Martin O’Neill will have been pleased with the application shown by his Sunderland team at White Hart Lane on Sunday, despite losing by 1-0 scoreline. The Black Cats could easily have claimed a draw against high-flying Tottenham and Wednesday’s match is a chance to get points on the board against lesser London opponents.
O’Neill probably has some spending plans in January to try and improve his recently-inherited squad, although getting a few wins on the board is the priority and Ladbrokes (£50 free bets) offer an interesting 11/5 about the visitors becoming the fourth team to win at Loftus Road this season.
QPR will certainly have to improve on Sunday’s performance against Manchester United which saw them dominated by the champions, something which was a surprise after their bright performances at home to Chelsea and especially Manchester City.
Fellow new boys Swansea and Norwich are certainly finding it easier to win at home this term and Neil Warnock will be desperate to get three points on the board to avoid his team sliding any further down the table. Stan James (£150 free betting) make them the 7/5 favourites to achieve this before taking to the road over Christmas.
If the game at White Hart Lane is any yardstick, O’Neill will ensure that his team keep things tight at the back and look to make use of Sebastian Larsson’s excellent set piece delivery. The Swede is having a fantastic season despite the sacking of manager Steve Bruce and Paddy Power’s 14/1 about him scoring the first goal looks a bit too big.
Perhaps Warnock will consider playing DJ Campbell instead of Helguson or Bothroyd, with the former Blackpool forward available at 7/1.