Mark Hughes’ attempts to stave off relegation for a second year have taken a huge knock this week after it was revealed QPR striker Andy Johnson is out for the rest of the season with injury – and his absence is likely to affect football betting odds.
Johnson, who joined Rangers in the summer from Fulham, limped off just 32 minutes into his side’s clash with Chelsea at the weekend and headed straight for the tunnel. A scan has revealed an anterior cruciate ligament injury, effectively ending the striker’s season before it has properly got underway.
Hughes now has to contend with just three strikers and will not be able to bring another front man in until the January transfer window. This is a foreboding position to be in considering QPR have scored just two league goals this season.
Last weekend’s goalless draw with Chelsea exposed Rangers’ forward deficiencies and also boosted Chelsea betting markets; with Johnson off the attacking duties were handed to Jamie Mackie and Bobby Zamora, who has two to his name this autumn.
While Mackie looked sharp yet never threatening, Zamora wasted a gift one-on-one chance to score the winner late on. It was as though the striker had no confidence as he rounded Petr Cech in goal and instead of shooting early jinked his way to a better angle before firing at a defended target.
Zamora’s clumsy effort will no doubt unnerve Hughes as he looks at his squad and wonders where the goals are to come from. Djibril Cisse is the only other main striker yet he can be as inconsistent as Mackie or Zamora, leaving Hughes without a reliable front man.
With Johnson out, these three must start finding the net if QPR are to survive Premier League relegation this season. Hughes has spent too much money this summer for the club to go down and now runs the risk of relying on three inconsistent forwards to keep his team afloat.