Today, Mark Hughes takes his improving QPR side to White Hart Lane to face Andre Villas-Boas’ stuttering Spurs. QPR don’t have the best record there and haven’t won since 1994. That would tell you the R’s are due a win and who knows, with their recent improvements on the field, stranger things have happened. Spurs picked up their first win of the season against Reading and provided a very promising performance to boot. The likes of Moussa Dembele, Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe and Gylfi Sigurdsson provide a potent attacking force that contains pace, power and invention, and with QPR’s injuries in defence, it will take heroic performances from Ryan Nelsen and co if they are to take anything from the game. One of the main positives from the Chelsea game was Nelsen’s performance. The man was tremendous and marshalled the defence perfectly, keeping Fernando Torres out of the game, much to the Spaniard’s disdain. More of the same please.
Had Andy Johnson, Anton Ferdinand and Fabio not suffered their respective injuries last week, I think Hughes would’ve picked the same team against Spurs. A defensive reshuffle will be required which isn’t ideal, such is Spurs’ attacking threat. Nevertheless, the R’s have enough in midfield and upfront to make a game of it. The R’s travelling support will no doubt be in great voice and this will hopefully raise the player’s confidence when the game inevitably swings Spurs’ way. Hughes will be encouraging Ale Faurlin and Esteban Granero to get on the ball as much as possible. If Rangers can play the brand of possession football displayed against Chelsea, it will really disrupt Spurs’ style and cause unrest amongst their support.
Team: Lloris, Vertonghen, Naughton, Walker, Caulker, Dempsey (Sigurdsson), Lennon (Townsend), Bale, Sandro, Defoe, Dembele (Mason).
Team: Cesar, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Bosingwa, Fabio (Onuoha), Park Ji-Sung, Wright-Phillips (Cisse), Granero, Faurlin, Johnson (Mackie), Zamora.
Spurs Team News:
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is expected to recall Brad Friedel. Emmanuel Adebayor and Kyle Naughton will undergo late fitness tests ahead of the match. Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are both out.
Possible line up:
Walker – Caulker – Vertonghen – Naughton
Dembele – Sandro
Lennon- Sigurdsson – Bale
Player to watch: Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe has been identified as the player to watch ahead of Sunday`s match against Spurs.
For Vital QPR’s comprehensive review of the attackerClick Here >>>
QPR Team News:
Andy Johnson is out for the remainder of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Chelsea. Anton Ferdinand and Fabio both miss out with hamstring strains. Samba Diakite is unlikely to feature after it was said he is short of fitness.
Possible line up:
Onuoha – Nelsen – Hill – Bosingwa
Wright-Phillips – Faurlin – Granero – Park Ji-Sung
Zamora – Cisse
Player to watch: Alejandro Faurlin
The Argentine midfielder has made a tremendous comeback from the ruptured acl suffered last January. It is one of the nastier injuries in football and I’m currently going through rehab for the same injury (to the same knee) and have nothing but total admiration for Faurlin’s ability to comeback stronger. One could argue Faurlin isn’t match fit yet but he managed to produce a magnificent display alongside Esteban Granero in centre midfield against Chelsea. Faurlin is so comfortable on the ball, he rarely loses possession. He reads the game very well which makes up for his lack of pace. I’m hoping Faurlin continues on his road to match fitness and produces another mesmerising display against Spurs.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: LDWLD
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 14
LAST TIME OUT
Premier League – 21/04/12
QPR 1 (Taarabt)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Derry, Diakite (Buzsaky), Taarabt (sent off), Barton, Mackie, Zamora.
Referee: P Dowd
Assistants: J Flynn & L Betts
Fourth Official: M Jones
Phil Dowd is the match official for Sunday`s game. Last season Dowd issued 137 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 38 games.
2-1 Spurs to sneak a win.
Where: Loftus Road