HomeOTHEREPLSpurs vs QPR | Match Preview

Spurs vs QPR | Match Preview

In Spurs’ first home game since the derby victory, they welcome another London rival, Queens Park Rangers. Tottenham will hope to continue a rich recent run of form which has seen them unbeaten since August. Five wins and one draw in their last six has Spurs sitting in fifth place, still with a game in hand. QPR’s form is less consistent. A scratchy win against Chelsea last start has released the pressure on manager Neil Warnock.

Spurs will be optimistic about facing a team that has only scored seven goals in nine matches and been kept scoreless four times. Rangers must be apprehensive about facing a Spurs side that has been free scoring and defensively strong since the Manchester defeats that began their season. Spurs have ten different goal scorers in all competitions; Rangers have only seven, with each scoring only once. Spurs have 24 goals in total, (15 in the Premier League). This QPR team will be less desperate then they would otherwise have been after their scrappy win against Chelsea last week.

QPR struggle against teams with aerial strength. They have had over 100 more headed clearances than Spurs. Samba scored, Anelka spurned a great chance from a header and both Fulham and Bolton applied significant aerial pressure in their big victories. They have also folded when put under pressure. The goals piled on against Bolton and Fulham as QPR lost shape and discipline. The Rangers back-line is demonstrably poor. A centre half combination of Anton Ferdinand and Fitz Hall (or Danny Gabbidon) is no great cause for alarm from a Tottenham perspective. The intelligence and movement of Tottenham’s forward line should be able to put them under pressure and pull them apart. The combination of

Adebayor’s intelligent runs, Bale’s pace and Van der Vaart’s late arrival in the box should create plenty of goal-scoring chances. Neil Warnock will need to commit one of his midfielders to cover Van der Vaart, whose goals have opened the scoring in each of the last four matches.

Blackburn was a very tough assignment for Tottenham’s American goalkeeper. Returning to his old club, Friedel was kept busy by a much improved Blackburn. He had difficulty dealing with Blackburn’s physical, aerial approach.
QPR are unlikely to present the same problems to Spurs defence. Despite the presence of a genuine outlet in Wright-Phillips, QPR only cross the ball 16 times per match, completing about one quarter of those. Spurs have started with at least three crossers in every match. That shows in their 23 crosses per game. Spurs’ high rate of crosses, combined with QPR’s aerial weakness should create plenty of chances to score. Spurs have also completed 100 more passes per game than Rangers. Their ability to hold and use the ball will be a substantial advantage on Sunday.

Spurs have as many as 20 interceptions per game, QPR have 14. Spurs’ ability to pick up the ball and counter attack has been a big part of their success in recent weeks. If they can continue this trend, they’ll have many chances to open QPR up and start improving their goal difference.

QPR may cause Tottenham a threat through the creativity and ingenuity of Taarabt and Barton who have combined at times for some of Rangers’ best play.

It seems as though QPR are capable of a good performance or a thrashing. Their heads dropped against Fulham and Bolton; neither are top teams, while they fought hard against Blackburn, Newcastle and Everton. In all likelihood they would have been thrashed by eleven against Chelsea, even with David “walking accident” Luiz at centre half. Spurs have every advantage before the match on Sunday. Their victory is expected among fans, journalists and the bookmakers. They should win this match comfortably. Rumours of the return of club captain King, as well as Steven Pienaar, William Gallas and Sandro will only increase their strength and reinforce their advantage.

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