Queens Park Rangers-West Ham United Preview
LONDON (SE) - Queens Park Rangers are expected to debut their latest high-priced acquisition in Loic Remy for Saturday's London derby against West Ham United at Upton Park.
Rangers broke their transfer record to sign Remy from Marseille on Wednesday. The France international is reported to have joined for 8 million pounds ($12.9 million), doubling the club's previous transfer record - the signing of Djibril Cisse in January 2012.
QPR reportedly offered Remy a higher salary than Newcastle United, another possible destination for the striker's services. The 26-year-old Remy, who has scored four goals in 17 starts for France, has agreed to a 4 1/2-year deal.
"He's quick, can score goals and makes great runs," QPR manager Harry Redknapp said. "His movement is excellent. He's got the potential to be a really outstanding striker."
Rangers remain on the foot of the table on 14 points, and Remy is eager to help the club avoid the drop.
"I want to develop my game here," Remy said. "This season the objective is to stay up but beyond that we have greater objectives. After seven years in France, this is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge in the Premier League - the best league in the world."
QPR have kept three straight clean sheets following last Saturday's 0-0 league draw with Tottenham Hotspur and Tuesday's 1-0 FA Cup victory over West Bromwich Albion on Jay Bothroyd's goal in the 75th minute. Redknapp's side will face MK Dons in the fourth round.
This is the third successive London derby in the league for QPR. The club has amassed eight points in such fixtures, although it came up empty in a fiery 2-1 defeat to the Hammers at Loftus Road on Oct. 1.
That match saw West Ham pick up a Premier League-record eight yellow cards, although it was the home side that were reduced to 10 men when Samba Diakite picked up a second yellow in the 75th minute.
Sam Allardyce's men are in 11th place on 26 points as they try to recover from some recent woes. The Hammers fell 3-0 at Sunderland last Saturday before turning in a better performance Wednesday in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup.
"What I cannot accept was the level of performance we produced against Sunderland," Allardyce told West Ham's official website. "We cannot have anything other than this on Saturday when we face QPR."
Despite bowing out of the cup, Allardyce was pleased with the performance and the return of Mohamed Diame from a hamstring injury. The boss used a 3-5-2 formation without injured defenders James Collins (hamstring), Joey O'Brien (hamstring) and George McCartney (knee).
"We made tactical changes with a shortage of defenders and Alou Diarra stepped into the back three and was very, very good," Allardyce said. "Apart from the goal we conceded, Alou, James Tomkins and Winston Reid were very good defensively."
Guy Demel and Matt Jarvis did not see action in midweek while Kevin Nolan and Jack Collison came on as substitutes. Allardyce also left Joe Cole at home, with the veteran midfielder tipped to be back on the pitch Saturday.