Hazard and Torres thrive as Chelsea head to QPR

12:00 13 September 2012

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

EMPICS Sport

Preview: QPR v Chelsea

Life after Didier Drogba was always going to present a challenge for Chelsea, and in true Roman Abramovich style, the answer has been to spend – more than £60 million to be precise.

Drogba was a phenomenon at Stamford Bridge, scoring more than 100 goals in almost 230 appearances over eight years.

He largely over-shadowed the arrival of £50m Fernando Torres, but with Drogba having departed to Shanghai Shenhua, now must be Torres’s time to shine.

Torres has responded by scoring three times so far this season, following a goal against Manchester City in the Community Shield with strikes at home to Reading and Newcastle United.

Manager Roberto di Matteo is leaving nothing to chance, however, and should the Spaniard struggle this season as he has done since his arrival from Liverpool in 2011, Chelsea have plenty of other attacking options.

Di Matteo signed Eden Hazard from Lille for £32m, Marko Marin from Werder Bremen for £7m, and Oscar from Internacional for £20m. Those options were increased on transfer deadline day, as Wigan’s Victor Moses joined for £9m.

While Torres and Daniel Sturridge are Chelsea’s only recognised strikers in a 4-3-3 system, Di Matteo can call upon plenty of supporting firepower.

Hazard has made an instant impact, playing in the space behind lone striker Torres. The Belgian star scored in the Blues’ most recent league game, a 2-0 win over Newcastle which kept them at the top of the table.

Chelsea’s weakness may well come in central midfield, where Frank Lampard and John Mikel Obi are the only defensive options, following the £8m sale of Raul Meireles to Fenerbahce. Michael Essien has also departed on loan to Real Madrid.

Lampard has made a strong start to the season, however, and remains the driving force for Di Matteo’s side at the age of 34.

The new season may not yet be a month old, but Chelsea have begun in a fashion that suggests they are serious contenders for the Premier League title.

Plenty has changed since these sides met at Loftus Road last season, a match settled by Heidar Helguson’s first-half penalty.

Helguson has since departed QPR, and should Anton Ferdinand fail to recover from injury in time, Rangers’ starting line-up could feature not a single player from last season’s match.

Rs boss Mark Hughes will be hoping his team finally comes together, or table-topping Chelsea will march away with the points.

Prediction: QPR 1 Chelsea 2

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 14:01
Police believe that Arnis Zalkalns may have information that can help them find Alice Gross

Police investigating the disappearance of Hanwell teenager Alice Gross think that another missing person from Ealing might be able to help their enquiries - if they can find him.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:07
Does he make it through the doors in the nick of time?

Old university friends Noel Carroll and James Heptonstall teamed up to complete the ultimate London fitness challenge - racing the Tube!

Read more
Yesterday, 13:56
Another photo of the dramatic scene by Dan Webster

Beckenham Hill was engulfed in thick smoke today as a blaze consumed a car parked outside a block of flats.

Read more

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
Guess the managers quiz

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more

QPR Transfer News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
A computer-generated image of how QPR's future stadium could look

QPR face growing opposition to their new stadium bid with current landowner Cargiant claiming they “will not enter into any future talks with the club”.

Read more
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Ander Herrera competes with Niko Kranjcar.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Niko Kranjcar believes that it is not what QPR do against Manchester United that will determine their season, it is what they do against the likes of Stoke that matter.

Read more
Monday, September 15, 2014
Ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is set to make his first return to White Hart Lane with his current club QPR

QPR fans’ favourite Rodney Marsh doesn’t believe manager Harry Redknapp is the right man to keep the R’s in the Premier League.

Read more
Monday, September 15, 2014
Karl Henry. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Archive

Karl Henry admitted that QPR handed Manchester United the three points on a plate as the Red Devils eased to a 4-0 victory – their first win of the season.

Read more