QPR to need seven-plus away points to survive says history
Queens Park Rangers has played 10 away games in the English Premier League and the Hoops have lost all of them, their latest road reverse being Saturday’s 1-2 loss at Burnley.
To mark the remarkable achievement of Queens Park Rangers, one thought that it was an appropriate time to research the away form of previous English Premier League strugglers and how they fared in their fights against the dreaded drop.
There are two other teams in Europe’s top five leagues that have not won on the road this term – Cesena in Italian Serie A and Sociedad in the Spanish Primera Division are 0-2-7 and 0-5-4 after nine away assignments respectively – while the sides with the worst road records in French Ligue 1 and the German Bundesliga are Metz (1-2-8) and Dortmund (1-1-7) respectively. The fall of Dortmund is quite astounding.
So Queens Park Rangers have the worst away statistics of any team in any of Europe’s highest profile leagues and not since Sunderland in 1965 has a side in England’s top division lost its first 10 road matches of a season.
What is as remarkable as the away numbers of Queens Park Rangers is that the Hoops are not short odds to return to the English Championship at the first attempt. Queens Park Rangers is available at odds of +100 with Coral to be one of the three teams relegated from the English Premier League, with Ladbrokes offering odds of +105 about the Hoops retaining their prized top-flight membership card.
The English Premier League replaced English Division One at the beginning of the 1992-1993 campaign so there have 22 full seasons so far. One has gone back through the history books and found that each of the four worst performing English Premier League road sides in terms of points per away game – Derby with an average of 0.16 points per away game in 2007-2008, Burnley with an average of 0.21 points per away game in 2009-2010, Watford with an average of 0.26 points per away game in 1999-2000 and Hull with an average of 0.32 points per away game in 2009-2010 – were relegated.
For Queens Park Rangers to exceed Hull’s average it would need to accrue at least seven points from its nine remaining English Premier League road matches against, in program order, Stoke, Sunderland, Hull, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester. Now Queens Park Rangers supporters will say that the Hoops have got only one trip left to an English Premier League team in the top seven so, in theory, most of its easiest away assignments are yet to come. But surely Queens Park Rangers carries mental baggage from losing each of its first 10 English Premier League road games and, also, the Hoops will be visiting most of their relegation rivals at the business end of the season when the pressure is on.
English Premier League sides with poor away records have survived, the most famous being Leeds in 1992-1993. Leeds had won the last pre-English Premier League title but its championship defence was shambolic, finishing 17th and posting road numbers of 0-7-10. Leeds ended up two points clear of the English Premier League relegation zone, indebted to its superb home form that read 12-8-1.
In summary, English Premier League history suggests that Queens Park Rangers will be relegated to the second tier unless the Hoops earn at least seven points from its nine outstanding away matches, which probably equates to three road victories for Harry Redknapp’s team. One can build a decent case for backing Queens Park Rangers to return from whence it came at odds of +100 because it looks like a side that has forgotten how to do anything but lose on the road and the Hoops have the English Premier League’s most porous defence having conceded a whopping 37 goals in its 21 games.
QPR to be relegated at +100 with Coral