It is still very early in the season to be making predictions about how the top half of the table will finish but given their recent form, it should be safe to assume reigning European champions Chelsea will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. The Blues' next opponents are a Queens Park Rangers side buoyed by a number of new recruits over the summer. However, that also makes the Loftus Road side an as yet un-coordinated team, something new signing Esteban Granero has admitted.
Where to Watch Live
You can catch the match live, from 3pm BST via radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and get free live text updates on the BBC Sport website and through Gamecast on Soccernet. A highlights package will be available on BBC One and BBC One HD's Match of the Day from 10.20pm BST.
An inconsistent start to the pre-season and defeat in the FA Community Shield aside, the Blues have done very well in the league. In fact, they've done flawlessly so far, winning all three games, and new signing Eden Hazard is in tremendous form. It will be interesting, however, to see if the quite unexpected 1-4 defeat to Spanish side Atletico Madrid, in the European Super Cup final, will linger in players' minds... it was the last game they played before leaving for the international break.
On paper, the Blues should register a comfortable win. They have far too much attacking flair for a side 19th in the league with a goal difference of -7 after three games. The top form of Hazard and the revival of £50m Spanish striker Fernando Torres (although that has been said oftentimes before) should be good news for Roberto Di Matteo and bad for Mark Hughes.
The Hoops, on the other hand, have been poor this season. The excuse of a raft of new signings and that it will take time for them to come together may be valid but even that should not mean you lose 0-5, as they did to Swansea City in their opening game. Any hopes of a sustained comeback, following a 1-1 draw with Norwich City, were dispelled after being beaten 1-3 by Manchester City in their last game. The fixture list has not been particularly kind to Hughes' side - they play City, Chelsea and Tottenham in succession - but given the club now has proven players like Manchester United's Park Ji Sung, Jose Bosingwa from Chelsea and Julio Cesar from Inter Milan, improved performances will be expected.
The silver lining in QPR's cloud, so far this season, is new signing Bobby Zamora (from Fulham). The 31-year-old forward has already scored twice this season.
Anton Ferdinand v John Terry
Much of the tension in this game will come from the continuing face-off between Chelsea veteran John Terry and QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. The England international was accused of racist comments towards Ferdinand (the younger brother of Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand) when the two sides met in October last year. Since then, Terry has been tried by the Crown Prosecution Service and found not guilty and has also been caught up in an FA investigation, which is to start on 24 September.
One of QPR's many new signings - youngster Fabio from United - commented on the growing rivalry.
"I know all about the rivalry between QPR and Chelsea. All the players know about this. It is a big derby game and I am ready for it. These ones are more special to be play in, definitely. We really want to win this game because we know what it means to our supporters to win this match. It is very exciting. Matches like this have an extra edge," the Brazilian defender told QPR's official website.
The big news is that both Terry and Ferdinand are ready to play, after shaking off ankle and shoulder injuries respectively. In addition Chelsea left back Ashley Cole will also play a part, Di Matteo confirmed earlier; Cole gave character witness on Terry’s behalf at his trial for the alleged comments against Ferdinand.
QPR will miss midfielder Samba Diakite (unavailable for personal reasons) and defender Stephane Mbia, who injured himself while on international duty with Cameroon.
Chelsea still cannot call on new signing Marko Marin (hamstring), while Spain international Juan Mata is still recovering from an exhausting stretch of games from the end of last season, the 2012 European Championships and the London Olympics 2012.
QPR: Julio Cesar; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Onouha, Fabio; Wright-Phillips, Granero, Faurlin, Park; Zamora, Johnson
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Lampard, Ramires; Hazard, Oscar, Sturridge; Torres
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