Queens Park Rangers still alive in Premier League

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Eighteenth-place English Premier League team Queens Park Rangers blew a huge two points on April 7 when they played to an entertaining 3-3 draw at place Aston Villa. QPR held onto a 3-2 lead until Belgian international striker Christian Benteke scored his third goal of the game for the home side with just seven minutes to go on the clock. A win would have given QPR 28 points and tied them with Villa and Hull City, but the draw gave them 26 points, the same amount as 19th-place Burnley

The London club has now earned four points out of six in their past two outings and are just two points behind 17th-place Hull and the safety zone. They earned all three points three days earlier when they beat West Brom 4-1 in Birmingham. QPR is also just three back of Sunderland and Villa and definitely within striking range of their closest rival. Manager Chris Ramsey has just six games to work some magic and dig the team out of the bottom three if they hope to avoid relegation in May while last-place Leicester has two games in hand and Burnley, Hull and Sunderland all have a game in hand.

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The club’s chances will likely live and die with young English striker Charlie Austin who has 17 league goals this season and has led his squad with a pair of goals and assists in their last two matches. If QPR is relegated there will be plenty of Premier League clubs who will show up at Loftus Road with their check books out in hopes of buying the team’s 25-year-old top goal scorer. Last week’s four points likely saved QPR from relegation into the second-tier Championship League already as they had lost five in a row before beating West Brom.

They’re not out of the woods yet though and QPR’s next game is at home on Sunday, April 12 when they host league-leading Chelsea in a crucial London derby. Ramsey’s job also rests on his side’s ultimate survival or relegation at the end of the campaign. He was pointed interim manager when former boss Harry Redknapp announced he was leaving Loftus Road due to upcoming surgery. If Ramsey manages to keep QPR in the Premier League for at least one more year he could be back in charge next season. However, if they can’t avoid the chop it’s almost certain he’ll lose his job as manager.

There’s never really a good time to face the league leaders, but since Chelsea has a comfortable lead at the top of the table and top scorer Diego Costa is sidelined, then now’s perhaps the best time to catch them napping. A loss would cripple QPR’s survival chances, but if the other bottom feeders should happen to lose on the weekend then they’ll still be in with a shout. The odds are against them though and bet365 lists their chance of beating Chelsea at 15/2 with Chelsea 4/11 and a draw at 4/1. In addition, QPR is 1/4 to be relegated and 7/4 to finish in last place.

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