Connect with us

ARTICLES

QPR away is Spurs’ biggest game of the season

This is it. I never thought that, at the beginning of the season, an away day at Loftus Road would be pinpointed as Tottenham Hotspur’s biggest game of the year.

Published

on

This is it. I never thought that, at the beginning of the season, an away day at Loftus Road would be pinpointed as Tottenham Hotspur’s biggest game of the year. Once 2012 rolled around, Spurs were flying high and sitting pretty in third and looking dead certs to achieve their highest league finish in the Premiership since its 1992 inception.

Four months ago, if you had told any Spurs fan they would be scrapping with Newcastle United and Chelsea in order to finish in the top four, chances are you would’ve been the butt of all jokes at the time. Yet, it is this predicament that the North Londoners currently find themselves after a cataclysmic fall from grace in the latter half of the season.

Just one Premier League win since the shambolic North London derby performance back in February means Harry Redknapp’s side are in real danger of finishing outside the UEFA Champions League places with a fifth or sixth place finish now a distinct possibility. With every team around Tottenham picking up their performances in the business end of the season, Saturday is now the time for the Lilywhites to shake themselves out of the rut and get the season back on track.

What to expect against QPR

Mark Hughes’ side are no pushover at home and have picked up three wins out of four at Loftus Road recently, including memorable wins over Liverpool and Arsenal. Their home form doesn’t reflect their current position in the table as they fight to secure their Premiership status for another season at least.

In contrast, on the road in recent months, Spurs haven’t pick up an away win in 2012, with their last coming against Norwich City at Carrow Road back in December. QPR will most likely be looking to exploit this and will pressure the players from the off. It is pivotal that Redknapp instils confidence in the team prior to the Saturday evening kick off and gets them playing a possession game from the first whistle.

Naturally, following the debacle at Wembley at the weekend, morale is likely to be low in the Spurs camp. Many were hoping a decent run in the FA Cup would pave over the cracks that have begun to emerge at the Lodge in recent months. But despite a dodgy goal being given, the North London side looked tired and devoid of any real creative imagination, bar Gareth Bale’s goal of course.

Redknapp said today that the player’s did ‘a lot of work on shape’ and that the quality of play was ‘top class’ which gives the impression the team is still capable of playing some decent football away from the pitch, but can they transfer the quality that the Spurs boss is talking up to Loftus Road?

The aftermath of the FA Cup

Fortunately for Spurs, this isn’t the first time they have been in a similar scenario. Back in 2010, and seemingly out of form and looking like surrendering their place in the top four, the club travelled to Wembley for a semi-final encounter with Portsmouth. Despite heading into the fixture as overwhelming favourites, a lacklustre performance against the south coast club saw Spurs crash out of the competition 2-0 after extra time.

Fans believed the season was over after that game, especially with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City all to play in the run. However, the player’s dusted themselves down and picked up wins against the two London clubs, secure a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers and a 1-0 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium saw Spurs secure Champions League football.

A similar response from the player’s over the next five games is absolutely vital and with the run-in including games against the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa, it isn’t impossible to pick up 15 points from the available 15. But, being Spurs, they will make it difficult for themselves and really struggle against the teams they should be beating ala Norwich City.

Team to expect

Redknapp on Friday admitted he is waiting on the fitness of ‘four or five’ players ahead of the difficult trip to QPR. Whether he is playing mind games or not, it is unclear and speculating on the players unavailable, one has to guess Bale, Scott Parker and Ledley King will all be part of the contingent. Younes Kaboul and Niko Kranjcar both remain sidelined along with David Bentley, despite vicious rumours he was going to play some part last weekend, Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson.

As for the team, expect Brad Friedel to reclaim his place in goal with a back four of Kyle Walker, Ryan Nelsen, even if King were fit, William Gallas and Benoit Assou-Ekotto. In the midfield, Bale, Parker, Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon and up front, Emmanuel Adebayor with Rafael Van der Vaart supporting to Togolese international.

How to win

It is important Spurs hold on to possession early on and make QPR work for it. Yes, the player’s may have played more games than their Premier League counterparts, but they aren’t exactly rookies when it comes to the rigours of the English game. Make the R’s work for it early on and look to pressure their defence, who have conceded 57 league goals this season, an average of 1.67 per game, and take the chances that are presented.

As I earlier mentioned, QPR are no pushovers, especially at home in recent weeks, which means possession football early on is pivotal. They still have players that can do damage going forward, most notably Djibril Cisse and former Spur Adel Taarabt, so it’s important for the back four to remain vigilant when they look to press forwards and, at times, soak up the pressure before hitting the opposition on the counter-attack. 

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Spurs Transfer News

Antonio Conte reveals Tottenham superstar Harry Kane is feeling very 'tired'. Antonio Conte reveals Tottenham superstar Harry Kane is feeling very 'tired'.
ARTICLES2 hours ago

“Ronaldo has gone now”- Manchester United urged to complete “impossible” deal for Tottenham Hotspur star

Sven-Goran Eriksson believes Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane would be a perfect fit at Manchester United Former England manager Svan-Goran...

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Goalkeeper Illan Meslier of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Leeds United at Friends Provident St. Mary's Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images) SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Goalkeeper Illan Meslier of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Leeds United at Friends Provident St. Mary's Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
ARTICLES20 hours ago

“He’s in the bottom 10”- Tottenham backed to sign a better goalkeeper than Leeds United’s Illan Meslier

Tottenham Hotspur backed to sign a better goalkeeper than Leeds United’s Illan Meslier Illan Meslier has been linked with a...

Brendan Rodgers speaks with Leicester City's James Maddison. Brendan Rodgers speaks with Leicester City's James Maddison.
ARTICLES21 hours ago

Chelsea looking at the possibility of signing 26-year-old Tottenham midfield target

Spurs Transfer News: Chelsea looking at the possibility to sign Tottenham midfield target James Maddison Chelsea are looking at the...

Mousa Dembele and Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur challenge Denzel Dumfries of PSV Eindhoven. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) Mousa Dembele and Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur challenge Denzel Dumfries of PSV Eindhoven. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
ARTICLES22 hours ago

Transfer News: Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur linked with each other’s full-backs

Denzel Dumfries on Tottenham Hotspur’s radar; Emerson Royal linked with a move to Inter Milan  Tottenham Hotspur have made an...

Harry Kane of England reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and England at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Doha, Qatar Harry Kane of England reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and England at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Doha, Qatar
ARTICLES1 day ago

Tottenham Hotspur superstar on a seven-man transfer shortlist for Real Madrid

England and Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane on seven-man Real Madrid shortlist European champions Real Madrid are interested in England...

Tottenham enter final stages to sign Sofyan Amrabat. (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images) Tottenham enter final stages to sign Sofyan Amrabat. (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
ARTICLES1 day ago

Report: Liverpool looking to lure African midfielder amid Tottenham Hotspur interest

Transfer News: Liverpool looking to lure Sofyan Amrabat amid Tottenham Hotspur interest Liverpool are looking to lure ACF Fiorentina and...

Antonio Conte reveals Tottenham superstar Harry Kane is feeling very 'tired'. Antonio Conte reveals Tottenham superstar Harry Kane is feeling very 'tired'.
ARTICLES1 day ago

Bayern Munich working on a deal for Tottenham star ‘available for around €80-100m’

Transfer News: Bayern Munich working on a deal to land Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane According to Sky Sports Germany...

Morocco and Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat attracting interest from Tottenham Hotspur once again. Morocco and Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat attracting interest from Tottenham Hotspur once again.
ARTICLES2 days ago

Tottenham Hotspur could rekindle interest in 26-year-old Fiorentina midfielder following World Cup heroics

Morocco and Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat attracting interest from Tottenham Hotspur once again Tottenham Hotspur are considering making a move...

Tottenham Hotspur identify Denzel Dumfries as a top summer transfer target. Tottenham Hotspur identify Denzel Dumfries as a top summer transfer target.
ARTICLES2 days ago

Tottenham make enquiry for 26-year-old Chelsea target playing in Serie A

Spurs Transfer News: Tottenham enquire about Chelsea target and Inter Milan star Denzel Dumfries Tottenham Hotspur have made an enquiry...

McKennie joined Juventus last summer. McKennie joined Juventus last summer.
ARTICLES3 days ago

Report: Tottenham ‘increasing contact with intermediaries’ to sign 24-year-old Serie A midfielder

Spurs Transfer News: Tottenham increasing contacts to sign Juventus and USA midfielder Weston McKennie Tottenham Hotspur are ‘increasing their contacts...