Tottenham face Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road where Harry Redknapp, Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond will be waiting with their relegation threatened team, hoping to put one over on the team they managed and coached last season. Andre Villas-Boas will be looking to continue the good run of form which has seen Spurs undefeated in six matches since early December. Spurs have taken 13 points from the last 5 League matches while Rangers will be buoyed by the London derby at home and their win at Stamford Bridge in their last League game. Rangers gave Spurs a difficult match at White Hart Lane earlier in the season with a good first half display before Spurs went on to win by scoring two goals after the interval.
Tottenham’s record at Loftus Road is not impressive with only five wins in 26 previous League and Cup matches. The last competitive win at Loftus Road was in September, 1995 but setting that aside, any result other than a Spurs’ win will be very disappointing for Tottenham. That statement is not to be disrespectful to Rangers but they are bottom of the Premier League and have won only two games this season. Tottenham, on the other hand, are third and have won 6 games away from White Hart Lane.
Tottenham’s Away League record against QPR (inc. PL)
P 22 W 5 D 7 L 10 For 25 Ag 33
Premier League Record at Loftus Road
P 5 W 1 D 1 L 3 For 6 Ag 10
April, 2012 PL Lost 0 – 1
Last season’s match was the first Premier League game at Loftus Road between the two clubs since Spurs’ win in 1995. Rangers were the side who showed greater desire and won through a first half goal by Adel Taarabt when he lifted a free-kick over the wall and past a slow to react Brad Friedel. Tottenham’s play lacked drive and momentum and Redknapp’s insistence on playing Garerh Bale on the left annoyed the away supporters who constantly sang, “Gareth Bale, he plays on the left.” The defeat marked the end of Ledley King’s Tottenham career.
Tottenham’s Last Win
September, 1995 PL Won 3 – 2 Sheringham (2) (1 pen), Dozzell
Teddy Sheringham maintained his record of scoring at Loftus Road, having been responsible for all of Spurs goals in their previous three visits. Rangers took a two goal advantage early in the second half, only for Sheringham to score with a penalty two minutes later. The turn around continued in the second half with two goals in a minute from Jason Dozzell and Sheringham to give Gerry Francis a victory over his former club.
April, 1992 Div. 1 Won 2 – 1 Gray, Durie
April, 1986 Div. 1 Won 5 – 2 Falco (2), Allen, C. (2), Hoddle
In a disappointing season, Spurs finished with a flourish, winning five of the last seven games and scoring fourteen goals in the final three games. Such improved form was not sufficient to save Peter Shreeve from the sack and he was replaced by David Pleat.
Jan. 1985 Div. 1 Draw 2 – 2 Falco, Crooks
April, 1984 Div. 1 Lost 1 – 2 Archibald
Spurs finished the season in 8th position but newly promoted QPR were three places above them. Steve Archibald scored Spurs’ only goal in one of his last games for the club as he was to join Terry Venables at Barcelona in the summer. Archibald had an excellent finale to his time at Tottenham, scoring five goals in his last five matches.
Dec. 1978 Div. 1 Draw 2 – 2 Lee, Taylor (pen)
The Boxing Day fixture came a few days after the humiliating five goal home defeat to Arsenal but Spurs re-grouped to take a point with goals from Colin Lee and a Peter Taylor penalty. QPR were relegated at the end of the season but returned in 1983.
Jan. 1977 Div. 1 Lost 1 – 2 Duncan
John Duncan scored Spurs’ only goal but it wasn’t enough to gain any points and come the end of the season Spurs, now under Keith Burkinshaw, were unable to avoid relegation.
Nov. 1975 Div.1 Draw 0 – 0
March, 1975 Div. 1 Won 1 – 0 Duncan
A vital win for Spurs in a season of turmoil. Bill Nicholson had resigned the previous August and was replaced by Terry Neill. In a difficult year Spurs were in a constant battle against relegation and the points gained at Loftus Road when new signing John Duncan who had cost £140,000 from Dundee, scored the only goal of the match, helped secure their survival come the end of the season. It was Spurs second successive victory, having beaten Wolves 3 – 0 the previous day. Duncan scored after 23 minutes but the win came as the result of a strong defensive display and an outstanding performance from Pat Jennings.
March, 1974 Div. 1 Lost 1 – 3 Chivers (pen)
QPR Promoted to 1st Division
The clubs hadn’t meet since Tottenham’s promotion from the 2nd Division in 1949-50 until 1968-69 when QPR were promoted to the 1st Division for the first time in their history following a meteoric rise from the 3rd Division and success in the League Cup as a 3rd Division side in 1967.
Feb. 1968 Div. 1 Draw 1 – 1 Greaves
The most notable fact from this match was that the Morgan twins, Ian and Roger, who had been part of the QPR success story of previous years were on opposite sides as Roger had joined Spurs earlier in the month for a fee of £110,000. QPR were relegated at the end of the season and didn’t to the 1st Division until 1973.
In the 2nd Division
April, 1950 Div. 2 Won 2 – 0 Medley, Baily
The following season Spurs had their first success in West London with a 2 – 0 victory in April, 1950 which ensured their promotion to the 1st Division for the first time since 1934-35, an absence of fifteen years. While QPR were battling against relegation, it was an exciting match, which a newspaper report of the time described as having ‘the characteristics of a cup-tie. It was fast, it was exciting and there was a sprinkling of really good football’.
Spurs went ahead after seventeen minutes when Les Medley scored and secured their victory when Eddie Baily added a second with fifteen minutes remaining.
The 1st League meeting at Loftus Road
March, 1949 Div. 2 Draw 0 – 0
Spurs and Queen’s Park Rangers first met in the 2nd Division in season 1948-49 following QPR’s promotion. The first match at Loftus Road in March, 1949 ended in a scoreless draw as Spurs finished the season in 5th place, once again missing out on promotion. Many of the players who were to become the famous ‘Push and Run’ team of 1949 on, were already at White Hart Lane – Ted Ditchburn, Bill Nicholson, Ron Burgess, Len Duquemin, Eddie Baily and others – but it was to take a change of manager at the end of the season when Arthur Rowe replaced Joe Hulme, for all of the pieces to fall into place.
Queen’s Park Rangers:
Harry Redknapp has been looking to strengthen his team for the final months of the season but the spectre of relegation is putting off prospective new signings with Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson having declined reported interest from their former boss. It is thought Jake Livermore is to move to Loftus Road on loan and that Redknapp is interested in Gallas to bring experience to his defence where Ryan Nelsen will play today, although he has been appointed manager of Toronto FC. Adel Taarabt has responded to the arrival of the new manager and will again want to perform well against Tottenham. Redknapp will demand total commitment from his players, something Tottenham will have to match if they are going to have the opportunity to display their superior ability later in the game.
Andre Villas-Boas reported that only William Galas and Younes Kaboul are out due to injury. The manager probably has his strongest squad available for selection with competition in almost every position. Hugo Lloris, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe will start but in other positions Villas-Boas has choice. Who will be selected at full-back with Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton and Benoit Assou-Ekotto available? Assou-Ekotto may have to wait for a starting place as he builds up his fitness. Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker will both be looking to partner Jan Vertonghen in central defence. Dawson may get the starting position as captain. Scott Parker will put pressure on Sandro and Mousa Dembele in central midfield but will probably continue from the bench. Clint Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor are both available to play with Defoe but who will start. Adebayor leaves for the Africa Cup of Nations after this game and there has been tension over the protracted decision while Dempsey scored twice against Coventry in the FA Cup last weekend.
If Tottenham are to make an impact on the top four positions in the Premier League, this is a match they have to win. Spurs will have to combat the home team’s early endeavours and commitment, encouraged by a vociferous Loftus Road crowd, and then take their goal scoring opportunities when they present themselves. A win would keep Spurs in third place for another week and strengthen their hopes for a Champions league place next season.