Tottenham v QPR: The lowdown on Harry Redknapp’s Rangers and his Spurs old boys
PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:34 23 August 2014
QPR reporter Rob Brennan tells you all you need to know about Tottenham’s London rivals as they prepare to visit White Hart Lane in tomorrow’s derby.
THE LOWDOWN: Former Spurs man Bobby Zamora secured QPR’s return to the Premier League with a last-minute winning goal in the play-off final against Derby County at Wembley in May.
After suffering relegation a year ago, chairman Tony Fernandes vowed to learn from his mistakes and says he has come to “trust nobody” in football after his experience of signing big-names players including Julio Cesar and Jose Bosingwa on massive wages ended in the drop.
This time around, manager Harry Redknapp has been much shrewder in the transfer market, snapping up Rio Ferdinand on a free transfer and winning the race to sign former Tottenham defender Steven Caulker from Cardiff, while Spurs legend Glenn Hoddle has joined the coaching staff.
Ferdinand and Caulker started in a 3-5-2 formation alongside Richard Dunne in Rangers’ opening-day defeat at home to Hull, and Redknapp will hand a debut to Chile World Cup star Mauricio Isla – who joined the club on loan from Juventus and will play as a right wing-back – if his international clearance comes through in time.
On the other flank, former Arsenal man Armand Traore will be keen to cement his place in the team, with a big performance needed from the Senegal international against the Spurs’ tricky wide men.
Joey Barton captained the team against Hull and new signing Jordon Mutch is the most likely goal threat from central midfield, while the Rs signed Leroy Fer from Norwich for £8million this week.
With Redknapp keen to add quality to the middle of the park, Alejandro Faurlin needs to perform at his peak to keep his spot.
Last season’s 20-goal top scorer Charlie Austin passed up a chance to open his Premier League account when he missed a penalty against Hull, and will be keen to bounce back at White Hart Lane.
KEY PLAYERS: Loic Remy has been linked with a move to Spurs since Redknapp was in north London, and the France international striker could still end up at Tottenham with the QPR boss admitting he will only leave for a top-seven club.
The 27-year-old was set to join Liverpool, only for the deal to collapse.
Remy has turned down a permanent move to Newcastle, where he enjoyed a successful season-long loan, scoring 14 goals in 31 appearances – including the decisive 13th-minute goal when the Magpies won 1-0 at the Lane in November.
His pace and clever movement is the major asset that QPR possess going forward, and will provide a test for Spurs’ centre-backs.
Meanwhile, Caulker will be keen to prove that Tottenham were wrong to let him go. Despite suffering relegation with Cardiff last season, the 22-year-old impressed, scoring five goals and, after having a number of options, he opted to return to his native west London with QPR.
Caulker’s ability to read the play and bring the ball out from the back has led to comparisons with Rio Ferdinand in the past and the duo will be key to QPR coming away with anything from their trip to north London.
RECENT MEETINGS: Spurs won both of the clashes at the Lane during QPR’s last spell in the Premier League.
Most recently, in 2012/13, Zamora gave the Rs the lead against his old club in north London, but Spurs won 2-1 as an own goal from Faurlin was swiftly followed by a Jermain Defoe strike either side of the hour-mark.
That was followed by a goalless draw on Rangers’ home turf.
PREDICTION: As always, the question will be how Spurs recover from their Europa League excursion.
But if they can produce something close to their best then it should be too much for Redknapp’s Rs – 3-1 to Tottenham, just like in October 2011 at the Lane.
Follow our QPR reporter @RobBrennan82 and our Spurs correspondent @BenPearceSpurs