Dimitar Berbatov’s quality is ultimately too much for visiting QPR, as the Bulgarian’s early strikes prove decisive, despite a strong second-half showing from Harry Redknapp’s seemingly doomed side. Here’s the Stock Check on a Monday night that delivered on its promise…
On the Up
A third brace of the season took Berbatov to five goals in his last four matches as the Bulgarian stuck to the script and lived up to pre-match expectations. There were instant dividends for Berbatov’s new owners, then, and with a double Gameweek to come, his stock will surely continue to rise at pace.
A third penalty save of the season denied QPR a point and saw the Aussie stopper return seven Fantasy Premier League (FPL) points for his owners, despite failing to keep the clean sheet. Schwarzer is top rated for form in the FPL, averaging 6.5 points per game over the last six matches.
With Redknapp going all out for the points, Taarabt came back into the lineup to lend his creative spark and goal threat. For once, the Moroccan delivered, firing QPR back into the match with a late first half goal, before winning the spot-kick which Remy squandered. With three points essential for QPR, surely Taarabt will retain his starting role for matches to come.
Brought in from the flank for the second half, the Frenchman wasted his spot kick, only to surge through and make amends with a fine finish to hand the R’s a lifeline. It’s three strikes in the last four starts for Remy who continues to look the most likely to fetch the goals that QPR so badly need over the remaining seven matches.
The QPR Defence
While Chris Samba was culpable for Fulham’s opening two goals in a disastrous first half, it was skipper Clint Hill that made way at half-time, presumably to protect him having earned a booking and escaped a potential sending off. In Gameweek 7, under Mark Hughes, Hill was subbed at half-time at West Brom – he remained out of the side until Gameweek 13. It remains to be seen if Hill will be restored to the side for the visit of Wigan – in truth, Redknapp is likely to be more displeased with the showing from Samba.