Taarabt boost for Rangers

Queens Park Rangers

QPR's bid to beat the drop from the Premier League has been aided by Adel Taarabt's omission from Morocco's African Nations Cup squad.

Rangers and their manager, Harry Redknapp, had feared the mercurial forward would be unavailable for an extended period, with the tournament in South Africa running from January 19 to February 10.

However, there was no place for the 23-year-old in coach Rachid Taoussi’s 24-man squad posted on the Moroccan federation’s official website on Wednesday morning, with Aston Villa’s Karim El Ahmadi and Liverpool’s Oussama Assaidi the only English-based players included.

Taarabt has scored four goals for Rangers so far this season, including two in their only league win to date against Fulham.