Queens Park Rangers-Manchester City Preview
It's now or never for Queen's Park Rangers.
Chris Ramsey's QPR cannot afford to lose on Sunday if they are to avoid relegation, but that means getting a result away at Manchester City.
It is a perilous position for the struggling London side, who have won just one in 10 at crunch time in the season to leave them facing the drop. However, midfielder Joey Barton believes the real damage was done earlier in the season under Harry Redknapp, and the club would have had a better chance of survival if Ramsey had been brought in earlier.
"Since Chris came in the level of performance has been very, very good," Barton said. "We've thrown points away late doors. But if Chris had been in charge all of the season, we may have been safe at this point.
"It's no good crying over spilt milk. But things that happened to our squad this week put things into perspective. It's not over until it's over - but we were behind the eight ball from a way back. We may have faults, but the one thing we don't lack is character and togetherness."
Saturday's hosts Manchester City go into the game on the back of three straight wins, but saw their Premier League title taken off them by new champions Chelsea last weekend.
City never really looked likely to mount a decent challenge in what has been a frustratingly inconsistent campaign, but Pellegrini believes his team are still the best attacking unit in the division and will be back in the running next season.
"We will challenge again for the title next season and we will improve," he said. "This is a very hard league to win and we lost too many important points this year - but we must continue to play the same style. I hope we will continue in this club as we have done the last four years, when we have won two titles and, although this season is not finished yet, finished second twice. You cannot every year beat Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool.
"It is important for the Premier League and for the fans to play attractive football, and although we haven't scored as many goals as last season, we are still the top scorers so we will not change our mentality."
City go into the game with fitness doubts over Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, Stefan Jovetic and Jesus Navas. Rangers have doubts over Clint Hill, Steven Caulker and Armand Traore.
Man City had to come from behind twice to earn a draw against QPR at Loftus Road in November. Charlie Austin put the R's in front after 21 minutes, but Sergio Aguero leveled the match 11 minutes later. QPR were back in front when Martin Demichelis put into his own net on 76 minutes, but Aguero answered again seven minutes later to grab a point for City.
These sides have drawn back to back PL meetings, both coming at Loftus Road. City had won the previous four league meetings, netting 11 goals in those games.