continue training hard and give everything on the pitch on Saturday.
"I believe the first win will change everything. We are doing the correct things and that is why I think it's going to be better for us very soon."
Saturday's game will pit the worst team at home in the league against the worst on the road, with visitors Southampton the only team in the division yet to pick up a point away. Five defeats and 18 goals conceded is not the best omen for another away game, but striker Rickie Lambert is looking forward to visiting the London ground.
"I have played there and it's one of my favourite grounds," revealed Lambert. "I love the way that it's like a little subbuteo pitch, the fans are right over you and it's an intimidating ground, but it's an experience playing there and I can't wait for it.
"It's a game we're confident that we can win or get a result from. There's going to be pressure on both teams and probably a little more pressure on them as it's at their place instead of ours."
However, the Saints will need to stop the flow of goals if they are to pick up anything at Loftus Road. In their five away games, only West Bromwich Albion have failed to score more than twice against Nigel Adkins' side. The 29 goals conceded in total is the highest ever by a Premier League side at this stage of a season, and they remain the only team in the top flight yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
Fitness news offers more encouragement for the red and whites, with Frazer Richardson Southampton's only reported injury concern. QPR have doubts over Ryan Nelsen, Jamie Mackie, Ji-Sung Park, Kieron Dyer and Fabio, while Andrew Johnson remains out.
The fans at Loftus Road will be hoping for better from their side, having seen just three goals by their team at home all season. Only Sunderland can match that league low. Since the start of last season, Rangers have been shown 11 red cards in the Premier League - four more than any other club.
The last time these teams met was four seasons ago in the Championship, with QPR winning 4-1 at Loftus Road and picking up a point away. None of the goal-scorers for Rangers in that win are still at the club.