R's host Premier League Black Cats
QUEENS Park Rangers will hope to advance into the fourth round of the EFL Cup for the first time in eight seasons as we face Premier League side Sunderland under the lights at Loftus Road.
It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for the Hoops in the league but we’ve been going well in the cup and are unbeaten in our last four against Sunderland.
The Black Cats have had a difficult start to the season under new manager David Moyes. They’ve yet to win a league game and find themselves in the bottom three after the first six games of the campaign.
However their poor start is unlikely to worry the Sunderland hierarchy too much who by now will be used to the fact that they seem to perform better in the second half of the season. This has been perfectly illustrated in the last two years where they have managed to defy the odds and beat the drop.
It may come as a surprise to some but the Wearside club are enjoying their 10th consecutive season in the Premier League. They suffered a blow in the summer when England came calling for their manager Sam Allardyce but the appointment of the experienced David Moyes is seen by most at the Stadium of Light as a good long-term appointment.
The EFL Cup is a competition which Sunderland came close to winning back in 2014. After knocking out Manchester United in the semi-finals, the Black Cats took the lead against Man City in the final but second half goals from Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas condemn them to a 3-1 defeat.
They defeated Shrewsbury one nil in the second round thanks to a late goal from Manchester United loanee Adnan Januzaj – their only win so far this season.
They were initially very quiet during last summer’s transfer window but a flurry of late activity saw them bring in ten players including Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong for a record transfer fee.
Moyes is known as a manager who puts defence before attack so we can expect Sunderland to be hard to break down on Wednesday night as they search for only their second victory of the season.
QPR: Yeni Ngbakoto is in line to return after missing out at the weekend to attend his father’s funeral, whilst recent new arrivals Pawel Wszolek and Idrissa Sylla are set to feature.
Sunderland: Jermain Defoe won’t feature after picking up a knock against Tottenham Hotspur. Victor Anichebe is also unavailable with the Black Cats expected to field a young side.
Predicted line up: (4-5-1) Pickford, van Aanholt, Djilobodji, Love, McNair, Khazri, Ndong, Cattermole, Pienaar, Watmore, Defoe.
Key Player: Lamine Kone - Defender Kone signed a new five-year deal at the Stadium of Light last week, keeping him on Wearside until the summer of 2021 at least, following reported interest from Everton during the recent transfer window. Kone played a key role in keeping Sunderland in the Premier League last term, following a January move from French Ligue 1 team Lorient. The defender has received international recognition with the French Under-17, Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 national sides. However, Kone now represents the Ivory Coast at senior level.
PRE MATCH TALK
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “Sunderland are in transition. Their manager came in late to the job in pre-season and that is never easy. We all have our difficulties, and he has his at the moment, but they are a Premier League side with a Premier League. We will see if it's a good time to play them on Wednesday night, but we certainly believe it's a game we can win.”
David Moyes: “There will be some young boys involved but we’ve already had players such as Duncan Watmore, Lynden Gooch and Jordan Pickford play well. We have a young team so the addition of players like Lee Cattermole, Jan Kirchhoff and Steven Pienaar has given us more experience, but we’ve had a young side for most of the season and it will be the same tomorrow evening.”
QPR win: 19/10
QPR first goal scorer: Tjaronn Chery 5/1
Sunderland first goal scorer: Duncan Watmore 9/1
LAST TIME OUT
2-0 Premier League Tuesday 10th February 2015 Stadium of Light
QPR scorers: Fer, Zamora
HEAD TO HEAD
(In all competitions)
QPR wins: 13
Sunderland wins: 13
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistant Referees: Darren Blunden and Matt Foley
Fourth official: Thomas Bramall
WEDNESDAY’S OTHER EFL CUP FIXTURES
Fulham v Bristol City 19:45
Northampton v Man Utd 19:45
QPR v Sunderland 19:45
Southampton v Crystal Palace 19:45
Swansea v Man City 19:45
West Ham v Accrington 19:45
Stoke v Hull 20:00
Tottenham v Gillingham 20:00