Stoke v QPR, Saturday 15:00
Stoke failed to take anything away from the last outing, as they lost 1-0 away to Norwich. Whilst Tony Pulis’ side are often maligned with criticism over their supposed long-ball tactics, this game was most definitely evidence of a lack of ambition and creativity in the Potters’ side, with few chances being carved out.
Tony Pulis has recently stressed that Ryan Shawcross is not for sale in the January transfer window. In just 6 appearances this season the defender has won 19 out of 25 tackles, made 9 clearances, 38 interceptions and 7 blocks.
Charlie Adam matched his usual guile with a strong work rate against Norwich last time out, racking up 6.85 miles, the highest of any Stoke player on the day.
Incredible as it may seem, goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was Stoke’s quickest player last time out against Norwich, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index having clocked the highly-rated stopper at 21.43 mph.
It was most certainly a game of two halves for QPR as they improved vastly after break in their last outing against Reading to battle to a 1-1 draw. However their were positive signs for Mark Hughes; side, as Adel Taarabt looked to be approaching his dangerous best once again, with Esteban Granero and Djibril Cisse also looking capable of providing some of the quality that has recently been lacking for the Rs.
Cisse bagged his first Premier League goal of the season against Reading, having previously had 18 shots at goal with just 8 on target.
Taarabt’s had 6 shots on target against Reading, a tally bettered only by Carlos Tevez v Southampton and Taarabt’s own 7 shots on target v Swansea this season.
Esteban Granero’s creativity has been a great addition to QPR however his discipline has left something to be desired. He’s already conceded 20 fouls and 3 bookings in his short time with the club.