Fellaini injury leaves Everton in a quandary for QPR trip
QPR are in need of points desperately and Mark Hughes will feel that his luck may be about to change with Marouane Fellaini all but ruled out of Everton’s trip to Loftus Road in the next round of Premier League fixtures.
Fellaini has been sidelined for three weeks with a knee problem sustained in Everton’s latest draw with Wigan and he has since undergone scans while on international duty with Belgium.
He is certain to miss Belgium’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers and the trip to QPR is also liable to come too soon, which could make 2/1 decent value on Hughes’ men gaining a first triumph of the season.
Fellaini, along with Leighton Baines, has been especially important in Everton’s start, playing in an advanced role behind leading striker Nikica Jelavic.
His supreme size has not only resulted in him winning a large percentage of headers, but also bringing the ball down in advanced areas to tee up the likes of Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar.
Fellaini was especially unplayable in the season opener with Manchester United and has certainly developed since being promoted into the role vacated by Tim Cahill’s summer departure.
What is also apparent that Everton suffered a substantial dip in victories last season with Fellaini absent, which included home defeats against QPR and Bolton.
With Fellaini expected to miss no more than a maximum of two games, his injury will not single-handedly ruin Everton’s charge towards the top four, but will have a negative impact.
Everton are currently 7/1 to finish in the top four and the pressure will be on either Steven Naismith or Kevin Mirallas to step into Fellaini’s particularly large shoes to prevent the flying start to the season from derailing.
Alternatively, David Moyes may decide to tinker with his formation slightly for a couple of games that may see Pienaar employed more centrally in the hope of supplying more killer passes to an in-form Jelavic.
All odds and markets correct as of publication