London - Tottenham Hotspur failed to tighten
their grip on third place in the Premier League on Saturday after being
held to a 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers, who moved off the foot of the
The game at Loftus Road marked Emmanuel Adebayor's last
game for Spurs before he joins up with the Togo squad at the Africa Cup
of Nations, while Ryan Nelsen played for the hosts despite having this
week agreed to become player-coach of Major League Soccer club FC
Spurs striker Jermain Defoe came closest to opening the
scoring in the first half with a dipping 20-yard strike that crashed
back off the post, with QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacting brilliantly
to save Adebayor's follow-up.
The hosts' best chances both fell to Shaun Wright-Phillips, but he could not find the target on either occasion.
Cesar also thwarted Defoe in the second period, while Tottenham
fullback Kyle Walker whipped a free-kick inches over the crossbar.
the shock 1-0 win at Chelsea in their previous outing, QPR have clawed
themselves above Reading and are now four points from safety with 16
games to play.
Chelsea will hope to capitalise on the points
dropped by Spurs later on Saturday when they visit Stoke City, where
victory will take them above Andre Villas-Boas' side into third place.
meanwhile, can close to within a point of Tottenham if they win at home
to Swansea City, who stunned Chelsea 2-0 in the away leg of their
League Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The top two
are both in action on Sunday, with leaders Manchester United hosting
Liverpool and second-place Manchester City visiting Arsenal.
Elsewhere on Saturday, two teams hovering nervously above the relegation zone, Aston Villa and Southampton, meet at Villa Park.
welcome West Bromwich Albion to the Madejski Stadium, Newcastle United
visit Norwich City, Sunderland are at home to West Ham United and third
from bottom Wigan are away at Fulham.