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Queens Park Rangers-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
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(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Tottenham Hotspur will look to continue their steady development under manager Andre Villas-Boas when they welcome Queens Park Rangers to White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
Four games unbeaten in all competitions, Spurs picked up their first league win of the season last weekend at Reading, and followed it up with a hard-fought goalless draw against Serie A joint-leaders Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
"It was a very positive game and I'm extremely happy about the performance," said Villas-Boas, who watched his side have three goals disallowed - two perhaps harshly. "In the end, we saw Lazio drop back. We had the initiative of the ball, created opportunities, put the ball in the back of the net three times and deserved to get something out of the game, for sure. This is a team who are doing well, came here extremely motivated and thought they could win the game. But without fear, we held onto the ball to create our chances and promoted good, attacking football.
"I think we did enough to get the win today. I am extremely happy with the performance and the effort that the players put in. You can't reprimand them for anything, they were outstanding, they managed to create enough opportunities to win the game. The team put the ball in the back of the net three times, but all the goals were disallowed by the ref, so it's a bit disappointing. It shows that we are on the right track to giving something back to the fans. We were superior against a team that is doing extremely well. We can be happy with that performance."
Visitors QPR doubled their Premier League points tally with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea last weekend, with Ryan Nelsen receiving plenty of praise for his performance at the back. The central defender made a summer move to Rangers from Sunday's hosts, but has no regrets over the switch.
"I could've probably stayed at Tottenham," admitted the veteran. "Mark (Hughes) came in pretty early on and Tottenham were changing managers. They pretty much said they would like me to stay but they didn't have a manager at the time. I couldn't wait for that so when Mark came in it was a no-brainer.
"I loved my time at Spurs. It's a classy club from the chairman to the kitman. I enjoyed every minute of it and it was a great experience. But I've got no regrets the way things turned out. I couldn't be happier at QPR. I'm looking forward to going back and hopefully getting a good result against them. You always want them to do well apart from when you play them, but we want to win every game, and Tottenham will be no different."
Tottenham are without Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee), Younes Kaboul (knee) and Scott Parker (Achilles), while Kyle Naughton (ankle), Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) and Jake Livermore (groin) are doubts. QPR look likely to be without Andrew Johnson for months due to a knee injury, while Anton Ferdinand (hamstring), Fabio (hamstring) and Stephane Mbia (knock) are doubts for Sunday's game.
Spurs won both matches between the two clubs last season, with Gareth Bale scoring twice in the 3-1 win at White Hart Lane. QPR haven't won at the Lane in the league since 1994 and have just three victories from their 22 visits to the north London ground. Tottenham have scored in 25 straight home Premier League games and in the last eight home and away. The most recent team to prevent Spurs from scoring was QPR in the 1-0 win at Loftus Road in April. Rangers have failed to win in 15 away games in the league, have conceded three or more goals in five of their last nine on the road, and only Southampton have conceded more goals (14) than QPR's nine so far this season.
Updated September 21, 2012