QPR v Sunderland – Match preview and team news

QPR are looking to build on only their third Premier League victory of the season away at Southampton last week and secure back-to-back wins that could leave them only one point off safety by the close of play on Saturday afternoon.

To do so they will have to overcome a Sunderland side that is bereft of confidence, form and goals recently. Martin O’Neill’s men may be just out of harm’s way on 30 points but no wins in five league matches speaks for itself and sitting in 14th place after 28 games was certainly not what O’Neill would have expected after his reasonably successful start to life as Sunderland manager last season.

QPR will make late decisions on the fitness of Bobby Zamora and Julio Cesar who are suffering from ankle and thigh complaints respectively while Jay Bothroyd is on hand for a first Premier League start of the season after scoring the winner at Southampton last week. Crucially, club record signings Loic Remy and Christopher Samba appear to have found their feet as QPR players.

Sunderland have been hit by the news that experienced defender Wes Brown is likely to miss the rest of the season with knee ligament damage, while captain Lee Cattermole may require surgery on a knee problem of his own that has restricted him to only 10 league starts this season.

However, the Black Cats could at least welcome back Danny Rose at left-back from a hamstring injury while O’Neill looks set to persist with the burgeoning strike partnership of the predatory Steven Fletcher and new signing Danny Graham, who is yet to open his account since his move from Swansea.

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