|Queens Park Rangers 1 v 2 Fulham|
Friday, 29th September 2017 Kick-off 19:45
The curse is real – Preview
Thursday, 28th Sep 2017 20:41 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of QPR’s first televised game of the season at home to Fulham on Friday night, LFW publishes the club’s complete Sky record since football began in 1992 (we think).
Queens Park Rangers (3-4-3, LWDLDD, 13th) v Fulham (3-5-2, WDWLDW, 11th)
Mercantile Credit Trophy >>> Friday September 29, 2017 >>> Kick Off 19.45 >>> Weather – Overcast, dry, fairly warm, I think the weather’s given up after Millwall to be honest >>> Loftus Road, London, W12
Occasionally, amidst the steady stream of “wannabe celebrity fan” and “attention seeker” correspondence you get if try to make ends meet and pay your mortgage with a second income from a poxy QPR website, the LoftforWords postbag turns up something good.
Last December, after reading our open letter to our Sky Overlords, Martin Zelder got in touch to ask, among other things, whether we actually knew or could find out QPR’s complete record on Sky since the Premier League came in with their TV deal in 1992 so he could settle a bet with a friend.
The working theory, the assumption by many QPR fans, is that Rangers tend to fair far worse on television. In 1992/93, the first year of the Premier League, QPR finished fifth and weren’t that far off second. The TV games were a big part of the reason that team didn’t do any better – three defeats and a draw from four league games on the box, including a 1-0 loss at home to Liverpool where Rangers absolutely battered Graeme Souness’ team for the entire match only to lose right at the death to a goal from Ronny Rosenthal. In fact, it wasn’t until two seasons into the Premier League – 1994/95 – that QPR finally beat somebody on Sky at the ninth time of asking – Liverpool 2-1 at Loftus Road, Sinclair and Ferdinand. And that was a good QPR team.
But was it possible to get the whole record together definitively and prove or disprove the theory? Well, for a while we couldn’t be arsed and rather hoped Martin would go away. But he didn’t. And so on one long afternoon during the summer, using a combination of Soccerbase, old calendars, season videos and a programme collection stretching back to the First World War which my mum keeps threatening to get rid of we think, we think, we cracked it. Of course by publishing it we’re now open to somebody saying “actually I think you’ll find…” but God knows we tried and our best estimate is that our record on TV (which includes some games with BBC, Setanta, ESPN, ITV Digital and BT Sport) is P148 W34 D40 L74 F154 A233.
Set it against QPR’s overall record over that time which is P1106 W371 D319 L416 F1382 A1471 and it becomes clear (honest) that QPR win every 2.98 games overall but have a worse than one-in-four record on the TV (a win every 4.32 games).
The reasons are open to debate. There is an argument to say QPR are more likely to be on the television against the bigger clubs and are therefore less likely to win – but then there’s a 5-0 at Southend in there, and the list below doesn’t exactly read like a Who’s Who of Successful British Football Clubs. We’re also more likely to be on for London derbies, which we’re also poor at, and that applies to this Friday against Fulham. And there’s that extra bit of pressure and intensity that comes with a TV game, and frankly QPR find it difficult enough to win without additional factors.
As well as QPR’s lousy record, the complete breakdown also reveals the huge increase in games televised, particularly at Championship level – QPR had only one on TV in 2000/01, but 12 in 2015/16. And it shows that even good QPR teams haven’t enjoyed the extra exposure – Neil Warnock’s title winners only lost five games all season but two of those were televised and they won only four of ten games screened. Likewise the 2013/14 promoted side won only four of 14 games on the box, two of which were in the play-offs.
Anyway, for fellow geeks, ahead of Sky’s first visit of the season this Friday night when we play Fulham, here it is…
2016/17 P10 W2 D3 L5 F9 A14 (Sky)
2015/16 P12 W1 D3 L8 F11 A22 (Sky)
2014/15 P11 W1 D2 L8 F11 A28 (Sky and BT)
2013/14 P14 W5 D4 L5 F16 A16
2012/13 P11 W0 D5 L6 F7 A15 (Sky and ESPN)
2011/12 P14 W4 D3 L7 F13 A21 (Sky, ESPN, ITV)
2010/11 P10 W4 D4 L2 F14 A10 (Sky, BBC)
2009/10 P4 W1 D1 L2 F8 A9 (Sky, BBC)
2008/09 P5 W2 D1 L2 F6 A5 (Sky)
2007/08 P4 W3 D0 L1 F6 A5 (Sky)
2006/07 P3 W1 D0 L2 F2 A8 (Sky)
2005/06 P4 W0 D1 L3 F2 A7 (Sky)
2004/05 P4 W2 D0 L2 F2 L4 (Sky)
2003/04 P2 W0 D1 L1 F2 A3 (Sky)
2002/03 P2 W1 D0 L1 F2 A2 (Sky)
2001/02 P2 W0 D1 L1 F0 A4 (Sky and ITV)
2000/01 P1 W0 D1 L0 F1 A1 (Sky)
1999/00 P3 W0 D2 L1 F2 A3 (Sky)
1998/99 P2 W0 D1 L1 F0 A1 (Sky)
1997/98 P6 W2 D1 L3 F7 A9 (Sky)
1996/97 P6 W2 D1 L3 F10 A15 (Sky and ITV)
1995/96 P5 W0 D1 L4 F6 A9 (Sky)
1994/95 P5 W2 D1 L2 F7 A8 (Sky)
1993/94 P3 W0 D2 L1 F3 A4 (Sky)
1992/93 P5 W1 D1 L3 F5 A7 (Sky)
Taarabt (and Faurlin) at their sublime best. A rare happy memory against Fulham, a rare happy memory from an abysmal 2012/13 season.
Team News: Who bloody knows any more? We’re at that point again. Definitely out: Nedum Onuoha, Grant Hall, James Perch. Nearly back: Joel Lynch, Jordan Cousins. Didn’t fancy Barnsley on a Tuesday, might be ok for this: Matt Smith, Idrissa Sylla, Yeni Ngbakoto. Probably available, but it is £1 shots down at The Feathers before 10 on a Friday: Steven Caulker. Sling everything you’ve got left (not you Sean Goss) in the air and see how it lands.
Tom Cairney is out. Saints be praised. Some others too – Floyd Ayite (bunions), Rafa Soares (scarlet fever), Aboubakar Kamara (insufficient consonants) all unavailable or facing late checks.
Elsewhere: Sing with me to Tiny Dancer as we ready ourselves for the third complete Championship fixture list of the week. Have another on Sunday I reckon, fuck em.
We’re starting it off, big chance to go flying off up the table before anybody gets a chance to even kick a ball. Cunning. Like it. The rear is being brought up by the Champions of Europe visiting the Sheffield Owls on Sunday. Carlos Carvalhal did rather look like a man coming to the end of his time at the club when last year’s play-off bid fell flat in the semi-finals and with a comprehensive stuffing in the Sheffield derby and a loss to the Birmingham Bad Knees and their “insurmountable injury problems” and “losing mentality” during the week mean he’ll likely be in trouble with another loss in a big game there.
In other exotic foreigner news, Borussia Norwich’s David Wager 2.0 took one look at their 4-0 loss to the Millwall before the last international break and thought he’d had qvuite enough of zat. The midweek 1-0 win at Middlesbrough was their fifth clean sheet in a row and they can continue that run, and an ascent up the table, with a win at Reading in the Saturday evening game. I’ll be covering Man Utd 4 Crippled Alice 0 for the Telegraph while that’s going on – fuck my life.
Anyway, nine matches for 15.00 Saturday, you lucky devils. Nobody has noticed that Preston Knob End have come out of the blocks like a scolded cat and they’ll be very confident of continuing their promotion form against Sunderland and their former manager Simon Grayson who are turning out to be exactly the sort of basket case we expected. Likewise the Allam Tigers, and the Birmingham Bad Knees, who meet this weekend.
What else can I offer you? Middlesbrough are rather muddling along for the money spent – Brentford a more awkward opponent than results suggest. Relegated Bolton much less difficult than their results suggest, easy win for Big Racist John and the Boys this week after a thrashing of Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion on Tuesday – Albion have Sporting Wolverhampton at home next so it’s not getting any easier.
The Eighth Annual Neil Warnock Farewell Tour welcomes the Derby Sheep. Ipswich Blue Sox host Bristol City.
We get time off for good behaviour after this.
Referee: Peter Bankes from Merseyside gets this one, not a Premier League referee dropping down which is quite unusual and actually quite a good thing judging by our games so far this season. He refereed three QPR games last season, two wins and one loss, and you can read about how he did in those and his recent stats by clicking here.
QPR: Rangers won three of their first five in all comps but have only won one of the last seven coming into this. They’re becoming the division’s draw specialists with the 1-1 at Barnsley on Tuesday the third stalemate in four games. Ian Holloway’s men have already won five points this season from losing positions, with the goals to secure those coming in minutes 74, 90, 73, 86 and 86 again. They still haven’t scored more than two goals in a game, and have only scored more than one in four of their 12 games so far. At Loftus Road so far this season Rangers are unbeaten in five league games, but the last two have been drawn. QPR have put more crosses into the box than any other Championship team this season – averaging 26 a game. Such a shame we’re choosing to do that while fielding the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz up front, whereas last season we just punted it long with Smith and Sylla up there. In keeping with our TV research, QPR have lost their last ten matches played on a Friday.
Fulham: It’s been an uncomfortable start to the season for Fulham who took until the fifth league game to get a win on the board and only won one of their five Championship fixtures in August while also bowing out of the League Cup at home to Bristol Rovers. But there have been ominous signs of improvement of late with three wins and two draws from the last six games – the defeat came in a poor display at Burton Albion which is their only loss in eight Champiponship away games. They won 3-1 at Forest on Tuesday night to go with wins at Ipswich and Wycombe previously which means three of their four victories so far have come away from Craven Cottage. That win at the City Ground was only the second time they’ve scored more than two goals in a game this season, and the first time they’ve scored three.
Prediction: Our reigning Prediction League champion Southend_Rss had it spot on at Barnsley on Tuesday. If you think you can do better you’re in with a chance of winning prizes from the sponsor of this year’s Prediction League, The Art of Football. We’ll be handing out prizes from their QPR Collection at the end of October, January and to the overall winner. What’s our man say this weekend?
"A cracker from Freeman rescued my 1-1 prediction at Barnsley. It’s quite hard to predict QPR games right now, with various team selections and also a variety of goalscorers. A derby game against Rupert and the gang tomorrow night is no exception. Plus it's on Sky (whom we all just love) and we know what we are usually like in front of the live cameras.
“I just don't know with this. I'd like to think we will go with the big man up top from the off and get those crosses in, bully their back line as I imagine they'll be doing that to us. A thread during this week pointed to a stat that we have put the most crosses in so far this season. Well let's start with Smith then please. Especially against his old club.
“Hoping for entertainment, also praying we don't get it wrong against this lot. I want to go into this weekend happy please R’s. I'll go for us somehow keeping the unbeaten home run going. A desmond for me.”
Craig’s Prediction: QPR 2-2 Fulham. Scorer – Smith
LFW’s Prediction: QPR 1-2 Fulham. Scorer - Smith
The Twitter @loftforwords
Pictures – Action Images
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