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Queens Park Rangers: QPR's Biggest Remaining Fixtures This Season

A WriterContributor IIIFebruary 5, 2013

Queens Park Rangers: QPR's Biggest Remaining Fixtures This Season

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    In fairness, all of Queens Park Rangers' fixtures are big. With 13 games to go, and QPR probably needing around 20 more points for safety, there can be no let up in the performance or the results.

    Any match played at Loftus Road will be seen as a chance to pick up points, and Harry Redknapp's men will need to use the home crowd to their advantage against stronger opposition such as Manchester United and Arsenal, as they did against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur recently.

    Of course, history tells us from last season that Rangers, if they survive, will most likely survive the hard way (via Soccerbase). Losing to teams they should beat, and beating teams they should not. But common sense must prevail in assessing which games will make or break QPR's season.

    Some games will be seen as unwinnable.

    Some games will be seen as a chance to hammer out a draw.

    And some games will be seen as must-wins, six-pointers, do-or-die—whatever you want to dress them up as—But it all boils down to the fact that QPR need three points, and nothing less will suffice. And the following slideshow details those games.

     

    All fixtures, results and tables taken from BBC.co.uk.

March 2: Southampton (A)

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    Despite Southampton having had a much better 2012 than QPR, and currently sitting in 16th place, three points from the drop-zone and seven points ahead of Rangers, there are flaws in their game.

    As B/R's very own tactical analyst Sam Tighe points out, Southampton have dropped 24 points from winning positions this season.

    Despite some incredible comebacks themselves, namely against Chelsea in recent weeks, they have also lost or drawn games which they were comfortably leading, or at least, in front.

    Wigan, Manchester United, Arsenal and Stoke have all been allowed to claw their way back into games by the Saints, which must give Rangers hope, that even if they go behind, all is not lost.

    Southampton are a team who could all so easily be dragged into the relegation battle, and QPR will need to play their part in that by claiming three points at St Mary's.

March 16: Aston Villa (A)

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    And one team almost certainly likely to be involved in the relegation battle is Aston Villa.

    With the worst goal difference in the league with minus 26 and no wins in eight matches, the Villains are certainly staring down a barrel at this present time.

    With visits from Manchester City and West Ham, plus a trip to the red side of north London on the schedule for the next month, the Midlands club's troubles don't look likely to ease any time soon.

    Bottom of the form table, Villa are looking more and more likely candidates to finish bottom of the Premier League as the matches wear on. That is of course, if QPR ever decide to leave their post at the foot of the table.

    QPR need to be winning games like this, and using teams like Aston Villa as stepping stones to lift them towards the heady heights of Premier League survival.

April 6: Wigan (H)

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    Wigan are synonymous with relegation battles, and it wouldn't be the Premier League if Roberto Martinez's side weren't down near the bottom of the table at the business end of the season.

    A team who seem to be allergic to the Championship, but will get just close enough to feel the potential effects, are also a team whose form is inconsistent.

    They have beaten Villa, drawn with Southampton and lost to Norwich, all within a matter of weeks. And although you could say "that's football for you," you could also look at it that Wigan are there for the taking.

    They have a talented side involving Franco Di Santo, Arouna Kone and Jordi Gomez, and a manager who seems to just love the game of football, and has impressed his free-flowing style on the Latics over the past few seasons.

    Wigan can crumble however, and their ever-presence at the lower end of the table suggests they can be easy to beat.

    With QPR at home to the Lactics, they will not be aiming for anything less than three points from this contest.

April 27: Reading (A)

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    Ah, Reading. The speck of dust in Harry Redknapp's eye, the one footprint in otherwise perfect snow, and the itch that just won't go away. Reading are a team who are causing Queens Park Rangers all sorts of problems.

    QPR beat Chelsea, Reading beat West Brom a week later. QPR draw with Man City, Reading draw with Chelsea. QPR can't beat Norwich, and Reading beat Sunderland.

    Every time there is hope for Rangers fans, Reading go and spoil it by equaling, or bettering QPR's result.

    And for that reason alone, this is a must-win game, if only to appease the grumbling fans who check the results come five o'clock with a hopeful heart, only for it to be crushed by Brian McDermott and his band of resilient men.

    But the fact that the Royals are only six points off QPR currently, and that deficit could well be reduced by April 27, is the main reason that this game is a must-win. Rangers need to be beating teams around them to give themselves any hope, and that certainly includes Reading.

May 12: Newcastle (H)

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    Queens Park Rangers are bound to require at least three points in May, and 'Arry will be hoping that it isn't more. As either side of a visit from Newcastle United, sees them host Arsenal and travel to Liverpool.

    Rangers will desperately be trying to avoid the situation they were in last season, with their fate somewhat resting in others hands. And if they need one win out of the last three games, their best bet is to try and cling on to the Premier League via The Magpies.

    The penultimate game of the season will hopefully see QPR try and stop the French Invasion from spoiling Harry Houdini's magic trick.

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