Tottenham Hotspur vs. Queens Park Rangers.
Welcome back Harry! Glenn, Joe and Kevin! Enjoy your day at the Lane, if not the result!
It`s Poch`s first game at the Lane so no spoiling the party!! And, if its good bye Dawson for the signing of Sevilla defender Federico Fazio in the next few days, I sincerely hope he gets a great testimonial.
Momentum........no matter how pedestrian the opposition, winning breeds confidence!
However, our old frailties at the back showed again.... West Ham were the better side for much of the game and Noble's spot miss let us off the hook. Poch will also be a relieved man after we were again outplayed in large periods on Thursday against Limassol. The most worrying aspect of our game right now is how Kaboul got bossed by Cole against the spammers and Rose was being skinned by Downing.
With Kyle Walker's still having pelvic problems and Naughton suspended, Ryan Fredericks' has had no game time that means Dier will probably be moved to right-back. That means Kaboul partnering with Verts and Rose at the left and Dier on the right.
Adebayor, Christian Eriksen, Younes Kaboul, Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue are available having been rested from the 2-1 Europa League play-off win over AEL.
Against AEL on Thursday Dier looked confident and strong at CB. Vert made his first appearance of the season and looked a little short of match fitness. Dier was arguably the stronger out of the two in the middle of the defence.
Davies, however, was weak defensively on his debut, letting his man get past him for the AEL goal, and unable to stop attackers getting shots off on another couple of occasions. So our back four looks incomplete and vulnerable.
With Dawson out of favour and Chiriches apparently on his way to Roma our CB choices are limited which is not ideal with a front two of Austin and Remy for the Hoops. We should be prepared for a manic time in front of goal, especially if Remy is coming to WHL, he may want to perform in front of his new home fans.
Paulinho needs his bumps felt! He failed to exert his authority on the AEL game and also lost the ball in the lead up to the AEL goal. We moved the ball around much better once Chadli and Dembele came on and Paulho came off. Townsend is still trying to do everything himself and he has to learn to distribute the ball. Dembele, however, is starting to look good and he should get a start against the hoops.
I think Poch is not going to rotate the squad for PL and EL he is going to pick the individual players depending on the opposition.
Poch will know that QPR are still feeling their way back into the Prem. Their record in the Prem is not good: QPR have now won just four of their last 40 Premier league matches and have taken just one point from seven opening weekend matches in the competition.
Tottenham have won eight of their last ten Premier League home games; QPR have lost seven of their previous ten Championship away matches. QPR are without a clean sheet in seven away games.
Harry knows only too well how costly a poor start can be after a 16-game winless run at the beginning of their last top-flight campaign in 2012-13. Harry has signed Rio Ferdinand, Steve Caulker, Jordon Mutch and Leroy Fer, as well as bringing in Chile international pair Mauricio Isla and Eduardo Vargas on loan to strengthen the squad but against Hull, although they had the lion`s share of the possession, they were still not clinical enough in front of goal.
I expect Harry to play: Green, Dunne, Ferdinand, Caulker, Isla, Traore, Barton, Fer, Mutch, Remy and Austin. Eduardo Vargas is ineligible due to work permit issues.
With Joey Barton lurking around to break the odd leg or two and the fragility of our defence I expect Poch to put some steel in the middle of the park to protect our back four. We know enough about QPR`s CB`s, they ain`t the fastest so I hope Soldado, Eriksen and Ade can turn them with Lamela and Lennon providing some service as well as some width.
It will be an interesting day with the former management team sitting in the away dug out and some former players coming back, it will be something of an Old Boys Reunion.
On paper we should flatten the "Gr`s" and to get three wins on the bounce as well would help settle the squad, the nerves and build some momentum.
Written by OyVeh Maria