The figures don't look good for QPR. After 20 matches of the season they sit bottom of the league with only 10 points. There have been some great escapes in the Premier League in recent years, indeed QPR themselves produced a marvellous home run to stay up last season, but the requirements this time look even more daunting.
Last year QPR had 17 points at this stage, and claimed 20 points from their final 18 matches to stay up. This year they will need to get perhaps as many as 10 more points from those games, and that is the kind of form that sides competing for the Champions League aim at.
Traditionally teams looking to avoid relegation set a target of 40 points, but only once in the past five years has that been required. The other totals needed for safety have been 36, 35, 31 and 37 points. Disregarding the year when only 31 points were enough as a freak event, and also the 40 point season, QPR will likely need 36 points to be there or thereabouts in terms of survival.
This means 26 points from 18 games, which whilst unlikely, is doable. QPR have good players in their squad already, and also have the January window in which to strengthen. The loss to Liverpool clearly demonstrated both their problems at the back and upfront, and these must be the priorities for any New Year spending spree.
QPR have nine home games left this season, and they will need to produce the kind of form at Loftus Road that kept them up last year. If they can win six or seven of those matches, then a couple of good away wins might see them to safety. Unfortunately for them they have a very hard run of games in January, hosting Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, and going away to Chelsea and West Ham. If they cannot pick up a couple of results there, they might be out of the running before any new signings have a chance to bed in.
However such a tough month can also be a springboard for the rest of the season should they get an unexpected win or two, especially away at rivals Chelsea. January is a crucial month for the club in a number of ways. If they can sign a couple of quality players, and win one or two of their four matches, the picture could be looking a lot rosier for QPR by the end of the month. If they lose all four matches, then the survival effort is likely scuppered whoever they sign.