Tottenham Hotspur play Queen’s Park Rangers in their first home Premier League match of the season. With QPR they welcome Harry Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle as they return to White Hart Lane.
Tottenham Hotspur v QPR (Premier League)
Date: Sunday, 24th August, 2014
Kick-off Time: 1.30pm (UK time)
Tottenham v QPR – The Last Match at the Lane
Queen’s Park Rangers last played at White Hart Lane in late September, 2012. It was a very difficult season for QPR who even this early in the season looked like candidates for relegation. Mark Hughes side came to Spurs with only 2 points from the opening 4 games and were 18th in the table. The previous weekend they had battled to earn a point at Loftus Road against Chelsea.
After a disappointing start under Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs had won their first game at Reading the previous weekend. Against QPR, it was the visitors who had the better of the opening half. After a poor first forty five minutes, however, Tottenham improved in the second half to claw back the deficit. Two goals in ninety five seconds, an own goal and one from Jermain Defoe defeated a determined Queen’s Park Rangers team. It was Andre Villas-Boas’ first win at White Hart Lane. The win took Tottenham up to 8th position in the Premier League while QPR dropped to 19th.
It will not be an unusual experience for Harry Redknapp to face a former club as he returns to White Hart Lane for the first since his dismissal in 2012. He has faced Tottenham since then, in a match at Loftus Road the following January when QPR took a point in a scoreless draw.
It wasn’t a satisfactory result for either side as come the end of the season, QPR were relegated and Spurs missed out on Champions League by 2 points.
Tottenham was good for Harry Redknapp and he was good for Spurs bringing Champions League football to the club and keeping them in contention for a top-4 finish each season.
Glenn Hoddle has joined QPR recently as a coach and this return to Tottenham will not be the first time he has sat in the away team’s benches at White Hart Lane.
Both deserve a warm welcome from Spurs supporters.
Queen’s Park Rangers
Having been relegated in 2013, QPR looked early favourites for promotion last season. In the end, however, they had to rely on the play-offs for their return to the Premier League. In the Final at Wembley they were reduced to 10-men and a it took late Bobby Zamora goal to defeat Derby County.
Over the summer, Harry Redknapp has added to his squad with the signing of Rio Ferdinand and Stephen Caulker to strengthen his defence. He has brought in Jordan Mutch from Cardiff and Leroy Fer from Norwich in midfield. Mauricio Isla, the Chilean defender/midfield player has joined on loan from Juventus.
Harry Redknapp has a vastly experienced squad of players with the goal threat of Loic Remy who has returned from last season’s loan at Newcastle and Charlie Austin.
Hugo Lloris spoke of the importance of a good start to the season, especially in home games. His comments were reported on the Spurs website.
I’s important to start the season well at home in front of our fans. We did well against Schalke and West Ham. We have to keep going to keep confidence up and get many points as soon as possible.
He spoke of the recovery time needed after Thursday’s game and the desire that the QPR team will have to get something from the game especially with Redknapp back at the Lane.
Tottenham will be without Kyle Naughton through suspension so Eric Dier will probably play at right-back with Jan Vertonghen coming into central defence. Vlad Chiriches and Kyle Walker are still out with injury but most of the players from the World Cup should now be available.
QPR have no major injury problems and their two new signings Fer and Isla could be included in the squad.
Mauricio Pochettino will want a winning start for Tottenham in his first home game as manager to keep the supporters on his side. He will be concerned over the effect the Europa League game will have on the players facing their second London derby. There is also the added incentive for the QPR players of Harry Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle.
Tottenham will expect to win but it will not be an easy task and the players will have to show great application and endeavour if they are to maintain their winning start to the season.