English Premiership

QPR to get Park boost

2012-11-29 17:38
Park Ji-sung (AFP)

London - Queens Park Rangers captain Park Ji-sung could make his long-awaited return this weekend when his winless team host Aston Villa in the English Premier League.

The former South Korea captain and Manchester United winger injured his left knee at Arsenal on October 27 and returned to training last week. He missed QPR's game against his former club on Saturday, but came off the bench in the 65th minute against Sunderland on Tuesday.

Park was signed by Manchester United from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in 2005. He won four English Premier League titles and the Champions League at United, making him Asia's most successful player in Europe. Park signed for QPR in the off-season.

"He's one of the best professionals we've had here," United manager Alex Ferguson said of Park last week. "He was truly fantastic, and particularly in big games."

QPR are last in the Premier League and recently fired manager Mark Hughes and replaced him with Harry Redknapp, who finished in fourth place with Tottenham last season.

While Park is one of the most well-known Asian players in the Premier League, perhaps the most talented is Shinji Kagawa. The Japan midfielder, who was signed by Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in the off-season, was due to be back last week following a left knee injury picked up against Braga in October. His recovery time has been pushed back by United, and he is not due to play for another 2-3 weeks.

Newcastle have not won a Premier League game in November, and have lost their last four matches. Wigan, who will have Oman goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi between the posts, will be hoping that form continues on Monday.

Al-Habsi has made two mistakes in his last two games, and will surely be hoping not to make another with Senegal strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse lurking.

Japan winger Ryo Miyaichi, on loan to Wigan from Arsenal, has returned from injury and is being used by manager Roberto Martinez as a substitute. He has yet to be on the winning side for Wigan.

South Korea midfielder Ki Seung-yung and his Swansea team travel to London to play Arsenal. Swansea have impressed under manager Michael Laudrup, and have lost only one match in October and November, against defending champions Manchester City.

Fulham midfielder Ashkan Dejagah was rested for his team's 0-0 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday, but the Iran international could make a return in Saturday's match against Tottenham. Fulham has drawn five of its last eight games.

Japan defender Maya Yoshida faces Premier League top scorer Luis Suarez on Saturday as his Southampton team travel to Anfield to play Liverpool. Southampton have eight points from their last four games, but only one away win this season.

Japan striker Tadanari Lee, who plays for Southampton, and South Korea forward Ji Dong-won, who plays for Sunderland, continue to be overlooked by their clubs. Neither has played yet this season.

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16 August 2014
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 13:45
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 16:00
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City, Loftus Road Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 18:30
17 August 2014
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 14:30
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 17:00
18 August 2014
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 21:00
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