Arsenal travel across London for a midweek match against QPR.
Never a straightforward fixture no matter how it looks on paper, here is everything Arsenal need to know to make sure they don’t Monaco-up the evening.
|Queen’s Park Rangers|
|Home Ground||Loftus Road (18,682)|
|Record Signing||Chris Samba (£12.5m in 2013)|
|Ex Gunners||Armand Traore|
|Top Scorer||Charlie Austin (14)|
|Top Assister||Matt Phillips (3) Leroy Fer (3)|
|Most Yellow Cards||Joey Barton (8)|
|Star Player||Charlie Austin|
|Biggest Liability||Armand Traore|
STYLE OF PLAY
QPR’s squad is packed with Tottenham rejects, a relic of Harry Redknapp’s traditional raid of his former club.
In spite of this, they are still reliant on a player who was playing non-league football as recently as 2009 and is playing his first season in the Premier League – top scorer Charlie Austin.
Although the 25 year old has 14 goals, the next highest scorer is Leroy Fer (unavailable for the Arsenal game) with a paltry four. To put that into context, six Arsenal players have four or more strikes and that doesn’t even take Walcott into account with three goals in just four games.
Zamora is not really capable of playing the full 90 minutes any more, but he retains many of the abilities that have made him a thorn in Arsenal’s side over the years, and he is a willing outlet for long balls. He and the sizeable centre backs represent a major threat from set pieces, with Caulker in particular having a habit of getting on the end of corners.
Beyond that, QPR are more like Tottenham than you might expect, with potshots from distance a regular feature. Arsenal must look to frustrate them from getting closer to the box and wait for the R’s to lose patience and try their luck from afar.
Defensively, QPR have a definite lack of pace through the middle, and also a measure of inexperience if injury forces Ramsey to again field young Darnell Furlong at right back. Ahead of them, we can expect a pair of aggressive midfielders to sit tight in the shape of Sandro and Karl Henry – frankly it will be half a success just to make it through the game without any injuries.
The reverse fixture was fairly comfortable when 11 v 11, but the away tie is typically a tough game for any London opposition. We can certainly expect the crowd to try to be the 12th man. Let’s hope the referee doesn’t make it 13!
SEASON SO FAR
If QPR’s plan on their return to the top flight was to focus entirely on the Premier League then they were entirely successful very early on. A miserable exit at the first hurdle of the Capital One Cup to League Two minnows Burton Albion back in August was matched by an FA Cup third round 3-0 stuffing by Sheffield United.
So far the R’s have taken something of an all or nothing approach to the season, with six wins, four draws and sixteen defeats.
Their record against the top seven sides is miserable though, with just a solitary point at home to Manchester City to show from nine games – in fact they have just three points from fourteen games against the top ten sides.
Then there is the renowned away record – losing every single game up until 10th February.
The flip side of this of course is that when they have entertained rivals at Loftus Road in the so –called “six pointers”, they have tended to pull a result out of the bag – West Brom are the only side above them who they have beaten, and that was well before the “Pulis Revolution” came to town.
In the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, Arsenal were very comfortable until Onuoha and Ferdinand got into Olivier Giroud’s face and he failed to control his reaction.
It was the start of a run of eight games without a win for QPR which saw Harry Redknapp resign on health grounds and be replaced by Chris Ramsey – at first on a temporary basis then, following their first (and only) away points of the season, he was offered it on a permanent basis.
A disappointing loss to Hull last time out was caused in no small part by Joey Barton’s idiotic behaviour which gave the referee no choice but to send him off.
Arsenal’s last 5 results against QPR: WLWWW
|League||26/12/2014||(H)||W 2-1||Arsenal: Alexis (37), Rosicky (65)QPR: Austin (79 P)|
|League||04/05/2013||(A)||W 1-0||Arsenal: Walcott (1)QPR: –|
|League||27/10/2012||(H)||W 1-0||Arsenal: Arteta (84)QPR: –|
|League||31/03/2012||(A)||L 1-2||Arsenal: Walcott (37)QPR: Taarabt (22), Diakite (61)|
|League||31/12/2011||(H)||W 1-0||Arsenal: Van Persie (60)QPR: –|
Record for QPR v Arsenal:
Overall record between the two clubs:
Head to Head:
QPR’s last 5 results: LLLWL
|League||Man Utd||(H)||L 0-2||–|
|League||Sunderland||(A)||W 2-0||Fer, Zamora|