Sunderland – QPR 27.11.2012
A classic relegation six-pointer will see struggling Sunderland take on rock-bottom Queens Park Rangers in a match that could give one of the teams a real lifeline in their survival fight. Harry Redknapp starts his QPR reign at the Stadium of Light, but it remains to be seen if the experienced boss can arrest team’s dismal run of results.
Despite doing well to sign Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher in the summer, Sunderland have utterly failed to live up to the pre-season expectations of a top table finish. With key players Stephane Sessegnon, Seba Larsson and James McClean struggling for form, the Black Cats have been utterly disappointing during the early exchanges and now sit just two points above the relegation zone. This makes the QPR match a must-win game for them, and the reality is the players can take some heart from their last two showings. While Sunderland continue to concede goals with ease, the team have shown a lot of improvement in the attacking department, having scored five goals in last two games, so there is every chance Sunderland fans will witness another high-scoring match. The most important thing for the hosts is that Stephane Sessegnon is slowly returning to form.
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There are absolutely no doubts that QPR are the biggest disappointment of the season, given that the team with such an impressive squad should at least be fighting for a top table finish. We cannot really say that Rangers deserve to be so deep in the relegation zone, but the reality is they have just four points to their tally and find themselves in an extremely difficult situation. While the players were not happy to see Mark Hughes’ back, the arrival of experienced boss Harry Redknapp could be just the boost they need to turn this season around. The promising showing at Old Trafford should help the players restore some of the lost confidence, while the situation they are in at the moment means that nothing less than a victory at the Stadium of Light will do. I think we can see at least two goals tonight.