January 2, 2013
Cech set to miss Rangers clash
Team Stat Comparison
|Chelsea||Queens Park Rangers|
|Goals for *||2.2||0.9|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.7|
|Last 5 home||W-D-W-W-W||L-L-L-D-W|
|Last 5 away||W-W-D-W-L||L-D-L-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Chelsea | Queens Park Rangers|
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is expected to miss the visit of QPR after injuring himself in Sunday's win at Everton.
The Czech international was forced off at half-time with an adductor problem and his replacement Ross Turnbull will deputise at Stamford Bridge.
Midfielder John Obi Mikel missed the Goodison Park victory with a knee injury but it is not deemed serious by manager Rafael Benitez.
Gary Cahill has urged Chelsea to embrace the challenge of chasing down Manchester United and Manchester City in the race for the Barclays Premier League title.
The Blues go into 2013 four points behind champions City and a further seven adrift of leaders United with a game in hand after a rollercoaster start to the season.
Chelsea threw away a four-point lead at the end of October in an alarming slump that cost Roberto Di Matteo his job as manager.
But they are arguably in their best form of the campaign under interim boss Rafael Benitez, winning seven of their last eight games in all competitions and raising hopes of a dramatic fightback in the title stakes.
Defender Cahill said: "We need to keep looking forward and have that challenge in the back of our head.
"We would rather have the points in the bag, but that's another challenge we have got to face. There are plenty of games coming up.''
He added: "I think we have good momentum.
"We have changed the team around slightly, the lads are playing well.
"We just need to keep winning games. That's the way we look at it.''
Wednesday's west London derby with QPR could see Chelsea make it 12 points from 12 over the festive period.
They also thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 in their last Stamford Bridge outing.
Cahill added: "There is a different atmosphere in derby matches. A lot of form goes out the window in them.
"But we are at home and I don't think many teams like to come to Stamford Bridge.
"Hopefully, we will make it very difficult for them to play on our patch.''
QPR have no fresh injury doubts.
The Rs did not pick up any new knocks in the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool, although Park Ji-sung remains a doubt.
Strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) are sidelined with long-term injuries.
QPR will be able to call upon DJ Campbell again from Thursday onwards.
The 31-year-old has impressed during a loan spell at Ipswich, netting 10 goals in 16 appearances.
The Rs have struggled for attacking options in his absence due to injuries to both Zamora and Johnson.
Campbell's earlier-than-scheduled return will boost the Hoops, who could include the striker in their FA Cup clash with West Brom on January 5.