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QPR vs. Liverpool: Preview, Live Stream, Start Time and More

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool competes with Daniel Gabbidon of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on December 10, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterMarch 14, 2012

Think Liverpool's visit to Loftus Road to take on Queens Park Rangers is just another late-season English Premier League tie between two middling-to-mediocre clubs? Think again!

The Reds are battling for a spot in Europe, with the UEFA Europa League well within range. Hoops, on the other hand, are scrapping and clawing to escape the relegation zone amidst a blunderous bottom five that includes the likes of Wolves, Bolton, Wigan and Blackburn.

True, there will be no league titles or Champions League berths on the line, but that doesn't mean these two don't have plenty to play for, or that there won't be plenty of good, old fashioned, scrappy English football to go around.

The Reds claimed three points at Anfield the last time these two sides met, thanks to a 47th-minute strike by Luis Suarez.

 

Where: Loftus Road, London, England

When: Wednesday, March 21st at 4:00 p.m. EDT

Watch: FOX Soccer Plus, ESPN DOS, DIGI sport CZ, SuperSport Maximo

Live Stream: FoxSoccer.tv, SuperSport Internet 5

 

Player to Watch for QPR: Bobby Zamora

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03:  Shaun Derry of QPR celebrates Bobby Zamora's headed goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Everton at Loftus Road on March 3, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Image
Julian Finney/Getty Images

If QPR are to avoid relegation this term, they'll need to rely heavily on the flurry of transfers who were brought in during the January window, chief among them Bobby Zamora.

The 31-year-old striker has scored a pair of goals since joining Hoops from London rival Fulham. He's enjoyed a fair measure of success against Liverpool, too, having put through two goals and added two assists in 13 career appearances against the Reds.

 

Player to Watch for Liverpool: Luis Suarez

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool reacts to a missed chance during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on December 10, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With regard to Luis Suarez, you come for the football and you stay for the possibility of silly antics. The feisty Uruguayan hasn't quite returned to his early-season form since his eight-match ban for racism, though that may well have as much to do with Lucas Leiva's absence as Suarez's own shortcomings.

Still, on a squad replete with old plodders, Luisito is one of few players at Kenny Dalglish's disposal who can actually run about without pulling up lame, and with the creativity afoot to boot.

 

Key Matchup: Luisito vs. QPR's Back Line

Both Liverpool and QPR rank among the least prolific goal-scoring sides in the Premiership, with the Reds having notched 33 and Hoops tallying 28.

So why such a difference between the two in the table? Defence.

Liverpool has surrendered just 26 goals (second fewest) while QPR have been torn apart for 48 (fifth most).

Hence, the task will fall to QPR's back line to hold up its end of the bargain better against Suarez, Craig Bellamy and the rest of Liverpool's punchless attack, lest they slink deeper into the relegation zone.

 

What They're Saying

BOLTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10:  Djibril Cisse of QPR during the Barclays Premiership match between Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers at Reebok Stadium on March 10, 2012 in Bolton, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

With demotion seeming all but inevitable, QPR's players have begun to voice their opinions on the future of the club. Djibril Cisse, who joined Hoops from Lazio in January, is hopeful that the club won't end up in the Championship next season.

"I love challenges and I love the club already. I will do my best to help the club stay up because we belong in the Premier League now," said Cisse.

On the other hand, Ian Wright, the father of Hoops player Shaun Wright-Phillips, isn't so sure, as he told Absolute Radio:

I think the players that have come in have not performed to the level that they should, simple as that. I think that they've got quality players but they're just not playing well, none of them.

When you get into a situation where you're losing, it's hard to get out of it, and things like [Clint Hill's disallowed goal at Bolton on Saturday] happen. All of a sudden you score a goal, it's a foot-and-a-half behind the line, it doesn't get given and those are those are the things that go against you.

Then you look at their run-in and I honestly can't see them getting a point out of that so it looks like, for me, Wigan, QPR and Wolves [to go down].

Liverpool has no such concerns about relegation, though the club could be in for a shakeup nonetheless. Brighton boss Gus Poyet, a mentor and compatriot of Luis Suarez, warns that the Uruguayan striker might not be long for England:

"I just hope that we can keep him in England," Poyet said. "I would like him to stay in England for English football. Otherwise you lose so much. I don't want to lose him. But it was difficult for him and a difficult time. He was worried about everything that happened and it was a shock.

"It was a difficult time when you are out. Remember, he wants to play football. He wants to stay on the pitch but he was out and it was difficult to understand, because of the language."

 

Prediction: Liverpool 1, QPR 0

Don't expect much action or excitement in this match, unless a skiff breaks out between Suarez and Anton Ferdinand. Otherwise, Liverpool will miraculously find its way into the net and closer to the Europa League.

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