Tactically speaking - QPR

The Official Website takes closer look at how Sunday's Barclays Premier League London derby between West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers could play out.

First, WhoScored.com examine the statistical influence of centre-back Winston Reid. Second, we examine how the Hoops could approach the game as they seek their first away points of the 2014/15 season.

West Ham United

West Ham United secured an impressive three points at the expense of Liverpool in their last league fixture at home and Sam Allardyce will be looking for a repeat performance against the Hoops.

West Ham have taken four points from a possible six in their last two home league meetings with QPR and will be confident they can maintain their unbeaten run against their London counterparts on Sunday.

QPR have the worst away record in the Premier League so far this term, losing each of their three games on the road, conceding ten goals and scoring just one.

A sumptuous Charlie Austin effort against Southampton is the only goal the west London side have managed away from home this season and if the West Ham defence plays to their strengths, Three points and a clean sheet is a distinct possibility.

Central to their efforts will be defensive rock Winston Reid. The New Zealander is the Hammers' highest-rated defender (7.04) this season according to WhoScored.com and was awarded the Man of the Match award in West Ham's last home league fixture. Boasting statistically calculated strengths of 'tackling' and 'concentration', Reid's ample defensive qualities should be enough to keep the QPR attack at bay.

The R's have attained a WhoScored.com weakness of 'finishing scoring chances', having scored just four times in six league matches, and Reid's ability at the heart of the backline will be crucial if West Ham are to secure their first clean sheet of the season. At the other end of the pitch, the centre-back has the aerial prowess to find the back of the net for the east London outfit.

Another of QPR's weaknesses is 'defending set pieces', so if West Ham win free-kicks in dangerous positions, Reid will pose a dangerous threat to former Hammers No1 Robert Green. Stewart Downing has proven to be a real threat in England's top tier this term and if his delivery is up to scratch at the weekend, Reid could be the man both denying and netting the goals in the encounter.

The 26-year-old is arguably one of West Ham's most important players and to have him fully fit is a boost to Big Sam. If Reid plays to his potential, it will be West Ham who may well come away from Sunday's London derby with a victory and clean sheet to match.

*WhoScored.com is a website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Follow @WhoScored on Twitter.

Queens Park Rangers

The possible starting XI


Isla Caulker Ferdinand Traore

Phillips Sandro Fer Vargas



The formation

Harry Redknapp has tried a variety of formations since Queens Park Rangers' return to the Barclays Premier League this season.

The former West Ham United boss has sent out his side in a 4-4-1-1 formation in three of their six league matches so far, including their sole victory at home to Sunderland on 30 August.

Away from home, QPR have used two different systems in their three games so far - 3-5-2 in a 4-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur and 4-4-1-1 in a loss by the same scoreline at Manchester United and 2-1 reverse at Southampton last weekend.

After losing all three away matches played so far, Redknapp may seek to tighten up his defence with three centre-backs. At the same, he may target this as a game the Loftus Road side must win if they are to stay up, and stick with four defenders.

The playing style

Redknapp has developed a reputation throughout his managerial career for fielding teams who play with a carefree attacking style.

However, both last season's Championship promotion battle and the early part of the current campaign have seen the 67-year-old former Hammers winger take on a more pragmatic approach.

Redknapp's tactics may be in part down to the players at his disposal as, unlike his days managing the likes of Di Canio, Cole and Defoe here and Modric, Van der Vaart and Berbatov at Tottenham Hotspur, he simply cannot send his QPR side out to attack any opponent.

QPR are struggling to keep the ball so far this season, enjoying just 42% of possession and completing 78% of their passes in their opening six matches - good enough for 17th and 16th in the Barclays Premier League respectively.

Granted, away fixtures at Tottenham, Manchester United and Southampton have not helped those statistics, but Redknapp will hope his side see more of the ball at the Boleyn Ground this afternoon.

When they have got possession, Rangers certainly carry a threat, as their average of 14.3 shots per game suggests. That is the sixth highest average in the Barclays Premier League.

Turning those shots into goals has been a problem, though, with the west Londoners converting just four times, with three of those goals coming from set pieces.

Defending has also been an issue for the visitors so far, despite the arrivals of three first-choice defenders in Chile right-back Mauricio Isla and England international centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker.

Statistically susceptible to counter-attacks, crosses into their penalty area and long-range shots, QPR have conceded 13 goals in six matches - a tally only beaten by Everton (14).

The players

Unlike their last season in the Barclays Premier League in 2012/13, QPR do not have a huge squad of experienced international players at their disposal.

Instead, Redknapp has a smaller group of just over 20 senior professionals to pick from as he attempts to steer Rangers to safety.

Former Hammers and England stopper Robert Green will start in goal. Now 34, Green is a fine shot stopper and talks with authority to his team-mates.

Isla is a combative right-back, while Armand Traore is quick, direct and likes to carry the ball forward on the left flank.

In the middle, everybody is aware of Ferdinand's qualities, while the younger Caulker is tall, brave, strong and dominant from set pieces.

The central midfield area will likely be populated by another strong former Spur in man mountain Sandro, who could be partnered by Netherlands international Leroy Fer, the enigmatic Joey Barton or skilful Jordon Mutch.

If he goes 4-4-1-1, Croatia star Niko Kranjcar - another former Tottenham player - or Fer will likely support the hard-working Charlie Austin, who is also an accurate finisher with head or foot, in attack.

Out wide, a second Chilean, Eduardo Vargas, or Junior Hoilett are battling for the left-wing berth, while ex-Blackpool man Matt Phillips is set to start wide on the right.