December 04, 2014

Both Queens Park Rangers and Burnley face a battle to avoid going straight back down to the Championship.

Not since 1998 have all three promoted clubs been relegated in a Premier League season, but the newcomers Burnley, QPR and Leicester City currently make up the Premier League's bottom three and appear unlikely to pull clear of trouble any time soon.

Big-spending QPR (3-2-9) have been hit-and-miss at best this season, and conceded two late goals in a 2-0 defeat to Swansea in midweek.

"We were close, the 'keeper was in great form for us, but we were close," said Rangers boss Harry Redknapp. "But we've been that in the last couple of away games; we were like that in Newcastle and at Chelsea and just couldn't quite hang on there.

"We have had hard games. We caught Newcastle on the back of a five-match winning run and then we went to Chelsea and Manchester United and we went to Tottenham earlier in the season. They've not been easy games but it's hard for the teams that are coming up, you've only got to look at the table. The teams that have come up, it's a big step up."

Rangers will host fellow strugglers Burnley (2-6-6), but the Clarets are currently enjoying a mini-revival. Unbeaten in four, Sean Dyche's side finally look capable of competing at the top level - although consecutive draws have slightly stalled their progress.

"I do not think that we have been lacking any belief all season, but sometimes you need the rub of the green, or you need a chance to go your way, and maybe we did not have that at the start of the season," Dyche said. "We had to earn our right to get those points and those goals, and I think we are now doing that and we had some real big individual performances again tonight. The table is what it is, we just focus on performances, because we know that if we get those right, then we get wins, and if we get plenty of wins then you know you are okay."

Dyche will remain without the injured pair of Matty Taylor and Sam Vokes, but may be able to call on Nathaniel Chalobah after the on-loan Chelsea midfielder shook off a knock to return to full training. QPR are without long-term absentees Alejandro Faurlin and Sandro, while Adel Taarabt remains absent with a conveniently timed 'groin injury', which has kept him sidelined for weeks since his public spat with Redknapp.

Scoring goals has been a problem for Burnley, with only Aston Villa (eight) bagging fewer than the Clarets' 10. However, Rangers' defence is the leakiest in the division, conceding 27 goals in 14 games.

The last game between these sides was a 3-3 draw at Loftus Road in the Championship last season, and Burnley won the reverse fixture 2-0 thanks to a brace from Danny Ings - who also netted in the 3-3 draw. Those results mean that QPR are without a win against Burnley in the last nine meetings in all competitions - a run that stretches back to 2007.

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