QPR vs Crystal Palace preview: Harry Redknapp wants points off pacy Palace

Though Neil Warnock won't be in the Loftus Road dugout on Sunday, Redknapp will be

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The Independent Football

Neil Warnock might not be at Loftus Road on Sunday, but that means QPR manager Harry Redknapp will.

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Warnock, Crystal Palace’s former manager, has sat in one dugout or the other nine times in QPR/Palace matches and has never been defeated.

“He’s never lost a single one, has he?” Redknapp said before Warnock’s sacking on Saturday. “Oh I won’t bother turning up then. I’ll just go down the sales with my wife.” Like his old adversary, Redknapp knows that points taken from rivals at the bottom count more than those he could have stolen from Arsenal on Boxing Day.

 

“It’s going to be a scrap. There’s seven or eight teams at the bottom and nothing between them. We’ve got two home games now, and we need points from them. Palace will be positive. They’ve got pace, they play with wingers.” When QPR were glued to the foot of the table early in the season, Redknapp was not slow to publicly criticise his players for lack of fitness, and the Christmas schedule presents particular challenges.

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Warnock was sacked by Palace on Saturday morning

“One or two of them can’t play three games in however many days. Richard Dunne has been great, but he can’t play Boxing Day and Sunday. Bobby Zamora’s the same. Clint Hill is 36. They can’t play two games in that quick succession, it’s not possible.”

Leroy Fer came on in the second half at the Emirates, which Redknapp admitted was a risk. He will almost certainly start today. “He’s on four bookings,” Redknapp said. “It’s a juggling act. I’ve kept him for the Palace game really.”

Some high profile players arrived at Loftus Road in the summer, not least Rio Ferdinand, but the target has been no higher than survival since just a few games in.

This match, and the next against Swansea will be crucial, then there is talk of Jermain Defoe arriving.

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