Premier League: QPR vs Sunderland match preview

A look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League match at Loftus Road

QPR’s last spell in the Premier League was a desperately unhappy affair and unfortunately this campaign has begun in a similar vein. Having spurned an opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot against Hull and having been battered 4-0 by London rivals Spurs, they find themselves again in that all too familiar routine of defeat. This clash, then, against fellow relegation contenders Sunderland is of particular import. A win would not just lift the team in terms of morale and points; it would represent a dose of one-upmanship delivered to the north east.

Sunderland will have been disappointed to fail to capitalise on an early lead against West Brom but will be encouraged by the way they matched Manchester United on Sunday, even if matching Manchester United isn’t the feat it once was. Sunderland fans may secretly be thinking that they aren’t relegation fodder this time around and a victory here might just give weight to that notion. There is no getting away from the fact that Jack Rodwell, who scored on Sunday, is a key signing. If he can stay fit, he may well be the difference, especially given the departures of Ki Sung-yeung and Jack Colback in midfield.

Both sides were in action in midweek, Sunderland faring considerably better than QPR, who were dumped out of the Capital One Cup at the hands of lowly Burton Albion. The Black Cats made relatively few changes and ran out 3-0 winners at Birmingham whereas QPR were one of many sides to suffer from over-rotation. Saturday will tell which of the managers’ decisions was the wise one.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

 

PAST MEETINGS…

QPR 3 (Remy, Townsend, Jenas) Sunderland 1 (Fletcher), Premier League, March 2013

Sunderland 0 QPR 0, Premier League, November 2012

Sunderland 3 (Bendtner, McClean, Sessegnon) QPR 1 (Taiwo), Premier League, March 2012

Sunderland’s Jack Rodwell celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United Sunderland’s Jack Rodwell celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United  

STATS…

QPR’s win in the sides’ last encounter was their first time they had beaten Sunderland since 1991

QPR have won just 4 of their last 40 Premier League matches

Last season Sunderland became only the second team to be bottom on Christmas Day and avoid relegation (after WBA in 2004-05)

QPR had the best average possession in the Championship last season with 56.5%

 

ODDS…

QPR to win: 2.5

Sunderland to win: 3.2

Draw: 3.35

 

TV:

Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm.

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