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 from SNAP.PA

Barry’s face caught the attention of the Twittersphere during Sunday night’s Strictly.

Read more

Steve said he’ll be gutted not to be a part of Strictly next week.

Read more

The final GP in the UAE may not have been a thriller, but it did kind of sum up the season for a lot of drivers.

Read more

Promotions

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need! We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time we’re offering up to 40% off.

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho go head to head (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Football managers are either deified or chastised, depending on results and they are some of the most famous faces in the country.

Read more
Roy Keane  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Roy Keane denied the world of more glorious beard action this weekend by shaving his famous chin hair off, however football is still littered with some impressive beards.

Read more
QPR's Loftus Road home. Picture: Ker Robertson/ALLSPORT

Prove your QPR knowledge with our brand new R’s history quiz.

Read more

QPR Transfer News

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Harry Redknapp. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Harry Redknapp is hoping that QPR can emulate Newcastle and go on a winning run themselves to climb the Premier League table.

Read more
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko celebrates his goal with manager Alan Pardew. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Moussa Sissoko fired Newcastle to a sixth successive victory to extend QPR’s dismal run on the road.

Read more
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA

Here is a full round-up of this morning’s transfer news and rumours from around the web:

Read more
Friday, November 21, 2014
Adel Taarabt pictured in action for Tottenham (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Hull City’s Tom Huddlestone says Adel Taarabt was his most technically gifted team-mate at former club Tottenham.

Read more