Aston Villa v QPR 19:45
Following on from the club’s victory in their West Midlands derby against Wolves last week, Paddy Power make Alex Mcleish;s side favourites as the Villa will be looking forward to the game against QPR as another potential win against opposition in the bottom half of the table.
However, QPR moved late in the January transfer window once again yesterday and added to the winter signings of Nedum Onuoha, Taye Taiwo and Federico Macheda by securing deadline day deals for Djibril Cissé and Bobby Zamora.
Although Zamora’s transfer came too late for him to registered for the game at Villa Park, Cissé joined the Hoops early enough to make it onto the teamsheet for the Premier League encounter and could even start tonight.
The Frenchman arrived from Lazio for a fee of around £4m and although his integration into the QPR side may not be ready quite yet, the 30 year-olds existing Premier League experience with Liverpool and Sunderland should still make him a danger to Alex McCleish’s side.
McCleish – in quite opposite fashion to Mark Hughes – had a fairly quiet winter transfer window, signing Irishmen Enda Stevens and Robbie Keane on permanent and temporary deals, respectively.
The Scot will however be happy with the acquisition of Keane who rewarded his short-term manager with a brace after receiving his first start for the club against Wolves.
Despite boasting figures of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent, Villa have coped badly with the summer losses of Stewart Downing and Ashley Young and are currently ranked as the Premier League’s 16th worst attacking side when at home this season.
That being said, the Villans can take subtle hope in the fact that QPR’s defence is the league’s 16th worst, meaning we can expect to witness a goalscoring spectacle with both teams using the tactic of “I bet I can score more than you”.
The home side may hold a significant advantage over their visitors in the league table but it will be interesting to see if Rangers’ January acquisitions can have an instant impact tonight.