Everton vs. QPR: Complete Premier League Preview

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IApril 11, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Leon Osman of Everton beats Esteban Granero (L), Park Ji-Sung (2L) and Bobby Zamora (R) of Queens Park Rangers  during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Everton at Loftus Road on October 21, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Everton face QPR in the Premier League this weekend in a match both sides will be desperate to take all three points from.

The Toffees are trying to maintain the pressure on Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea and know anything but a win is likely to terminate their faint European hopes.

For Harry Redknapp's beleaguered side, a defeat would all but condemn them to Championship football next season, and the visitors will be sure to come out swinging.


Form and Previous Meetings

After a patchy start to the year, Everton are in strong Premier League form, fresh off an unbeaten March, with three wins in their last four.

QPR have struggled for consistency all season and have just two wins in their last 11 games, with four defeats in their last seven outings.

The Hoops can take comfort from the fact they are the only Premier League opposition David Moyes has yet to register a win against.

Since their promotion last season, QPR boast a win and two draws from their trio of fixtures, including a surprise 1-0 win the last time the sides met at Goodison Park, back in August 2011.


Team News and Key Players

Everton welcome back two key players in Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, who both come back after serving two-game suspensions.

Tony Hibbert finally resurfaced after months on the sidelines, turning out for the club's second string this week. His re-emergence gives Moyes a full quota of players to choose from.

For QPR, Bobby Zamora's red card against Wigan means he misses out with a suspension, but otherwise the Hoops also have a relatively clean bill of health, although long-term absentee, Shaun Wright-Phillips, remains absent.

Loic Remy will be key for the visitors. If the Frenchman can be clinical and give his side something to cling on to, QPR can be hopeful of springing an upset.

Kevin Mirallas as been in red-hot form for the Toffees, scoring two classy individual goals in his past two games. Stopping him will be high on the Hoops' list of priorities. 


Potential Starting XIs

Moyes has toyed around with his system in the absence of Pienaar and Fellaini, deploying three centre-backs against Stoke while using John Heitinga in midfield and giving Ross Barkley a surprise start against Spurs.

Fellaini and Pienaar will both return in this game, presumably in place of Barkley and Heitinga, and after an unusual bout of experimentation, it seems most likely the Toffees will return to type.

Fellaini will almost certainly line up behind the striker, although the Toffees have been looking far more fluent with better technicians playing in his position, and there may be some discussions about playing him deeper.

QPR are likely to ask Remy to lead the line in the absence of Zamora, with the England man's place going to either Taarabt or Jamie Mackie.

Elsewhere, Redknapp is likely to keep the same personnel that featured against Wigan.

Statistics via EPL Index