Aston Villa v QPR: Junior Hoilett relishing 'really important' relegation scrap

The two sides meet at Villa Park this weekend

QPR forward Junior Hoilett is looking forward to tomorrow's “really important” relegation scrap at Aston Villa.

Rangers go into the match bottom of the table, but just four points behind Villa and safety.

Harry Redknapp's side have won their last two games against Sunderland and Southampton and Hoilett believes their good run can continue at Villa Park.

"It is going to be a six pointer," Hoilett told the club website.

"Aston Villa are in the same position that we are in. It is going to be a scrap and a really important game.

"We are back in the fray. Back-to-back wins in the last two games have got us back into the race for survival. With our remaining fixtures we have a fighting chance to stay up.

"I've looked at the remaining fixtures and it is possible. We have a run of games that we can win."

Villa also go into the match on the back of a win over second-bottom Reading and goalkeeper Brad Guzan reckons the goals of Christian Benteke will keep them up.

"I can't think of a player at this club over the past few years who has made such an initial impact. He's been absolutely massive for us," the American said.

"He has really exploded on to the scene for Villa. From the first minute, he's been fantastic."

Managerless Reading, under caretaker boss Eamonn Dolan following the dismissal of Brian McDermott, will have their work cut out to improve their survival hopes as they travel to Manchester United.

Higher up the table, West Brom will look to continue their surprise push for European football when they travel to Stoke.

The goals of on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku have been key in the Baggies' fine season - he has 13 in 26 league games - but manager Steve Clarke said he would not be staying beyond the summer.

He said: "I've never thought that it would be possible that Chelsea would let him come back to us again next season. He came on a season-long loan.

"He's Chelsea's player, he belongs to Chelsea and he'll go back there in the summer. That's it."

Stoke are on the slide with seven defeats in their last nine games in the league.

Midfielder Glenn Whelan has come in for criticism from dissatisfied fans, but he has boss Tony Pulis' full backing.

"I know what people are saying, but Glenn has been outstanding," Pulis said. "If you speak to our centre-halves and ask them which player they'd pick first and foremost to play in front of them, it'd be Glenn, because he fills gaps ever so well and he smells danger."

Elsewhere tomorrow, Everton have to put their shock FA Cup exit to Wigan behind them when they host Manchester City, Southampton, now four points above the drop zone, welcome Liverpool and Swansea are at home to Arsenal.

Wigan turn their attention to Premier League survival when they entertain Newcastle on Sunday.

Sunderland are another side not yet out of the woods and will be looking for a first win in seven games when they host Norwich.

There are London derbies at White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge as Tottenham take on Fulham and Chelsea host West Ham.

PA

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