Sky Sports will be delighted that this is the Monday night televised game considering that it will be the match where Joey Barton makes his debut for Queens Park Rangers. However, the real twist is that the midfielder will line up against a Newcastle team for whom he played two matches last season, helping them to four points against Arsenal and Sunderland.
Barton will now be tasked with trying to help QPR remain in the Premier League and was one of several new arrivals on transfer deadline day that also included Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand. There is a feelgood factor at Loftus Road and the Hoops can be backed at odds of 7/5 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to claim victory against their Tyneside opponents.
Even so, Newcastle have had a bright start to the season which has seen them collect seven points from matches against Arsenal, Sunderland and Fulham, with Alan Pardew confident that his squad can avoid a relegation scrap this term despite Mike Ashley’s refusal to reinvest much of the Liverpool money received for Andy Carroll.
The defence has only conceded one goal in those three games and the Magpies are available at 2/1 (Ladbrokes – £50 free betting) to claim victory, with free-kick specialist Ryan Taylor on offer at 18/1 to open the scoring in west London.
Who knows whether Barton will score, get booked or sent off during Monday night’s encounter, although Paddy Power do offer 14/1 that he opens the scoring against a club who were unprepared to offer him a new contract.