CD's Tactical View - This is how Chelsea expose QPR!

Looking at QPR's first three league games this season it's obvious they have had their defensive problems. Two main areas stand out ...

Looking at QPR's first three league games this season it's obvious they have had their defensive problems. Two main areas stand out for me where they have appeared to be weak and I am about to show you those areas. They are:

  • Covering the late run from midfield
  • Centre backs getting caught ball watching, being sucked towards the ball and leaving strikers unmarked in the box. 
If Chelsea are to come away from Loftus Road with three points at the weekend, we have to expose the these two areas and really take advantage.

QPR have conceded 9 goals so far this season and the evidence is there for all to see. I will show you where I believe Chelsea can take full advantage tomorrow.

Let's look at the first game - QPR 0-5 Swansea and especially the 2nd goal.

Swansea are on the counter attack. Routledge is beating his man (Traore) and has taken one midfielder out of the game behind them. Michu has spotted he has the better of his man and makes a run forward. Park is too slow to react but remember, Park isn't a defensive midfielder. Graham up front has got the two centre backs marking him. Now watch what happens:

As you see from another angle, Anton Ferdinand has been sucked towards the ball to close Routledge down and Hill has realised Ferdinand has left his man and is now stuck with a decision to make. Does he go with Graham's run or Michu, who has the run on Park.

Routledge comes inside and releases the ball to Michu taking 3 defenders out of the game, Park is still trying to get back and Fabio has been caught out too far up the pitch and isn't able to get back and round on the cover. Michu side foots the ball first time high into the corner of the net without any pressure on him at all. Notice only 2 midfielders are trying to get back.

Here is the most recent game against Man City. The score is 1-1 and still the QPR midfield fail to pick up the late run.

QPR's back four have set out in good positions. City's right back is about the play the ball into the box as Nasri and Dzeko have Nelson and Ferdinand busy marking them. Look at Carlos Tevez, similar to Michu he has stolen a march on Granero this time and is on his way goal side, into the box unmarked. Look what happens.

Tevez has got to the ball first and taken a touch. Ferdinand has seen the danger and has tried to come across to close him down leaving Nasri alone. Nelson leaves Dzeko for dead and Fabio is too slow to come across to mark Dzeko. As a result this happens:

Tevez gets to the byline and flicks the ball across goal taking Ferdinand out of the game. Nelson has been caught ball watching and so has Fabio. Dzeko steps into the space and heads home unmarked from six yards to score and make it 2-1.

Now here is the goal that QPR conceded against Norwich and again the two QPR centre halves get sucked to the ball and out of position, leaving their man wide open to score.

As Norwich pick up the ball, QPR have a good defensive position. However, the ball gets played into feet to Jackson who flicks the ball first time to Holt who in turn, flicks the ball to Snodgrass and then the ball is played wide to Pilkington. Watch what happens when the ball goes wide.

As the ball is played wide, Ferdinand is ball watching but look at Hill. Again he realises that he could end up being stuck with TWO forwards to mark and decides to leave Jackson and cover Holt's move into the box. The QPR left back is out of position and hasn't got back goal side.

Now look! As Pilkington is crossing the ball, Ferdinand is caught in no mans land marking no one, Holt has gambled on the cross coming into the near post and Hill has reacted to it. Jackson has pulled away from the near post and has been left unmarked by Hill who had no choice but to cover Holt. The QPR full back is still ball watching and hasn't tried to get back goal side to cover Jackson.

Jackson scores with a free header from close range as Dzeko does a week later. This has all came about because one of the centre halves leaves his position and gives the other one little choice but to try and cover a run.

It's just a couple of examples of their defensive problems and hopefully will be an indication of where Chelsea can capitalise on Saturday.

It's going to be a hard game at Loftus Road as always but if we can get the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to expose these gaps we could cause them all sorts of problems.

Chelsea just need to make sure they don't leave THEMSELVES exposed as we did against Atletico!

Fingers crossed for Saturday!


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