Queens Park Rangers vs. Tottenham Complete Preview

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Gylfi Siggurdsson of Spurs is brought down by Clint Hill of QPR as he attempts to get a shot away during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane on September 23, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The first match of an exciting weekend in the English Premier League takes place at Loftus Road as Queens Park Rangers host third-placed Tottenham. 

The match was originally supposed to take place on Monday, but the match was moved up due to QPR's FA Cup third-round replay, with West Brom being scheduled for Tuesday, January 15. 

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Tottenham: WDWWWW

Last weekend, both clubs took to the pitch in the third round of the FA Cup.

QPR drew 1-1 with West Brom at Loftus Road, a result that caused a replay at The Hawthorns on January 15.

Tottenham took care of League One's Coventry City in a 3-0 win at White Hart Lane that saw Clint Dempsey score two goals. 

In recent EPL play, QPR recorded their best result of the season on January 2, when the R's took down Chelsea, 1-0, at Stamford Bridge. 

The win over Chelsea ended a three-match losing streak for Harry Redknapp's club. 

Tottenham have been on fire in the past month by winning three out of their last four matches, the fourth match result was a goalless draw with Stoke City

Last Time They Met

The two London clubs met at White Hart Lane on September 23, with Spurs coming out of the match with a 2-1 victory. 

In that match, Bobby Zamora opened up the scoring for QPR before his teammate Alejandro Faurlín scored his own goal in the 50th minute.

Jermain Defoe won the match for Spurs just 11 minutes later with his fourth goal of the season. 

In the fixture held at Loftus Road last season, QPR came out on top, 1-0, despite the sending off of former Spurs player Adel Taarabt. 

Team News

It has been a busy week at both clubs, with one of QPR's veterans heading to MLS and one Tottenham star off to play in the African Cup of Nations.

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen, 35, was named the new head coach of MLS club Toronto FC on Tuesday (via BBC Sport). 

However, it does not look like Nelsen will leave QPR until the end of the season, as he looks to help save QPR from relegation (via Toronto Star). 

While Nelsen should be available for selection into the starting 11 on Saturday, Esteban Granero and David Hoilett will not be available to play due to injury. 

QPR were this week when they released midfielder Kieron Dyer from his contract (via The Guardian). 

The news at Tottenham this week comes in the form of Emmanuel Adebayor's departure to play at the African Cup of Nations for Togo (via BBC Sport). 

Adebayor will play his final match for Spurs on Saturday before he meets up with his international teammates.

On the injury front, the only player in the Spurs squad that will be unable to play on Saturday is defender Younes Kaboul, who has been out with a long-term. 

Projected Lineups

QPR: Julio Cesar (GK), Nedum Onuoha, Clint Hill, Ryan Nelsen, Fabio, Shaun Derry, Stéphane Mbia, Shaun Wright-Philips, Jamie Mackie, Adel Taarabt, Djibril Cissé

Redknapp has used a plethora of formations since his arrival at QPR at the end of November. 

Against Chelsea, Redknapp employed a 4-3-3 formation and he should stick with the same formation that won him the London derby at Stamford Bridge. 

Wright-Philips should be rewarded for his performance against Chelsea with a spot in the starting 11. 

Cissé should return to the lineup in place of the injured Hoilett.

Tottenham: Hugo Lloris (GK), Kyle Walker, Steven Caulker, Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Naughton, Sandro, Moussa Dembélé, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe, Adebayor

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has preferred a 4-4-2 formation over his usual 4-2-3-1 formation in the past month. 

AVB will take advantage of Adebayor's final match before leaving for the African Cup of Nations by starting him alongside Defoe at the forward position.

In defense, Naughton has impressed in the club's recent matches and should be rewarded with another start at left-back ahead of Benoît Assou-Ekotto, who is almost fully recovered from his knee injury. 

Prediction: Tottenham 3, QPR 1

Tottenham's attack should be too much for the QPR defense. Bale and Lennon have been able to run wild on the wings in the past few weeks and Saturday's match should be no different. 

For more insight on all things about the EPL, follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90


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