The last two weeks have epitomized the inconsistency that has plagued Liverpool thus far as Brendan Rodgers looks to overhaul both the playing squad and playing style at Anfield.
Sandwiching an impressive 4-0 victory over Fulham that showcased the potential of Rodgers’ ideas have been two deeply disappointing 3-1 defeats to Aston Villa and Stoke City. As they prepare to travel to Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, Rodgers has made in pointedly clear to his players that they can’t have off days.
"You play well on Saturday and then you have to play well in the next game,” he said, according to Liverpool’s official website. “Then three days later you have to be at the top of your game again. You have to do that for years because that's why you are at a big club. The table doesn't lie. We are in 10th position.
"We've shown against many of the top teams that we have the game to compete. Against some of the other teams we have shown wonderful demonstrations.
"But it has to be efficient and consistent. That's the single biggest word. We have boys that want to come in and work every day, but it has to be consistent."
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Liverpool look certain to enter the transfer market next month, with their attacking options set to be boosted. With little alternative, Luis Suarez looks set to play against QPR despite struggling with an ankle injury.
While Liverpool badly need a victory, the desire for QPR to get a win is arguably considerably more pressing. Following Reading’s victory on Saturday, Harry Redknapp’s side now find themselves three points adrift at the bottom of the table and eight points from safety.
Having lost two games in a row, QPR now badly need to start picking up three points if they are to maintain a chance of becoming only the second side in the Premier League era to stay up having been bottom of the standings on Christmas Day.
QPR defender Ryan Nelsen is a doubt as he struggles with a virus. Julio Cesar, Ji-Sung Park and Nedum Onuoha all look set to again miss out.
D: Fabio, Ferdinand, Hill, Traore
M: Faurlin, Mbia
Wright-Phillips, Taarabt, Mackie
D: Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
M: Lucas, Allen
Strerling, Gerrard, Downing
Prediction: Much is riding on this clash with both sides sure to be going all out to get the win. Liverpool are likely to be more comfortable playing against QPR than they were against Stoke and if Joe Allen returns in place of Jonjo Shelvey then they should have greater control in the midfield.
Unless Adel Taarabt produces something special, QPR lack the ability to consistently cause problems for a sometimes suspect-looking Liverpool defense. Meanwhile, at the other end, Suarez could have a field day against QPR’s defense.
QPR 1-2 Liverpool
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League clash will kick-off at 11 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the Fox Soccer Channel, with a delayed online stream available on Fox Soccer 2Go.