Sunderland v QPR Sat 15:00
Following a drop in performance of late, Sunderland can firm up their chances of a top half finish when they play hosts to relegation threatened QPR this weekend as Paddy Power offer odds against Martin O’Neil’s side to take all thre points.
The Black Cats have won just once in their last five Premier League fixtures; a below-par average since Martin O’Neill took over at the helm of the club.
That being said, the North East outfit did well to earn an FA Cup replay against Everton following their draw at Goodison Park –which has proven a hard venue to travel to this season.
Sunderland have scored an average of 1.50 goals per game this campaign when performing at home and have an even more impressive defence, letting in just 0.93 goals per game on average.
O’Neill will be happy to welcome back integral star and team talisman Stephane Sessegnon after the Benin international served a three-match suspension following his red card against Newcastle United, while defender John O’Shea will undergo a late fitness test on a hamstring strain. Wes Brown is still out with a knee injury.
QPR have the third worst form in the Premier League going into this weekend’s encounter but are still in high spirits following their dramatic late comeback victory over Liverpool in midweek.
Mark Hughes remains tight lipped on whether to start Joey Barton in midfield, after the ex Newcastle man was booed off by the home fans after putting in a dismal performance at Loftus Road against Liverpool midweek.
Federico Macheda, DJ Campbell and Heidar Helguson are all close to returning to the starting eleven after injuries, although Djbrill Cisse and Bobby Zamora are both expected to once again lead the forward line for Mark Hughes’ men.
A home win could condemn the Hoops back to the relegation zone as well as move Sunderland up to eighth spot providing that Swansea falter against Everton while a win for QPR could push Mark Hughes’ team into 16th place.