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After throwing away a 2-0 lead against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday, Aston Villa will be hoping for a positive response when they host Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday evening.
Alex McLeish’s men were undone by a much improved Gunners side at the weekend, meaning the only competition they are left in this season is the Premier League.
With this in mind, there is no doubt that their form needs to improve. As things stand they sit 11th in the table and very much in mid-table mediocrity and their fans won’t accept this come the end of the season.
They of course have to be realistic in terms of what they can achieve this year, but a top ten finish has to be the minimum requirement and this means beating the likes of QPR at home.
It is their form at Villa Park that has been the real worry though. They haven’t won on home soil for nearly three months and the recent 1-1 draw at home to Everton stopped a run of four successive defeats in front of their home fans.
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Quite simply, Villa fans want more from their team and they will be hopeful that the partnership of Darren Bent and Robbie Keane – who is on-loan from LA Galaxy – can help them progress into a better run of form.
As for Queens Park Rangers, well their manager Mark Hughes has admitted that Wednesday night’s game isn’t ideal timing for his team considering the amount of transfer activity they are involved in right now.
Already on transfer deadline day, Hughes has completed the signing of former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse, while Fulham forward Bobby Zamora is also in talks over a move to Loftus Road.
No level of transfer activity detracts from how important the trip to Villa on Wednesday though. In fact, every single Premier League game is vital for QPR at the moment as they look to pull away from the relegation zone.
They would have been delighted with the 3-1 home win over Wigan last time out in the league and will be hoping to build on this in the coming weeks with the help of some new faces.
Looking at the team news for the Wednesday evening meeting between these two teams, Villa are hoping that Marc Albrighton and James Collins can come back into the squad, while QPR will wait for international clearance on new signing Cisse.
Overall, it should be a closely fought contest with both teams extremely keen to secure all three points.