2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Queens Park Rangers

Premier League Final Position: 20th

Review

Queens Park Rangers have suffered a terrible season and rightly finished bottom of the table. Easily the worst side the league, a lot is to be questioned how a club can fall so far off the required mark.

With an ageing squad that has the majority of their members past their prime, QPR are in desperate need of a restructuring in terms of their playing staff so they can rebuild an efficient squad.

Newly appointed full time boss Chris Ramsey now has the summer to improve the current playing squad and also ‘trim the fat’ as it were as a lot of high earners will be on their way out, we presume.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment
The 4-1 win against QPR was a standout in their battle to avoid the drop, as they went 3-0 up at halftime after a stunning display. The result lifted spirits among the camp that they could survive the drop.

Worst Moment

The 6-0 loss the Manchester City that sent the club down. To go down is one thing, but sealing your fate with a 6-0 loss is dreadful, regardless of opponent.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Charlie Austin – It has been well documented how good a season Austin has had. And with an incredible total of 18 goals, he was the shining light in a QPR side that still finished bottom.

Biggest Win

West Brom 1-4 QPR (April 4, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester City 6-0 QPR (May 10, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Let’s be honest there is a lot to improve on. The priority has to be on provide a more dynamic and youthful side. They will be playing in the Championship so perhaps keeping a few of the ageing players may aid experience to the squad, and they need to focus on defending as they had the worst defence in the Premier League this year.

Advertisements

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester City vs QPR

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Queens Park Rangers

Venue: King Power Stadium – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 4/7 – Draw 100/30 – QPR 4/1

Match Preview

Leicester City cap off an unbelievable escape by hosting already relegated Queens Park Rangers.

With an impressive run of form, Nigel Pearson‘s side have managed to avoid the drop with a game to spare. Leicester have remarkably only lost one of the last eight matches, winning six of them.

After losing 3-2 in the reverse fixture, Leicester will be out for revenge and also to finish the season in style as they could surpass the magic 40 point marker with a win.

Embed from Getty Images

Leicester’s survival has arguably been the best in the Premier League era. It is more special by the fact that they went on a 13-game winless run that lasted 96 days and have still managed to retain Premier League status.

Leicester City’s home record: P18 W6 D5 L7

QPR finish a dismal campaign with the visit to King Power Stadium, and they will be hopeful of a positive note as they prepare for life in the Championship.

Arguably the worst side in the top flight this season, QPR have just one win in six; a 2-1 victory over Newcastle. However, their away form has been abysmal.

They have picked up seven from a possible 54 this season away from home, and failing to pick up a single point against any of the top 12 sides in the league.

Embed from Getty Images

It is very much the start of a new chapter for QPR as Chris Ramsey was announced as the boss on a permanent basis. But that does not negate from the fact they have been poor and deserve to go down.

QPR’s away record: P18 W2 D1 L15

Team News

Leicester City are without Matty James and David Nugent through injury. Riyad Mahrez is expected to play behind a forward pairing of Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa.

QPR are missing Alejandro Faurlin, Eduardo Vargas and Rob Green for the trip. Bobby Zamora, Mauricio Isla, Mauro Zarate and Armand Traore all face late tests. Charlie Austin is expected to play up front on his.

Key Points

Leicester City’s last five: W/L/W/W/D

QPR’s last five: L/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: Leicester have kept a clean sheet in five of their last six matches in the Premier League

Key Player: Charlie Austin – The England striker has been a sensation in a very boring team. With 17 goals in 34 games, Austin fully deserves the England call-up he received on Thursday.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Leicester City 1 – 1 QPR – With both sides having arguable nothing to play for, a score draw seems likely.

Should these two MLS strikers have joined United & Arsenal stars in England team?

England manager Roy Hodgson has just announced the squad for the upcoming international matches against Ireland in a friendly and Slovenia in the European Championship qualifier, but once again, no players from outside English football have been selected.

Charlie Austin of QPR and Jamie Vardy of Leicester City have both been included in the squad for the first time and complete the list of strikers alongside Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney, as well as Arsenal‘s Danny Welbeck.

But should Hodgson have looked further afield than just the Premier League? It’s unlikely that Rooney or Welbeck were going to be dropped, so how do Austin and Vardy’s performances this season compare to two Englishmen in MLS over the course of 2014 and 2015?

Embed from Getty Images

New York Red BullsBradley Wright-Phillips and Sporting Kansas City‘s Dom Dwyer are two of the most prolific striker’s in MLS, so here is a breakdown of their numbers weighed up against Austin and Vardy’s:

Austin and Vardy vs BWP and Dwyer

Austin, Vardy, Wright-Phillips and Dwyer’s stats in 2014/15 (Stats via Squawka)

The stats show that Bradley Wright-Phillips has contributed to an incredible 0.85 goals-per-game, which is more than double the amount that Jamie Vardy has for Leicester.

Dom Dwyer also contributes to more goals-per-game than Vardy but isn’t quite as productive as Charlie Austin has been for QPR.

Many will point to the fact that MLS is arguably a weaker league than the Premier League but it’s worth noting that the quality of play in MLS has risen considerably in the last few years, therefore making Wright-Phillips’ and Dwyer’s achievements extremely impressive.

Embed from Getty Images

The last time a player outside of the English football league system featured on international duty was when David Beckham played in a 3-0 win against Belarus in October 2009 while he was playing for LA Galaxy – also an MLS side.

Could the next player from outside English football to feature at international level also be from Major League Soccer?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: QPR vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Queens Park Rangers vs. Chelsea

Venue: Loftus Road – Sunday, April 12th – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: QPR 15/2 – Draw 15/4 – Chelsea 4/11

Match Preview

Queens Park Rangers host Chelsea in this fiery West London derby clash which will surely see repercussions if one loses.

It was in this fixture back in October 2011 when Chelsea captain John Terry was accused of racially abusing former hoop Anton Ferdinand, whose brother Rio is now on the books at QPR and this is just the second Premier League fixture between the two since that game.

The match will be the second this week for QPR, after drawing 3-3 at relegation rivals Aston Villa on Tuesday, but this time Rangers will be back on home turf, and it’s at Loftus Road where they have picked up most of their 26 points this season.

Embed from Getty Images

QPR will be feeling confident after what turned out to be a comfortable afternoon at the Hawthorns last weekend, beating West Brom 4-1. The R’s were 3-0 up at halftime in that game, and a fast start against the Blues on Sunday will put them in a good position to win.

QPR do have a good record against Chelsea at Loftus Road, winning twice, drawing twice and losing just once.

The Hoops are just two points adrift of Hull City in 17th, but the Tigers have played a game less and time is running out for QPR to retain their Premier League status going into next season.

Chelsea have been able to enjoy a bit more rest time as they haven’t played since last Saturday in that 2-1 home win against Stoke.

Jose Mourinho will have told his players that this match is a must win so they can try and wrap up the title sooner rather than later. Getting 15 more points will see Chelsea lift the title for the first time in five years and supporters will see an away trip to QPR as a winnable one.

Embed from Getty Images

The match will be see Jose Mourinho manage against Queens Park Rangers for just the second time in the Premier League.

Chelsea can also take confidence from the fact that they have taken the lead in 12 of their last 15 matches and haven’t lost since January 1st against Tottenham Hotspur.

The return fixture saw Chelsea run out 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Oscar and Eden Hazard for the Blues and Charlie Austin for QPR.

Team News

Queen’s Park Rangers will be without Eduardo Vargas, whose season ended last week at West Brom with a knee ligament injury. Richard Dunne and Leroy Fer will also miss out but are due back in training next week. The good news for QPR is that Darnell Furlong is due back after returning from his calf injury.

Embed from Getty Images

For Chelsea, top scorer Diego Costa has been ruled out for two weeks with his latest hamstring injury setback that saw him have just 10 minutes of action last time out against Stoke City. Cesc Fabregas has been in Milan in the week to get a protective face mask after his broken nose sustained against the Potters but is expected to feature.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: W/D/W/D/W

QPR’s last five: L/L/L/W/D

Key Stat: If Eden Hazard starts it will be his 100th for Chelsea. He scored the winner at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Charlie Austin – He scored in the reverse fixture and will be full of confidence after scoring two goals in his last two games.

Score Prediction

Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Chelsea – This derby should be tight despite the gulf in class and a draw looks the most likely result, although that won’t help Chelsea in their quest for the title or QPR in the bid to avoid relegation.

Did Charlie Austin and Danny Ings deserve an England call-up?

The England national team are set to take on Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifying match at Wembley on Friday night in a game where manager Roy Hodgson will be expecting his side to cruise to victory.

The Three Lions will then travel to Turin to take on Italy on Tuesday, March 31, where Hodgson could rotate a few players and trial any new ideas.

The England boss always faces a tough decision when it comes to team selection and he has undoubtedly left a few players disappointed at not being selected despite their valiant efforts this season.

Embed from Getty Images

In terms of attacking options, here are the four strikers Hodgson has selected: Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck.

The most notable attacking players to miss out are Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Saido Berahino as all of them have had excellent season’s.

Danny Ings has been selected for under-21 action, as was Saido Berahino but the West Brom forward has since been removed after he suffered a foot injury at Manchester City on Saturday, so he will be unable to play anyway.

But how do the selected strikers compare statistically to those left out?

England strikers

English strikers in the 2014/15 Premier League season (stats via Squawka)

There is no doubting that Harry Kane is worth his selection as both his performances and statistics this season are second-to-none having scored more goals and contributed more goals-per-game than any other player.

Wayne Rooney is the country’s captain and therefore automatically fills a spot – that’s not to say that he isn’t worth his place as the Manchester United man has still contributed an impressive amount considering he’s been deployed in midfield for large periods of this season.

The man who will be most disappointed is QPR‘s Charlie Austin. The 25-year-old has contributed more goals than any other player besides Harry Kane, and has also got the best shooting accuracy out of anyone.

Embed from Getty Images

With 15 goals in the Premier League this season at a club that looks set to be relegated, it’s an impressive achievement and he may have been expecting a phone call from Hodgson, but it wasn’t to be this time.

It’s worth pointing out that Austin has seen a dip in form in the last three months with just three goals in 11 appearances, which could be a crucial factor that’s affected his chances and something Hodgson will have noticed.

Danny Ings has performed similarly at Burnley and may feel slightly unfortunate not to get the nod having contributed more goals-per-game than both Sturridge and Welbeck.

Embed from Getty Images

Saido Berahino is the weakest candidate statistically out of the three most notable absentees from the squad, but as previously mentioned, he would’ve been unavailable through injury in any case.

It appears that Hodgson has gone with the tried and trusted experienced players combined with new addition Harry Kane who he couldn’t leave out based on the Tottenham striker’s form this season.

Austin and Ings will continue to chomp at the bit and if they can fire either of their sides to safety then maybe they’ll get a chance next time round.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: QPR vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Queens Park Rangers vs Everton

Venue: Loftus Road – Sunday, March 22 – 16:00 GMT (12:00 ET)

Match Odds: Queens Park Rangers 23/10 – Draw 23/10 – Everton 6/5

Match Preview

Queens Park Rangers entertain Everton at Loftus Road in the Premier League this Sunday as they desperately try to avoid the drop.

The Hoops are on 22 points, four from safety, and are looking doomed for relegation back to the Championship, but until it is mathematically impossible to stay up, they have to continue to believe.

QPR have just one win in their last 12 games and have lost nine, which is undeniably the form of relegation candidates. They have lost their last four.

Embed from Getty Images

Everton have been in poor league form this season by their standards and their quest for European football looks all but over. They have failed to replicate their Europa League form in the league but Roberto Martinez‘s men have still shown signs of quality.

The Toffees should be able to stay clear of the relegation zone but with nine games remaining, there is every possibility they could find themselves in trouble, as just six points separates them from 18th place.

Everton have recorded just one victory in their last six games and have only managed seven wins all season, meaning they can only end up with a maximum of 16 total wins compared to last season’s total of 21.

Embed from Getty Images

The reverse fixture earlier in the season saw Everton come out on top, beating QPR 3-1 at Goodison Park. They will be hoping for a repeat of that strong win this time around.

QPR have beaten Everton once in their last six attempts in all competitions, and given their recent form it would be surprising to see Rangers get a win here.

Team News

QPR will be without the same four players who have been struck with knee injuries in the shape of Mauricio Isla, Richard Dunne, Leroy Fer and Alejandro Faurlin. Rio Ferdinand is doubtful due to illness and Darnell Furlong remains absent.

Rangers need their key man Charlie Austin to continue to put away his chances as he will be vital if they are to remain in the Premier League.

Embed from Getty Images

Everton have four absentees, most notably Kevin Mirallas (hip/thigh). Bryan Oviedo, Tony Hibbert and Steven Pineaar all remain sidelined. Romelu Lukaku has been in good goalscoring form in Everton’s Europa League campaign and needs to replicate that form in the league. He has eight league goals so far and is seven behind his total of 15 last season.

Key Points

Queens Park Rangers’ last five in the Premier League: W/L/L/L/L

Everton’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/L/W

Key stat: Everton’s last win away at QPR came in 1995 and they need to get their domestic season back on track.

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The big man has eight goals in his last eight appearances in all competitions and his confidence is high.
Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Everton – This will be a tight game and Everton should just edge it. They will be worked hard for the result and having played on Thursday night will not be doing them any favours.

Kane and Giroud most productive Premier League strikers in 2015 so far

Another entertaining weekend of Premier League fixtures saw yet more twists and turns in the race for the title, European qualification and the battle to avoid relegation with strikers playing a key part once again.

Every club knows how important it is to have a talisman consistently leading the line to an excellent standard in order to reach the targets each club sets, whether it be winning the league or purely league survival.

The 2014/15 season has seen new stars emerge and make a name for themselves such as Englishmen Harry Kane and Charlie Austin, to name just two that have been an excellent revelation.

So how has each Premier League striker fared in 2015 since the turn of the year three-and-a-half months ago?

Premier League goal contribution in 2015 (showing only strikers who have contributed a minimum of five goals this year)

Premier League goals contribution in 2015 (showing only strikers who’ve contributed a minimum of five goals this year)

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been the stand-out performer with an incredible 11 goals in ten games to go with his two assists.

The list of original superlatives left to describe the 21-year-old is running very thin indeed and he will surely be in with a big shout for Premier League Player of the Season.

Kane has played a part in nine of Tottenham’s last 14 Premier League goals and who knows where Spurs would be without him?

Arsenal‘s Olivier Giroud has contributed the next most goals out of any striker in 2015 having netted six and assisted three.

Embed from Getty Images

The big Frenchman is often subjected to criticism, particularly when he was hauled off after 60 minutes in the first-leg of Arsenal’s Champions League last-16 game against Monaco when he had what can only be described as a nightmare performance.

Take that game out of the equation though and Giroud has been excellent for the Gunners since returning from injury in November and has scored six goals in his last eight Premier League appearances.

Diego Costa notched another goal on Sunday in Chelsea‘s 1-1 draw with Southampton taking his 2015 tally to five. The Spaniard is the top goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 18 goals.

Embed from Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Costa has undoubtedly been one of the star performers. The Blues are in an excellent position to ensure they win the title this season and his goals are certainly one of the reasons why.

Sergio Aguero, Danny Ings and Saido Berahino have been the next most productive strikers in 2015, while Charlie Austin has managed three goals from nine appearances this year and also remains the fourth top-goalscorer overall in the league with 15. The race for the Golden Boot looks set to go to the wire.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: QPR vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Queens Park Rangers vs Arsenal

Venue: Loftus Road – Wednesday, March 4th – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: QPR 9/2 – Draw 100/30 – Arsenal 8/15

Match Preview

Queens Park Rangers welcome Arsenal to Loftus Road on Wednesday night for a London derby that has implications for both sides at opposite ends of the Premier League table.

QPR are currently 18th and positioned ominously in the relegation zone. However, they do have two games in hand over 17th placed Aston Villa and one game in hand over 19th placed Burnley as the battle for survival intensifies.

Arsenal recovered from last week’s devastating Champions League knockout round first-leg defeat at home to Monaco with a hard fought 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday as they look to keep on track for a top-four finish.

Embed from Getty Images

Stand-in managerial team Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond inspired QPR to an impressive 2-0 away win at Sunderland three weeks ago, but that’s the club’s only win in their last nine Premier League games (D2, L6). They also haven’t recorded a victory over any team in the top 12 this season.

The Hoops will be looking to take inspiration from their relatively good home form though, as 19 out of their 22 points have come when playing at Loftus Road.

Arsenal have been in good Premier League form with nine wins from their last 12 games, which has lifted them up to third place and the Gunners are now just four points behind Manchester City.

However, it’s still very tight and the chasing pack will be ready to pounce on any slip-ups with just seven points separating Arsene Wenger’s side and seventh-placed Tottenham who also have a game in hand.

Embed from Getty Images

Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky helped Arsenal to a 2-1 win over QPR in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, with Charlie Austin’s late penalty setting up a nervy finish, but the Gunners held on.

Loftus Road is one of the smaller pitches in the Premier League and QPR will try and make life difficult for Arsenal with a tight, compact performance, as they did back in March 2012 when a Samba Diakite strike helped them beat the Gunners 2-1.

Team News

QPR will be without skipper Joey Barton who is serving a three-match ban following his red card at Hull. Leroy Fer (knee), Richard Dunne (knee), and Alejandro Faurlin (knee) will all miss out through injury. Nedum Onuoha, Mauricio Isla, Niko Kranjcar and Sandro could return to the squad following injuries.

Embed from Getty Images

Arsenal are still without the injured Mikel Arteta (ankle), Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder), Abou Diaby (calf), Mathieu Flamini (hamstring) and Jack Wilshere (ankle). Midfielder Aaron Ramsey will return to the squad following injury. Francis Coquelin took a knock to the face against Everton at the weekend and will be checked over by medical staff but will need to wear a protective face mask should he play.

Key Points

QPR’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/L/W/L

Arsenal’s last five in the Premier League: W/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: The last five Premier League games between QPR and Arsenal have finished 1-0 or 2-1 to either side, so we can expect a tight encounter.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Charlie Austin – The Englishman has notched 14 goals this season and QPR will need their free-scoring striker to be at his absolute best if they’re to get anything from the game. He can cause problems for any defence on his day so Arsenal will have to be wary of the threat Austin poses.

Score Prediction

QPR 1-2 Arsenal – This may not be a free-flowing classic and Arsenal may have to grind out a result against a QPR side fighting for their lives.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull vs QPR

Hull City vs. Queens Park Rangers: Premier League

Venue: KC Stadium – Saturday, February 21st – 15:00

Match Odds: Hull 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – QPR 14/5

One point and one place separates Hull and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League with the Tigers in 16th on 23 points and QPR in 17th on 22 points.

Hull vs QPR is a tasty fixture at the bottom end of the table and both teams will be craving a win to try and further escape the depths of relegation.

The match will be only the second time the two clubs have met in the Premier League era after the first was played at Loftus Road on the opening day of the season. The Tigers came out on top with a 1-0 win on that day as QPR’s star striker Charlie Austin missed a late penalty with the opportunity to tie the game.

Embed from Getty Images

Some pressure has been eased off Hull manager Steve Bruce in recent weeks following a 1-1 draw away at champions Manchester City, followed up with a 2-0 win against Aston Villa last time out.

Mohamed Diame was expected to play a part in the game following his return from a knee injury but the Senegalese midfielder has had another setback in training and could miss out again. But Steve Bruce has all his strikers at his disposal and the Tigers are ready to pounce.

Hull City’s home record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 6

QPR’s new manager Chris Ramsey will be hoping to win a second away game in a row after QPR went to Sunderland and claimed all three points in their last fixture.

Embed from Getty Images

The Hoops are boosted by the fact that Charlie Austin is expected to return after a minor foot injury that he picked up against Southampton and they will hope he can come back and add to his tremendous tally of 13 goals this season.

QPR’s away record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 1 – Drawn 0 – Lost 11

Although QPR will be without Richard Dunne, Mauricio Isla and Nedum Onuoha, who are all injured – completely decimating the R’s backline. While Leroy Fer will also miss out with a long-term injury that will keep him out of action until April.

Hull City’s last five: L/L/L/D/W

QPR’s last five: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Hull vs QPR has not seen more than two goals scored in any of the last five meeting between the two sides.

Key Player: Dame N’Doye – The Senegalese striker already has a goal and an assist after his first full game at the KC Stadium, which will give him the confidence to cause Queens Park Rangers problems.

Score Prediction: Hull City 2-1 QPR

Will Harry Kane end the season as the Premier League’s top scorer?

Much has been made of the brilliant form of Harry Kane this season and Lewis Addley explores whether he can win the Premier League golden boot this year…

Having already notched 23 goals in all competitions for Tottenham so far this season there seems to be no end to Harry Kane‘s goalscoring habit.

As we know, he isn’t just finding the net against smaller teams but banging them in past the big sides in the Premier League too and has bagged a brace against both Chelsea and Arsenal already this season.

He is only four goals behind top scorer Diego Costa (17) in the league on 13 goals and he still has plenty of games ahead to make up the difference and overtake whoever is in front of him.

Embed from Getty Images

Kane has bagged five in his last three including the crucial winner in the North London derby and with Tottenham Hotspur taking on West Ham United this Sunday lunchtime you wouldn’t bet against him finding the net again.

Spurs have a high volume of games as they balance domestic commitments alongside European games in the UEFA Europa League and although fitness is always a factor, Kane has the hunger to play every game and the desire to score goals seems to give him that boost in each appearance.

How Harry Kane compares statistically to with the other top scorers in the Premier League after 25 games (Stats via Squawka)

How Harry Kane compares statistically to with the other top scorers in the Premier League after 25 games (Stats via Squawka)

His two goals in the dramatic 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Years Day were pivotal to proving to any remaining doubters that he really does mean business and has what it takes to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

With 13 league games remaining Kane has plenty of time to add to his tally and with his confidence sky-high there is little doubt that he will continue to do so. Pulling rank to take penalties gives Kane even more opportunity for goals and he appears to be unstoppable at this moment in time.

Embed from Getty Images

Kane has a wide variety of dimensions to his game, as we have seen this season, and that gives the 21-year-old forward that edge over many other goalscorers in the league. Whether it be strikes from range long or quick thinking in the box he is scoring all types of goals.

Kane’s confident approach to games and his professional attitude certainly gives him a good chance of winning the Golden Boot come the end of the campaign.

Do you think Harry Kane will win the Golden Boot in the Premier League this season?