September 25, 2014

Second-placed Southampton will aim to continue their dream start to the season with victory over Queens Park Rangers at St. Mary's on Saturday.

Since an opening day loss to Liverpool at Anfield, the Saints are unbeaten in six in all competitions and head into the weekend buoyed by their midweek 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup.

The Saints (3-1-1) fell behind to an Alexis Sanchez free-kick on Tuesday night at the Emirates Stadium before a Dusan Tadic penalty and a screamer from Nathaniel Clyne turned the tie.

"After a fantastic free-kick from Sanchez I think we had a fantastic reaction," Saints boss Ronald Koeman told the official club website. "It was a great performance and great spirit from the team.

"It's an amazing result for us and the fans who support the team."

After a tumultuous summer that saw a significant turnover of players and the dismantling of the team that matched the club's highest ever Premier League finish last season, reaching eighth, the Saints were tipped to find top-flight life tough this campaign.

However, since Koeman replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the summer, Southampton have hardly missed a beat and the loss at Anfield was their only Premier League defeat in nine heading back to last season.

Koeman's team now turn their attention back to league duty after the heroics of Tuesday and the Dutchman believes it's important his side don't take their eye off the ball in upcoming games.

"We have to continue and if we always bring 100 percent then I think we can have a fantastic season, but we have to keep our feet on the ground." Koeman said. "Saturday against Queens Park Rangers will be different; maybe it'll be more difficult. We have to prepare ourselves in the best way. The team was already talking after the (Arsenal) game about Saturday and that means a lot."

In contrast to Southampton's excellent early season form, newly promoted QPR (1-1-3) have struggled on their return to the top flight.

They have lost three of five and their 2-2 draw at home to Stoke City, in which a late Niko Kranjcar free kick rescued the game, secured only their fourth point of the season.

"It's a big point for us - we need to keep picking up points, even when we're not at our best," manager Harry Redknapp told the official club website after Saturday's match.

"If we'd lost today the lads would be on the floor, but we kept getting at them and got back into it thanks to a moment of brilliance. To come back twice, against a tough team like Stoke, is great."

Jordon Mutch and Joey Barton picked up hamstring injuries in the draw and are doubts for the game on Saturday. Redknapp will also be without Adel Taarabt (ankle) and Alejandro Faurlin (knee) through longer term injuries.

Southampton will have to do without James Ward-Prowse (ankle) and Jay Rodriguez (knee) but defenders Toby Alderweireld and Maya Yoshida may be in line for a return to the squad.

Both sides recorded away victories when QPR were last in the division, during the 2012-13 season, Southampton won 3-1 at Loftus Road in November 2012 through goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon plus an Anton Ferdinand own goal. Junior Hoilett responded for QPR.

QPR won 2-1 at St. Mary's in March 2013 with Jay Bothroyd scoring the winner 13 minutes from time. Loic Remy and Gaston Ramirez both scored in the first half.

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