Tottenham vs. QPR: 5 Things to Look for in Spurs' Match with QPR

Frank Wagner@Fw1812Correspondent ISeptember 22, 2012

Tottenham vs. QPR: 5 Things to Look for in Spurs' Match with QPR

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    On Sunday, Tottenham and QPR do battle at White Hart Lane in a match that could be huge for each side's aspirations for the season.

    For Spurs, the match is almost as must-win as a match so early in the season can be. QPR have already proved themselves a weaker side, what with two points and a goal differential of -7 through four matches. Playing such an opponent at home means there is just no excuse for dropping points. Meanwhile, a victory pushes Spurs to at least eighth in the table.

    On the other hand, a victory for QPR could prove vital to their hopes of staying in the top flight of English football for next season.

    So what should Spurs supporters expect from this match?

    Here are five things to watch out for in Sunday's match.

Brad Friedel's Goalkeeping

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    For yet another Premier League match, 41-year-old American keeper Brad Friedel gets the start over Hugo Lloris.

    Friedel has been stellar in his play for quite some time now, but one poor match could spell the end of his reign as first choice at Spurs.

    With the pressure on the man in net, watch out for the big bald keeper's play.

Kyle Naughton at Left-Back

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    When Tottenham loaned Danny Rose out on deadline day without any replacement, I for one was worried about the depth problems it posed at fullback.

    Now, with left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto injured and out for weeks, Spurs are one injury away from some trouble at the back.

    Kyle Naughton filling in makes his play in the upcoming match doubly interesting: If he gets injured, plays poorly or gets sent off, the team faces some trouble; if he plays well, he might begin to challenge BAE at the position.

    Naughton's play Sunday is definitely a captivating sub-plot.

Clint Dempsey's Acclimation

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    Tottenham's big signing in August got his first start at White Hart Lane on Thursday in the club's Europa League opener with Lazio. The American put in a fine first shift, even putting the ball in the back of the net before it was wrongly whistled back.

    Sunday could mark Dempsey's first Premier League start for the club; otherwise, he will be a likely substitute.

    Dempsey's continued improvement at the club is important to its future.

Defoe's Form

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    Jermain Defoe is one of the most in-form strikers in the Premier League at the moment.

    Through the Spurs' first four matches, Defoe has three goals. That accounts for 50 percent of the club's goals in that time.

    Can Defoe keep up this hot streak?

Last-Minute Defense

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    In their first four Premier League matches, Tottenham have conceded five goals.

    Of those, four came in the final 10 minutes of the match, with three of those coming in the final five and two of those coming in stoppage time.

    Incredible, really.

    Can Tottenham finally play a match from start to finish? Or is this last-minute vulnerability a trend that will continue through the season?



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