Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers preview: Both team keen to climb table ahead of derby
Last Updated: 26/10/12 3:54pm
Bacary Sagna: Could return to the Arsenal squad following a broken leg
Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere could make their long-awaited returns for Arsenal in a clash between two sides for a victory.
Arsene Wenger had to defend his record at Arsenal at the club's Annual General Meeting on Thursday, which came after one of the more disappointing weeks of his 16-year reign.
The Gunners remain well placed to advance in the UEFA Champions League despite a home defeat against Schalke on Wednesday, but last weekend's surprise loss to Norwich came as a major blow to their Premier League hopes.
The result left Arsenal ninth in the table and already ten points adrift of early leaders Chelsea, so Wenger will not want to lose any further ground when London rivals Queens Park Rangers visit Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Like Wenger, QPR boss Mark Hughes has had to field some tricky questions over the past few weeks as he waits for a first league win of the season.
QPR currently occupy bottom spot after picking up just three points from their opening eight games, although they are still within touching distance of their nearest rivals and a shock win over Arsenal could lift them out of the relegation zone.
There were signs of encouragement for Hughes in the 1-1 draw with high-flying Everton last time out, when Junior Hoilett's opener was cancelled out by a Julio Cesar own goal.
Full-back Bacary Sagna could return to the Arsenal squad for the clash against QPR after recovering from a broken leg.
England midfielder Jack Wilshere also played for the Under 21s earlier in the week and may be on the bench as his rehabilitation from ankle and knee injuries continues.
Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hip) faces a fitness test, but defender Kieran Gibbs (thigh) and forward Theo Walcott (chest) remain sidelined, along with first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (ankle), midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) and Czech winger Tomas Rosicky (hamstring).
QPR captain Park Ji-sung is doubtful for Saturday's trip across the capital.
The former Manchester United midfielder suffered a knee injury in the 1-1 draw against Everton and has not trained fully all week.
Ryan Nelsen and Armand Traore, who were both substituted during the game, are both available but Fabio (hamstring) and Andrew Johnson (knee) remain sidelined.
Mark Hughes may be tempted to restore Djibril Cisse to the starting line-up after he came on as a substitute against Everton.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 13 Ospina
- 21 Chambers
- 5 Gabriel Paulista
- 6 Koscielny
- 18 Monreal
- 16 Ramsey
- 34 Coquelin
- 17 Alexis
- 19 Cazorla
- 23 Welbeck
- 12 Giroud
Team taken from Arsenal vs Newcastle United (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 21st March 2015
- 1 Green
- 14 Isla
- 15 Onuoha
- 4 Caulker
- 13 Yun
- 7 Phillips M
- 8 Barton
- 30 Sandro
- 23 Hoilett
- 25 Zamora
- 9 Austin
Team taken from Queens Park Rangers vs Everton (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 22nd March 2015
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||30||42|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||30||33|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||30||22|
Arsenal v QPR
QPR manager Harry Redknapp is sure that the club will extend Charlie Austin's contract when it runs out next summer. He also confirms that they're only looking for loan deals and not looking to spend any money in January.
Arsene Wenger has dismissed a newspaper report claiming that his training methods are to blame for Arsenal's injury problems.
Mikel Arteta is pleased key players are fit again for Arsenal after Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere returned against QPR.
- Mbia sorry after red card
- Hughes - Performances no issue
- Hughes confident of progress
- Wilshere won't play cup tie
- Wilshere happy to be back
- Hughes unhappy with referee
- Mixed afternoon for Wenger
- Arsenal sneak late victory
- Cesar doesn't regret QPR move
- Hughes fears Wilshere threat
- Wenger: We've hit the wall
- Mertesacker: We need win
- Mbia aims to rip up form book
- Wilshere closing on return