QPR v Chelsea: Time To Put The Hoops Back In Their Box
Even without the Ferdinand/Terry media circus that’ll make all the headlines whatever the result, this QPR vs Chelsea game is the most hotly anticipated West London derby in years.
Chelsea have always liked to think of QPR as our annoying little brother, albeit one with a terrible haircut and a rubbish trainers. Any talk of a rivalry has been quickly dismissed as ridiculous, we have bigger fish to fry in North and East London, Yorkshire and the North West. However much they insist on telling us where to put our Blue Flag, let them have Brentford and Fulham.
However, with their promotion and subsequent controversial victory when the sides met in the league in October the fixture has taken on an added spice and although we’d never admit it to them it’s certainly put our nose out of joint. The 15k who flock to Loftus Road telling all and sundry that West London is theirs at every opportunity has only added insult to injury and there is an overwhelming feeling that the Cup game is the perfect opportunity to put the White City upstarts well and truly in their place.
It’s worth celebrating that whilst it is no ‘El Clasico’ there is a West London derby that means as much to both clubs for once
On the other hand QPR had been waiting 16 years to beat us, something they probably thought would never happen when they were losing on penalties at home to Vauxhall Motors and finishing mid-table in the third tier of English football. The opportunity to do it twice at Loftus Road in one season is something that doesn’t come along very often. They’ve relished rubbing the noses of the smug school bully who pulls ridiculous birds (their words not mine) in it these past four months and will be almost unbearable if they managed to do it again.
The clubs have been drawn together four times in the FA Cup beforehand with Chelsea progressing three times and QPR once(The most recent of these in 2008 at Stamford Bridge saw a 1-0 victory for the home side after a Lee Camp own goal). However, none of these previous ties have had the significance of Saturday’s clash.
Despite the 12 o clock kick off it looks set to be a fervent atmosphere in Shepherds Bush and both clubs have issued multiple statements in the hope that this renewed rivalry doesn’t boil over. However, although it would reflect badly on both sets of supporters if the Ferdinand/Terry scandal dominated the afternoon, it’s worth celebrating that whilst it is no ‘El Clasico’ there is a West London derby that means as much to both clubs for once.
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