Queens Park Rangers-Chelsea Preview
LONDON (SE) - Harry Redknapp insists Queens Park Rangers can still avoid relegation as he prepares for Wednesday's west London derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Last Sunday's 3-0 loss to Liverpool was Rangers' third straight league defeat and it left them three points adrift at the bottom of the table and eight points away from safety.
"I still think we'll get out of trouble because I will get one or two in, and there are some good lads here as well," Rangers boss Redknapp told his club's website. "I still think it's possible for us to stay up. That's my belief.
"We're not kidding ourselves. We've got some hard games to come. We go to Chelsea and then we've got Tottenham, two fantastic teams, but there's a long way to go. There can be ten games left and you could need 20 points, but it can be done. You can still do it. You don't give up. We mustn't give up. We've got to keep believing and keep going."
England midfielder Frank Lampard scored twice to lead Chelsea to a 2-1 comeback win at Everton on Sunday after Steven Pienaar's strike had given the Toffees a shock second-minute lead.
It was Chelsea's fourth Premier League win in a row and ensured the European champions head into 2013 in third place in the table, just four points behind second-placed Manchester City with a match in hand. Manchester United are top of the table with 49 points, 11 clear of the Blues.
Lampard, who is out of contract in the summer and will be leaving Stamford Bridge unless a new deal can be agreed, believes Chelsea can secure the Premier League title.
"Of course we can still win the league, it is possible," said the 34-year-old Lampard. "If we concentrate on ourselves, win our games, put a long run together and we can put pressure on Man United, who knows?"
Rafael Benitez, who was appointed interim Chelsea manager in November following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, has praised the commitment of his players but insists Rangers should not be underestimated.
"QPR are in a difficult position and that means they will be more dangerous so we have to be focused on what we have to do and try to improve the things that we are not doing well," Benitez said. "Still we are making some mistakes which we have to manage but the team is much better and the main thing for me is the attitude of the players."
Rangers have not registered a league road win this season and earned just three points from a possible 30 away from Loftus Road.
Fernando Torres scored a hat trick when Chelsea routed QPR 6-1 in last season's corresponding league match at Stamford Bridge on April 29. More recently, the two teams played out a goalless draw earlier this term at Loftus Road on September 15.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is to have a scan on a strained adductor muscle that forced him off at halftime against Everton, while Blues captain John Terry remains sidelined with knee trouble.
Skipper Park Ji-Sung and a group of experienced Rangers players, including Jose Bosingwa, Bobby Zamora and Nedum Onuoha, are set to miss Wednesday's game.