Have you ever seen a worst first half performance in Premier League history than the sorry excuse of a display Queens Park Rangers served up against Liverpool at Loftus Road on Sunday?
Because if you have, I certainly haven’t seen it and to be honest I don’t think I could bear to watch it. To be 3-0 down at home to Liverpool after 28 minutes is bad enough – Brendan Rodgers’ side are not one of the Premier League’s best sides by a long shot – but the manner in which Rangers played was a disgrace to the shirt, and basically took the mickey out of their fans who are paying big money to be ‘entertained’.
Harry Redknapp defended the effort his players put in after the match, talking up Liverpool’s quality, but it was etched on his face that he was being disingenuous. Luis Suarez was brilliant, but otherwise Liverpool lack genuine quality and to be run ragged in midfield by Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing is a huge worry.
To this observer, QPR lacked nearly everything in that first half, but even the basics – working hard, organisation and passing the ball to a player in your own team – seemed beyond them and there is no mystery as to why they currently sit bottom of the table with just one win from 20 games and eight points from safety: they are just rank awful.
Redknapp tried to paint a positive picture, no doubt trying to convince potential new players that a move to Loftus Road is good for their careers and not akin to signing for a Championship club in waiting, but you can’t imagine a scenario where Rangers are staying up. The bookies at bwin now go 3/20 that QPR get relegated and that seems fair enough to me – they’re so bad you actually fear for them going to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea for the west London derby today.
What sums it up for me is that even at 11/1 I can’t make a case for QPR to win the match, or even draw at 11/2. Chelsea are 1/5, which is short, so we just have to find the value on a home win.
Chelsea are in great form under Rafael Benitez, who seems to have won over the players if not the fans. The Blues have won four straight league matches and after a dodgy start under Benitez in which Chelsea took two points from three games, the team have clicked impressively.
Chelsea have won seven of their last eight games in all competitions (the only loss coming in the Club World Cup final) scoring 28 goals in the process and will be looking at that QPR defence as an ideal chance to fill their boots once more.
Poor old Clint Hill gave one of the all-time worst individual performances against Liverpool, and if he struggled with Suarez, he is going to be having nightmares about the quality Chelsea have all over the pitch.
Chelsea are 13/10 to win giving QPR a two goal head start and that has to be the call. Rangers look awful, the Blues are scoring goals and it could get embarrassing if Redknapp’s side concede early.
Chelsea beat QPR 6-1 at Stamford Bridge last season, and I fancy another big score so the 13/10 on Benitez’s men minus two is the play.