The Reading v QPR game this Sunday may indeed be a dead rubber in terms of Premier League survival but neither side will want to be the first to suffer relegation at the Madejski Stadium. The likelihood is that the pair will next play each-other as Championship outfits but pride is still at stake and although both would be relegated with a draw neither will bend backwards for the other.
But QPR may be without two of their most creative players for the fixture. Adel Taarabt has a shoulder problem and is unlikely to feature while Andros Townsend has returned to Tottenham Hotspur.
But Tottenham fans should not expect to see him in action at White Hart Lane just yet as the return is merely due to a contractual obligation in his loan spell at Loftus Road.
Townsend limped out of the action at half-time against Stoke City last weekend after suffering a hamstring injury and as Harry Redknapp confirmed it was agreed prior to the loan spell that any injury would see him return to Hotspur Way for assessment by his parent clubs staff.
‘’We’re hoping he could be available for the Arsenal game. It was part of the deal with Spurs that if he got injured they would assess him. But there’s every chance he will be available for that game.”
While any hope of keeping QPR in the league may now be doomed if any of their January arrivals deserve credit for their efforts in trying to keep them in the Premier League than Townsend is that man.
The young winger has been their best player in recent weeks putting the performances of other more experienced players in terms of Premier League football such as Junior Hoilett, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adel Taarabt to shame with his dynamic displays for the club.
So QPR will hope he is back in time for the Arsenal game in order to restore a little more pride at the end of a torrid season; and Spurs have it within their interests for him to return in time for the game with The Gunners next weekend.
Without Townsend it is hard to see Redknapp’s men performing any miracles against Spurs’ Champions League rivals and doing his parent club a favour in the race for a top-four spot. So while his injury concerns are not necessarily important for QPR at the foot of the table; up at the top Spurs will hope to get him fit in time to deal a punishing blow to their North London rivals.
Could Andros Townsend prove vital in Tottenham’s Champions League pursuit?
image: © Tom Cuppens