QPR’s Esteban Granero relishing London derby against Chelsea

QPR midfielder Esteban Granero is relishing the chance to play in his first London derby against Chelsea at Loftus Road on Saturday

esteban granero
Esteban Granero joined QPR from Real Madrid last month Photo: The Sport Review

esteban granero

Esteban Granero admits he is relishing the chance to play in his first London derby when Queens Park Rangers take on Chelsea at Loftus Road on Saturday.

The Spain midfielder made his debut in QPR’s 3-1 defeat by Premier League champions Manchester City and is facing another demanding fixture against the Champions League holders this weekend.

Mark Hughes’ side are still without a victory after losing to Swansea City and drawing with Norwich City, and Granero believes victory over the Blues would give the Hoops a timely lift.

“Chelsea is one of the great teams in England,” said Granero. “They are also our neighbours. QPR are very excited by this game and we expect a good game. We will try to get our first win.

“I’ve been told a lot about Chelsea, and I have friends there [the Spanish players].

“But I think the QPR fans are looking forward to this game – as am I. It will be my first at Loftus Road.

He added: “The first win will give us a lot of confidence and it’s a great game for our fans against our neighbours at our stadium.

“It’s not only three points. We are very focused on the game.”

Granero is also looking forward to facing his former Real Madrid youth team-mate Juan Mata – the pair won the Copa de Campeones Juvenil de Fútbol together in 2006 – although the pair have not spoken since his move to Loftus Road.

He added: “I like to play against my friends. I have some friends here, for example, Mata.

“This weekend I will play against him. I used to play with him in the academy of Real Madrid so he’s a good friend of mine. I’m looking forward to playing against him.

“We are friends until two hours before the game and then after the game. We haven’t talked because he’s with the national team now. I think we’ll wait until after the game to start talking.”

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