With the games coming thick and fast over the next few weeks, Rafa’s rotation policy will be in full force for tonight’s match against QPR. This makes it difficult to pin down exactly who will be trusted with increasing the gap between the two teams but, if picked, here are the five individual battles that could determine who gets the three points.
Tjaronn Chery doesn’t play as an out and out striker, but the attacking midfielder is still his side’s top scorer so far in the Championship. This means it’ll fall to one of our defensive midfielders – most likely to be Hayden given his omission at the weekend – to keep tabs on the Dutchman.
All of Chery’s goals have come from set pieces (three penalties and one free-kick), so keeping him quiet will involve not conceding fouls in and around the penalty area. In fact, all of QPR’s nine goals this season have come from set pieces, so trying not to dive in and give them a chance to go to ground in general makes most sense if we want to continue our run of clean sheets.