Mauricio Pochettino will be looking forward to his first league game in charge of Tottenhamat White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon when his side welcome Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers.
It will surely be a bittersweet day for Redknapp as he returns to the club he took to the Champions League a few years ago before facing the all too familiar axe of Daniel Levy. However, he faces a difficult game against a team of players who, despite having a lacklustre season last year, have had a significant amount of time to become an effective unit.
Tottenham managed to defeat West Ham United 1-0 last week but only after a last minute goal, and will be hoping for a much better performance this week in order to gain another three points. QPR lost by the same score at home to Hull City however, and even at this early stage in the season, they will have to do all they can in order to prevent themselves being sucked into another relegation battle.
Despite playing in a Europa League qualifier during the week, Pochettino has most of his senior players available to him as he sent out a weaker team in that game. Only Vlad Chiriches and Kyle Walker are unavailable for Tottenham in the upcoming fixture due to injury.
There are no injuries in QPR’s outfit and Redknapp will have a full squad to choose from for the match at White Hart Lane.
- Tottenham last played QPR at home in September 2012, winning 2-1.
- Tottenham played in 10 London derbies last season but only managed to score nine goals.
- QPR have only managed to win 10% of their previous 40 Premier League games.
- In the Championship last season, Redknapp’s team did manage to average 56% possession.
Christian Eriksen was the star of an otherwise average team at Tottenham last season and is rightly considered one of the Premier League’s top players. The midfielder made 25 appearances for Spurs last season and managed to create 68 chances for his team mates. According to Squawka.com, he managed to make eight assists and play 60 key passes. He had an overall passing accuracy of 82% and even managed to contribute with seven goals of his own. He didn’t have a great game by his standards against West Ham last week, creating just two chances and only completing 70% of all passes he attempted. However, this will likely be no more than a blimp in Eriksen’s season and Redknapp will make sure his defenders know that on Sunday.
Queens Park Rangers – Loic Remy
This is only Remy’s second competitive appearance for QPR since the 2012-13 season as he spent all of last year on loan at Newcastle United while QPR battled for promotion in the Championship. The French striker made 26 appearances for the Magpies last season and managed to score 14 goals in the process. According to Squawka.com, he scored these goals from a total of 65 shots, and when you take the shots he didn’t score into account, he had a shooting accuracy of 49%. He also created 30 chances for his team mates which resulted in three assists. It was these performances that led to interest from Liverpool during the summer. That move obviously failed to materialise and Remy now finds himself leading the line at QPR again. He managed to get 60% of his shots on target against Hull last weekend and while he didn’t score, it won’t be long before he gets his first for the current season.
Joey Barton received 13 yellow cards in the Championship last season and Tailorbet are offering odds of 2.61 for Barton to get a card on Sunday.
Bet here – http://goo.gl/R3bjjW
I think QPR will give it their best shot on Sunday, but Tottenham will be too much for them in the end. Should Eriksen play well and other players like Lamela and Sandro do the same, I fully expect Spurs to win the game 2-0.