Why Backing QPR to Avoid Relegation is a Long Shot

QPR’s 3-1 victory over Sunderland at the weekend led again to suggestions that Harry Redknapp’s team can perform a great escape and avoid relegation from the Premier League.

@SimonGleave from brilliant website Scoreboard Journalism pointed out to Differentgame that yet again QPR had scored from outside the box (twice this time) and their reliance on doing so meant the fairytale was unlikely to come true. Regular readers will know by now that it takes an average of 33 shots to score this kind of goal. Obviously we decided to take a closer look.

In three of their four EPL wins so far this season, QPR have needed long range goals to grab the points. The only exception was their away win at Southampton just over a week ago in which both goals came from inside the box. Five of QPR’s six goals in the victories against Fulham, Chelsea and Sunderland came from shots outside the area.

The left side of the image below shows the league average number of shots to score from the different areas. The image on the right shows how many shots it takes QPR to do so:

LgeQPRComp

Quite clearly, QPR are particularly dismal at converting chances from wide areas inside the box. On the face of it, taking 8 shots to convert from central isn’t too bad – but QPR simply haven’t created enough of these chances. If they’d converted at the average rate they’d still only be 4-5 goals better off over the season.

QPR are also a good advert for why direct free kicks and open play shots from outside the box are a really different ball game. They’ve had 26 efforts from free kicks and are yet to score. Conversely they’ve netted 8 times from open play outside the box. To be honest that’s slighlty untrue. Count Leighton Baines’s own goal from outside the box in the home draw with Everton (we don’t for these purposes) and you could call it 9.

With scoring patterns like these, all hope looks lost for ‘Arry’s ‘Oops. Good luck, QPR. You’re going to need it.

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