It’s a fair assumption that if QPR are to avoid the dreaded drop under Harry Redknapp, much will depend on the contribution of Adel Taarabt. While former Spurs boss has instilled a new-found resilience which has harvested four clean sheets in the last six, it’s also telling that of the nine goals the R’s have scored since the departure of Mark Hughes, Taarabt has had a hand in six of them.
Indeed, based on the data in the members area, which analyses Opta goals and assists, there’s a greater than 50% chance that Taarabt will be involved in his side’s goals when on the pitch. Quite simply, no other midfielder can match that contribution to their respective side, underlining his importance to the QPR cause.
Since Redknapp’s first official match in charge in the Gameweek 14 draw at Sunderland, the maverick Moroccan has chipped in with two goals and four assists and, with 11 bonus points also thrown in, has averaged 4.4 points per game under the new regime. With Redknapp revealing only this morning that he “won’t take any risks” with record signing Loic Remy’s groin problem and with Bobby Zamora not yet fit enough for a starting berth, Taarabt’s role in “the hole” offers us an intriguing mid-price prospect over the next few matches.
With a share of set-pieces and corners in his locker and with spot-kick duties still intact despite his recent miss against Norwich, Taarabt’s upcoming schedule looks particularly enticing. The Loftus Road outfit now square up to six of the current bottom nine in the next nine Gameweeks, offering Redknapp plenty reason to be optimistic as he attempts to claw back a seven point deficit on fourth-bottom Aston Villa.
The R’s play host to Sunderland, Wigan and Stoke and travel to Southampton, Villa, Fulham and Reading – plenty of proverbial six-pointers are on the cards, then, and with draws no longer good enough, Redknapp needs to go on the offensive. As the pressure begins to mount in the drop zone, these last few months tend to hand Fantasy managers some unexpected gems at the foot of the table – priced at just 5.8 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) and 5.2 in Sky Sports game, there’d be no better time for Taarabt to finally dazzle.