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Spurs Odyssey Preview - QPR v Spurs, 07.03.15

This season's home game - Spurs 4 QPR 0
This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 28 2013-14

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Full League Record of Spurs -v- Q.P.R.
 
Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home           7   5   1   1     15-7   16
Away           6   1   2   3      6-10   5
===========================================
Total(Prem)   13   6   3   4     21-17  21
===========================================
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)   13   6   3   4     21-17  21
Total(Div 1)  30  10  11   9     43-39  38 
Total(Div 2)  4    3   1   0      6-0    7
===========================================
Grand Total   47  19  15  13     70-56  66
===========================================

Last Six Premier League results:-

QPR       -    LLLWLL

QPR        0-2   Man utd 
Stoke      3-1   QPR
QPR        0-1   S'hampton
S'derland  0-2   QPR
Hull       2-1   QPR
QPR        1-2   Arsenal

Spurs     -    WWWLDW

Spurs      2-1   S'derland
West Brom  0-3   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   Arsenal
Liverpool  3-2   Spurs
Spurs      2-2   West Ham
Spurs      3-2   Swansea

Pos         P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 7. Spurs  27 14  5  8  44-38   6   47
18. QPR    27  6  4 17  28-47 -19   22

Playing catch-up

Spurs travel to Loftus Road tomorrow for what has been an occasional visit since the Premier league was established in 1992. The first Premier League encounter in October 1992 was my younger son's very first attendance at a professional football match. Greg was only 7 at the time, and was fortunate enough to watch the game from a hospitality box. I won two places on a teletext competition! Do you remember teletext? ! Greg's passion for Spurs has known no bounds in the years since.

From a football point of view, the occasion was a disaster. Spurs had gone 1-0 up, thanks to a Teddy Sheringham goal in the 28th minute. It was only the third goal of Teddy's Spurs' career, having been signed early in the season from Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest. Clough must have been the only person (apart from Teddy's parents, and perhaps school teachers) who referred to the striker as "Edward".

I recall Andy Sinton either being carried of or assisted off twice, due to injury, but he still returned to engineer a 4-1 victory, with Ian Holloway (currently holding onto the Millwall manager's job), Ray Wilkins and Gary Penrice (2) scoring goals for the home side in the seond half. It was Rangers' biggest ever win over Spurs. They went on to finish in fifth place in the league. That was the last time they finished so high, and almost the last time Rangers finished above Spurs, as the following season was the last such occasion. Gerry Francis, who had been such a successful player with Rangers in the seventies, was their manager and would be appointed by Spurs in 1994.

QPR had a run of 13 consecutive seasons in the top flight between 1983 and 1996, but had their best league season in 1975-76, when Gerry Francis was in his pomp as a player for club and country. After playing their last game on April 24th (beat Leeds 2-0), Rangers were top of the table, but Liverpool snatched the title by one point, when they beat Wolves 3-1 on May 4th. The two clubs had been battling for the Championship title for several weeks in the run-in.

Since 1996, QPR have had just three seasons in the top flight, and once again this season, they are playing "catch-up", having spent most of the season in the bottom three, along their fellow promoted sides Leicester and Burnley.

Bobby Zamora gave Rangers their play-off moment of glory last year with that late goal against the unfortunate Derby side which had dominated the game. Zamora scored only his second goal since that game in QPR's only win so far in 2015, away to Sunderland.

Zamora is one of plenty of former Spurs connections in the QPR set up. On the playing staff you have Steven Caulker, Niko Kranjcar, Sandro and Adel Taarabt. Of these Caulker has the most appearances, of the total of 29 players QPR have used this season in League matches alone. (Spurs have used 25). Former Spurs favourite Sandro has suffered injury problems, but made a return against Arsenal this week, and may play against his old club.

Harry's gone (to have his knee done), but on the coaching staff, headed by former Spurs coach Chris Ramsey, you still have Harry's sidekick Kevin Bond, with Les Ferdinand having a role as Director Football, an appointment which may have put Redknapp's nose out of joint. I understand that both Joe Jordan and Glenn Hoddle are no longer involved. The bottom line is that QPR have not succeeded, despite a good deal of playing and coaching talent.

Chris Ramsey clearly follows Tim Sherwood's policy of supporting youth, and has put his faith in 19 year old left back Darnell Furlong (son of former player Paul) in their last two games. Charlie Austin will surely play. The former Burnley striker (and possibly a future Spurs target) has hit 15 league goals this season, despite Rangers' struggles, and scored an excellent late goal in Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat at home to Arsenal.

One player who will be missing is Joey Barton, still serving a three match suspension for violent conduct towards Tom Huddlestone in the Hull defeat. Barton got the first red card of his senior career at White Hart Lane in February 2004 (in that 4-3 game), and has seen red another 7 times. Most of those have been straight reds too. More than one has been of a notorious nature.

After all the joy of chasing and winning promotion last year, QPR fans have endured another awful Premier league season. Kicked out of both cup competitions at the first hurdle (both by lower league opposition), home fans haven't seen a win since December, when Austin scored a hat-trick against West Brom. They still have to face Liverpool and Man City away, and Chelsea at home.

There is a three point gap for "The Hoops", after Aston Villa managed a win on Tuesday night. No game is easy, and certainly no London Derby is easy, especially when the home side is battling relegation.

Spurs need to play in the style we saw for much of the second half against Swansea, but they need to defend with more concentration, having conceded two goals in five of their last six games. We haven't kept a clean sheet since winning 3-0 at The Hawtorns in January.

We are playing "catch-up" too, of course. A win would take us above Southampton and only three points off Man Utd in fourth place, who we play next week.

As always, an early goal would be a great benefit. Form dictates that Spurs should win this, but nothing is certain. Despite that, I'll take Spurs to win by two clear goals, perhaps by 3-1.

Tomorrow's match referee is Craig Pawson, who we last saw when beating Burnley 4-2 at home in the FA Cup Third Round replay. We haven't losty this season with M r Pawson in charge, drawing at Sunderland and beating Hull away.

Spurs' record in recent London Derby matches

10 years ago on March 5th, 2005, Spurs lost 1-0 at St Mary's, Southampton

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