QPR- Tottenham Hotspur
Supporters might still say the North London derby, but in many ways, you can make a case for this being Spurs biggest game of the seaon, at least until the next one ! With their Capital One final out of the way, eliminated from the Europa League and FA Cup, it is all about the Premier League now and Spurs will want, no, need, to stay in contention for a top 4 spot as long as possible. Lose this and they are effectively seven points off fourth spot with six teams above them in the table, win this game in hand and they are up to 6th and could go level with Manchester United in 4th with a victory at Old Trafford in eight days time. Three points today will keep the dream and season alive a little longer.
Of course, the game is no less important for Rangers who find themselves three points from safety after Aston Villa's midweek win. However, they have not beaten a single team in the top 12 of the EPL all season and are 0-1-8 against the top 7, including a 4-0 defeat in the reverse fixture, they rely hugely on the goals of Charlie Austin and if you cut off the supply to him, or limit it, you are already half way home. He has scored 15 of just 28 league goals, next best available goalscoring player ( Leroy Fer has a long term injury) is their back up striker "own goals" with three ! They have only managed 2 goals in eleven starts which were not scored by either Austin or Fer and all six league wins have come against teams who are, or were at the time of the game, in the bottom five. Hugely competitive midfielder Joey Barton is suspended, without him in the EPL over recent seasons Rangers are 1-1-13 , missing his influence it is far easier to control the centre of the pitch and the supply to the main striker. Spurs score a lot of late goals, only Manchester City have scored more, or have a better goal difference in the final 15 minutes of games and if they can get ahead and the hosts start to gamble, the visitors can further punish them late. We have also spoken many times about how well Spurs perform against the "weaker" teams, especially on the road and they have won 14 of 15 starts against promoted teams. 1.5 units Tottenham Hotspur -0.75 ball 2.07 asian line/Sportmarket .