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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Q.P.R. v Spurs - 21.04.12

Spurs 3 QPR 1 - 30th October, 2011
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What happened in the Premiership in Match 35 2010-11

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Full League Record of Spurs -v- Q.P.R.
 
Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home           5   3   1   1      9-6   10
Away           4   1   1   2      6-9    4
===========================================
Total(Prem)    9   4   2   3     15-15  14
===========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   15   7   6   2     26-16  25  
Away(Div 1)   15   3   5   7     17-23  13
===========================================
Total(Div 1)  30  10  11   9     43-39  38
===========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)   2    2   0   0      4-0    4
Away(Div 2)   2    1   1   0      2-0    3 
===========================================
Total(Div 2)  4    3   1   0      6-0    7
===========================================
Total(Prem)   9    4   2   3     15-15  14
Total(Div 1) 30   10  11   9     43-39  38 
Total(Div 2)  4    3   1   0      6-0    7
===========================================
Grand Total  43   17  14  12     64-54  59
===========================================


Last Six Premiership results:-

QPR

QPR        3-2   Liverpool
S'derland  3-1   QPR
QPR        2-1   Arsenal
Man Utd    2-0   QPR
QPR        3-0   Swansea
West Brom  1-0   QPR

Spurs

Everton    1-0   Spurs
Spurs      1-1   Stoke
Chelsea    0-0   Spurs
Spurs      3-1   Swansea
S'derland  0-0   Spurs
Spurs      1-2   Norwich

Pos        P  W  D  L  F-A   GD  Pts
 4 Spurs  33 17  8  8 57-38  19  59
17 QPR    34  8  7 19 37-56 -19  31

Four teams chasing third place?

By the time we kick off at Loftus Road at 5.30 p.m. on Saturday, we could be in sixth place and one of four teams chasing third place, never mind fourth. Chelsea play at The Emirates at lunch-time, and Newcastle are at home to Stoke at 3 p.m. if both teams win, they'll go above us for the afternoon, at least. If Spurs maintain their current form, and lose to relegation battling QPR, with those other results going against us, then we'll stay in sixth place. It's a thought that is hard to bear, after we were title hopes ten games ago, five points behind the two leaders, five points above Chelsea, and twelve points above Arsenal.

All the excuses in the world from manager Harry Redknapp, who has recently admitted that he weakened the squad in January, and who effectively said that Spurs fans have no right to expect Champions League football, suggesting we had been playing above our station, do not take away the great depression falling upon the brows of those of us who have followed our team through thick and thin for so long, and who really had expectations of at least staying in the Champions League places.

All, we've got to do of course is win against QPR, and keep winning our games to remain in control of our destiny. We do, after all, sit in the box seat going into this week-end's fixtures. The Arsenal defeat to Wigan was a bonus for us, but after the FA Cup semi-final against us (Least said about that, the better), and Wednesday night's high intensity Champions League win over Barcelona, I'd be surprised if Di Matteo's newly charged team do manage a win on Saturday lunch-time. Perhaps the best result for us would be a draw, or even an Arsenal win (forgive me), which might give us at least a better chance of staying in the top four.

I personally do not think that Chelsea will come though the second leg of the Champions League game as victors against Barcelona, and in my heart, I really do not think that the nightmare scenario of us finishing fourth, but losing a Champions League place to a victorious Chelsea at Munich will occur. However, as things stand, that third place still has to be our goal.

Our single target this week-end is to beat Mark Hughes' Queens Park Rangers, who would start our game in the bottom three, should Bolton manage to beat Swansea at home in another 3 p.m. kick off. We all know that won't be at all easy though. Spurs need to show the mental strength, as well as footballing quality to win through this and the following three games, all against teams facing the threat of relegation at the time of writing.

Rangers will be desperate for a win, but they will fancy their chances with good reason, having won their last three home games against Liverpool (3-2), Arsenal (2-1) and Swansea (3-0). They also beat Chelsea 1-0 at home in October, but didn't win again at home until beating Wigan in January. Incidentally, that Chelsea game was the one including the incident with Anton Ferdinand and John Terry, which won't be addressed until after Euro 2012 this summer.

When we beat QPR 3-1 at home in October it was in the midst of our run of 11 games without defeat (and only one draw), and part of a run of 19 league games with only one defeat that put us into that title race in January. The 3-1 win came against a Neil Warnock side. Gareth Bale scored two, and Raf van der Vaart scored in his fifth consecutive Premier league game. Rafa became the third Spurs man to achieve such a feat, joining Teddy Sheringham and Robbie Keane.

The appointment of Mark Hughes came in time for some January transfer activity, which included what was supposed to be a master-stroke signing of striker Djibril Cisse from Lazio. Cisse scored in his first game (a 2-2 draw at Villa Park), got sent off in his second (a 2-1 home defeat to Wolves), scored a goal in each of his next two games (against Bolton and Liverpool), then saw red again at Sunderland. The 30 year old former Liverpool striker has had to serve a four game suspension for that second infringement, but will be available for Saturday's game.

Another Hughes acquisition was defender Nedum Onuoha from Manchester City, who has played the full 90 minutes in 12 games since his arrival, getting just one booking. One of Onuoha's claims to fame was to score a wondorous goal whilst on loan to Sunderland last season in a 3-0 win at Chelsea. The goal came at the end of a mazy run through the middle of Chelsea's defence.

Shaun Derry will be a gritty competitor of course. He fell foul to the trickery of Ashley Young at Old Trafford, but still had to serve a one match suspension for "preventing a goal-scoring opportunity"

It will be a hot atmosphere at Loftus Road, and ESPN have made a good choice for their tea-time game. Most of us away fans will be paying more for the privilege of "being there" than we did to go to Wembley last week. Such is the way we get soaked for our hard earnt cash in any London Derby game these days. Whether we have to pay QPR's prices again next season will not depend upon this result, but it is a "must win" game for both sides.

With only one win in their last 8 league games, it is impossible to have confidence in Harry Redknapp's side; his team selection, or his tactics. I cannot find it in myself to predict a win, and think the best we may achieve will be a draw. I said in January that I would be disappointed not to finish third this season, and I stand by that comment. Anything less on 13th May will be unsatisfactory, in my opinion.

P.S. - Our referee on Saturday is Mark Clattenburg, who is just another official we love to hate. His presence will not help us to forget injustices, bearing in mind he was in charge the day that Pedro Mendes "scored" at Old Trafford. Mr. Clattenburg's last game in charge of a Spurs game was on the last day of last season, when we beat Birmingham 2-1

Spurs recent record in London Derby League matches

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