Opposition Scouting Report: Queens Park Rangers Team Analysis
After registering a 2-1 win over Shrewsbury Town in Capital One Cup in midweek, Chelsea will be playing host to West London based club, Queens Park Rangers, this Saturday.
Though QPR are not a team to fear, yet this West London Derby has produced some interesting games throughout history. This time, the Blues cannot afford to underestimate their opponents after playing an unexpected 1-1 draw against a struggling Manchester United side last week.
Let us have a look at the team we’ll be up against in the 10th round of the Premier League this weekend:
THE TEAM AND THE RECENT FORM:
Queens Park Rangers Football Club, with blue and white as their traditional colours, were founded in 1882 after the merger of Christchurch Rangers and St. Judes Institute. Their proximity to the West London area has led to their long-standing rivalries with other clubs in the vicinity such as Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford. Chelsea vs Queens Park Rangers is the most of all the West London Derbies. Many QPR fans consider this match as their favourite among all London derbies. Probably the club’s greatest achievement against the Blues, was a 6-0 victory on Easter Monday way back in 1986.
Throughout the past decade, and even for the last 2 to 3 years, QPR have been facing relegations from the Premier League. Their last promotion to the Premier League came this May, but the team has failed to make its presence felt in the League. The Hoops are in 19th place on the points’ table with just 7 points in 9 matches, which include 2 wins, 1 draw and 6 losses. However, when the team visits Stamford Bridge this Saturday, they expected t have high confidence levels after their 2-0 win against Aston Villa last weekend.
FORMATION AND STYLE OF PLAY:
Harry Redknapp prefers the traditional and defensive formation of 4-4-2 over any other playing formation. In some matches, against comparatively weak opponents, he switches to a more attacking 4-2-3-1.
Midfield is the highlighted part of Redknapp’s style of play. Moreover, he has various options available on the bench and many faces to rely on, his favourite being Joey Barton. QPR are expected to be lined up in a 4-4-2 formation against the League leaders. They would never, in their wildest dreams, want to give space to Chelsea’s unstoppable midfield and attack given the form that The Blues have been in.
STRENGTH- KEY PLAYERS:
Joey Barton – The 32-year-old, is an all around box-to-box midfielder who can play both centrally and defensively for Harry Redknapp. He was the workhouse for the club last season, irrespective of his age. The midfield led by Barton had the most ball possession and the second most accurate passing last season in the Championship.
Charlie Austin – The 25-year-old striker gave QPR their second win of the season in their previous encounter against Aston Villa when he scored a brace. The match thus ended with a score of 2-0. Austin is also the top goal scorer for the Hoops with 4 goals to his name in 8 appearances this season.
Although Radknapp’s men have been struggling throughout the season in every area of the field, yet one thing that continues to haunt them the most is their inability to defend set pieces. The team from White City are weak at defending set pieces and have managed to win just above 50% of their aerial duals.
FACE TO FACE:
The most common West London Derby, between QPR and Chelsea, has seen 48 fixtures. The Blues have won it 19 times while QPR have never been far behind with 13 wins with 16 matches ending in a draw. The fixture has been full of goals with Chelsea scoring 63 and QPR with 57, throughout the history.
History favors The Blues but only by a little margin, and nothing in the world is more unpredictable than a Barclays Premier League match. Mourinho’s men will have to show some seriousness to get these three points against a confident Queens Park Rangers side.
Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni