Sunderland will be aiming to keep their impressive form going with a win against a Queens Park Rangers side that is still without a new permanent manager.
Jermain Defoe has not taken long to make an impact at the Wearside club, scoring his second Premier League goal since joining in the 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Saturday. Manager Gustavo Poyet has signed a proven Premier League goalscorer, and the signs are that he could inspire them to comfortable safety.
It is the goal threat that Sunderland have lacked for much of the season, although they still perhaps lack the winning mentality. Defeat here would be a major setback, but there seems to be a lot more confidence emanating from the Stadium of Light, where they are looking for back-to-back wins.
Any point away from home will do for QPR, who will hope that a different management team can inspire them to more joy on the road. They came close at Stoke City, but were undone by some slack defending, which has often been the case this season.
It is also a huge concern that their home form has seemed to desert them of late, and they came unstuck in the dying seconds against Southampton on Saturday. Recent games have suggested that it will take a mammoth effort for the R’s to survive, and they cannot afford to lose this one.
Lee Cattermole and Jack Rodwell are both likely to miss out for Sunderland, but they do welcome Connor Wickham back after injury.
QPR defenders Richard Dunne and Nedum Onuoha both face lengthy periods on the sidelines. Top scorer Charlie Austin also misses out.
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