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11:06 30th November 2012

by @OfficialQPR

Green set to deputise ...

QPR BOSS Harry Redknapp has confirmed Julio Cesar is a major doubt for tomorrow’s basement battle with Aston Villa at Loftus Road.

Cesar was substituted at half-time during Tuesday night’s goalless draw at Sunderland after nursing a groin problem.

Injury could see the Brazilian miss out for the first time since arriving in August but the R's manager is hopeful Cesar won’t be sidelined for long.

Redknapp told  “Cesar has done a groin [injury] so we’ll see how he is. He is doubtful for tomorrow. 

“It’s a very slight tear so it could just be a week or so.”

Rob Green deputised between the sticks in Cesar’s absence, impressing with the gloves as the Hoops travelled back to the capital with their first clean sheet on the road this season.

Green is pushing for his first start since early September and Redknapp admits he is fortunate to have two quality goalkeepers at his disposal.

“Rob’s a great goalkeeper and a goalkeeper I’ve always admired,” Redknapp said.

“He made a fantastic save the other night when he came on. He didn’t have a lot to do but made one world class save in my opinion.

“We’re lucky we have got two outstanding goalkeepers. It’s up to them to fight it out for the number one spot.”

Aside from the long-term injuries to frontmen Bobby Zamora (hip) and Andy Johnson (knee), the R’s boss has a fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of his first home game in charge.

Paul Lambert’s troops arrive in W12 buoyed by victory over Reading in midweek and Redknapp is expecting a tough encounter on Saturday.

“It’s like any game. Recently we had Reading and Southampton at home where you hope for maximum points but you never can tell in football, “ he added.

“Villa is a young side, full of enthusiasm and work hard; it won’t be easy. But we’re at home and we need to get a win as soon as we can.”

Redknapp’s arrival in the dugout coincided with Rangers’ first point in four outings and is calling on his players to continue where they left off Tuesday night.

“I was pleased the other night, I thought we played ever so well," he added.

“The work-rate was great and we played some good football. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the attitude, it was top class.

“We’ve got to carry that on tomorrow now.”

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