This game against Rangers is hard to call. QPR have been playing like a bunch of misfits recently, and even did so for 77 minutes of Wednesday evening. But finding themselves 2-0 down at home to Liverpool they threw caution to the wind and managed an amazing comeback for a 3-2 win, with no little skill.
Sessegnon is now available again and will doubtless return for the home side. The Black Cats have taken 16 points from a possible 21 under O'Neill at the Stadium of Light - only dropping points in the draw with Everton and defeat against Arsenal, who we beat the following week in the FA Cup.
I was there for our pre-Christmas 3-2 win over QPR at Loftus Road, and it was clear that their defence needed some attention. Nedum Onuoha has arrived from Manchester City, and he has real quality, as Sunderland fans will know well from his loan period in 2010-11. We all remember his goal away at Chelsea for 1-0 in a 3-0 win, and he will be looking to impress his former teammates, although the team has changed substantially since he came to the SSOL. "Fringe player" Anton Ferdinand is also very familiar to us.
Djibril Cisse is starring for QPR this year and also did a good job for us, but left 3 years ago when his loan was not renewed. He will be out to make an impression tomorrow, but Rangers have not kept a clean sheet for 20 games, and there will be goals, especially with Zamora and Cissé venturing forward. If we can rediscover the home form which gave us 3-0, 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Norwich, Swansea and Liverpool, we can win this one and prepare well for Everton in the FA Cup.
With the visitors scrapping for points, this game will be difficult, but I'll make another prediction: 2-1 to The Lads, with a welcome 3 points against Sparky and his crew ahead of Tuesday. We have to be better that we were at that collective off-day at Ewood Park.
©Lars J.S. Knutsen
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