Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum

Arsene Wenger is determined to use the busy festive period to prove Arsenal's Premier League credentials, starting with QPR on Boxing Day.

Arsenal welcome their London rivals to the Emirates Stadium off the back of Sunday's 2-2 draw at Liverpool, which saw Wenger's men cough up two points in stoppage time courtesy of Martin Skrtel's header.

QPR have been woeful on the road this term, losing all eight of their away games since returning to the top flight and Wenger is hoping to take advantage as his sixth-placed side look to close in on a UEFA Champions League spot.

The Frenchman said: "We expect QPR, with nothing to lose, to come and have a go at us.

"But we have to focus on our performances and make sure that over Christmas we take advantage of the schedule we have and put the performances in.

"We have a good opportunity over Christmas to show we are much better than people think we are. That's why you focus on your own performance rather than weakness from your opponent."

Wenger's options are boosted by the returns of David Ospina, Tomas Rosicky and Yaya Sanogo, but Laurent Koscielny will not be fit to return to Arsenal's makeshift defence until the weekend.

Right-back Mathieu Debuchy has partnered Per Mertesacker in the heart of defence in Arsenal's last three games - none have resulted in clean sheets.

That will interest QPR's red-hot frontman Charlie Austin, whose hat-trick on Saturday helped his side fight back from two goals down to beat West Brom 3-2 and surge out of the relegation zone.

The former bricklayer is outscored in the Premier League by only Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero this term, leaving Wenger mightily impressed by the former Burnley and Swindon Town man.

"It's good to see," Wenger said of the 25-year-old. "He's an English striker who's played in lower divisions and has come up.

"You have to congratulate him because that shows mental strength and tenacity.

"That mental strength is very important at the top level, secondly it could bring some idea that there are other players down there who are good enough to come up to the Premier League and don't get the chance."

Harry Redknapp has lost Yun Suk-young to an ankle injury, the South Korean joining Sandro (knee) and Adel Taarabt (groin) on the sidelines.

The former Tottenham boss is looking forward to locking horns with Wenger again and dismissed fears over QPR's struggles on the road, pointing to a satisfactory tally of 17 points so far.

"It's a tough game, obviously they're an excellent team but it was a great result for us last week so we'll see how we go, give it our best and see if we can pick up a result.

"We've had hard away games, very difficult away games. People make a big thing of it. 

"I'd have taken 17 points at this stage all day long. I'm delighted with the total of points we've got."