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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sunderland vs QPR Previews

SUnderland Official Site - All you Need to Know By Martin Walker

General news:
• Sunderland are a point clear at the top of the Championship on 79 points. Second-placed Derby have 78 points, while Birmingham are five points behind with a game in hand.
• Sunderland need just a point against QPR to guarantee their place in the play-offs. They are currently top of the form guide after winning five of their last six games.
• They have won 42 points from a possible 48 during their current 16-match unbeaten run.
• They are eight games unbeaten at home, winning six of those.
• Derby are at Ipswich tomorrow, while Birmingham take on eighth-placed Southampton at home tomorrow. West Brom, currently fourth, entertain Sheffield Wednesday tonight and Wolves are at Crystal Palace.
• Striker David Connolly is Sunderland's current top scorer with 11 league goals, while Daryl Murphy has seven. Grant Leadbitter has six goals, Stephen Elliott and Ross Wallace have five goals while Dwight Yorke, Tobias Hysen, Stern John and Carlos Edwards all have four.
• Sunderland's reserves won 3-0 against Hibernian at the Stadium of Light yesterday, with David Dowson scoring two goals and Tommy Miller one.

• Liam Miller is expected to be fit after he played on with a thigh problem at Southampton on Monday.
• Nyron Nosworthy should also be fit after he went over on his ankle on Monday.
• Graham Kavanagh played the first half of the reserves game yesterday, his first action since rehabilitation from a knee operation.

The opposition:
• Midfielder Gareth Ainsworth will miss the rest of the season after breaking his leg in QPR's 3-2 win at home to Luton on Monday.
• QPR are currently fifth in the form guide after winning four out of their last six games, winning their last three consecutive games at home to Preston (1-0), at Coventry (1-0) and at home to Luton (3-2).
• They're currently 18th in the Championship with 49 points, seven clear of the relegation zone.
• Away from home, they have five games, drawn five and lost 11, scoring 22 goals and conceding 35.
• Striker Dexter Blackstock is their top goalscorer with 12 league goals, while midfielder Martin Rowlands has eight goals.
• League form guide: D W L W W W
• QPR finished just one place above the relegation zone last season, although they were eight points clear of 18th-placed Crewe.
Match officials:
• The referee on Saturday is Michael Jones and his assistants are Mick McDonough and Michael Oliver. The fourth official is Paul Simpson.

How far?
• It's 286.5 miles from Loftus Road to the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland-QPR - head-to-head:
• Sunderland won 2-1 at Loftus Road earlier this season with goals by Daryl Murphy and Grant Leadbitter. Ray Jones scored for QPR.
• The two sides drew 2-2 in the last meeting between the two at the Stadium of Light. Marcus Stewart cancelled out Paul Furlong's opening goal before Martin Rowlands put the visitors 2-1 ahead - Steve Caldwell grabbed a last-minute equaliser.
• Sunderland's last win at home to QPR was in the Championship on August 8, 1998, a Kevin Phillips penalty giving the Black Cats a 1-0 victory.
• QPR's last win here was in an Old Division One match at Roker Park on April 6, 1991, Rangers running out 1-0 winners.
• Sunderland have six of the previous 12 league meetings between the two on Wearside, while QPR have won three and there have been three draws.

SAFC wins / draws / QPR wins
League 9 6 10
FA Cup 1 0 0
TOTAL 10 6 10

The last 10 meetings:
• QPR 1, Sunderland 2 (Championship) 28.11.06
• QPR 1, Sunderland 3 (Championship) 2.4.05
• Sunderland 2, QPR 2 (Championship) 14.8.04
• QPR 2, Sunderland 2 (Championship) 9.1.99
• Sunderland 1, QPR 0 (Championship) 8.8.98
• Sunderland 2, QPR 2 (Championship) 10.4.98
• QPR 0, Sunderland 1 (Championship) 6.12.97
• Sunderland 0, QPR 1 (old Division One) 6.4.91
• QPR 3, Sunderland 2 (old Division One) 29.12.90
• QPR 1, Sunderland 0 (old Division One) 23.2.85

Other Championship fixtures this weekend:
(3pm unless stated)
West Brom v Sheff Weds (7.45pm)
Birmingham v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Wolves
Cardiff v Stoke
Coventry v Preston
Hull v Colchester
Ipswich v Derby
Leeds v Burnley
Leicester v Norwich
Luton v Plymouth
Southend v Barnsley

QPR Net Preview - Ron Norris & Simon Skinner - Sunderland Game

QPR Rivals - Tracy Stent - Sunderland Preview

Two of the Championship's in-form sides go head-to-head, when Rangers travel to table-topping Sunderland on Saturday.

Momentum is key in any promotion race and the Black Cats certainly hold all the trump cards in that respect as the season reaches its finale.

Roy Keane's men currently sit at the summit of the Championship table - a point clear of second place Derby County.

It's a far cry from the day Keane stepped into the Mackems hot-seat, with his new charges rooted firmly to the foot of the Championship table.

The turnaround in fortunes since then has been quite remarkable, with Keane leading the Black Cats to within touching distance of promotion to the Promised Land of the Premiership.

'Keano' as he was affectionately known during his successful playing career, has worked absolute wonders during his first term in management and Chairman Niall Quinn is ready to repay him, regardless of whether they achieve promotion.

"If we don't go up, I'll make sure we'll have a decent team next season. I'm hoping we'll have bigger crowds and bigger parachute payments, from our time in the Premiership," said Quinn.

"If we do go up I expect us to pour the financial rewards into the playing side of things, it won't go to the investors.

"I also think Roy would attract the type of players that maybe in the past we never would have been able to sign. I'm there to provide Roy with what he wants."...

Top scorer (league goals only): David CONNOLLY 11

Last league game:
Southampton 1, Sunderland 2.
Coca Cola Championship.
April 9th 2007.
Sunderland: Ward, Simpson, Nosworthy, Evans, Collins, Edwards, Yorke (Leadbitter 69), Liam Miller (Whitehead 46), Hysen, Connolly, Elliott (Stokes 46).
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Murphy.

Dwight Yorke

Black Cats gaffer Roy Keane: "Now is not the time to reflect on what has happened.
"We can't do that with four games to go. We've been top for five minutes so it's difficult to say how it feels.
"We have a tough game with QPR at the weekend and that's the next challenge."

Superhoopsbet.co.uk match odds:
Sunderland 4/11
QPR 7/1
Draw 3/1

Star Man: David CONNOLLY
Sunderland completed a whirlwind of transfer window deadline transfers in August 2006 with the £1.9 million signing of Wigan striker David Connolly.
The Republic of Ireland international joined the Black Cats for an initial £1.4m, with an extra £500,000 based on appearances and promotion.
The 29-year-old, who signed a three-year contract at the Stadium of Light, brings experience, as well as an impressive goalscoring record, to the Black Cats front-line.

Black Cats hot-shot David Connolly

Head to head:
Sunderland wins: 9
QPR wins: 10
Draws: 6

Last league meeting:
Queens Park Rangers 1 (Jones), Sunderland 2 (Murphy, Leadbitter).
Coca Cola Championship.
November 28th 2006.

Latest news: Roy keen on kid Evans
Roy Keane wants to keep on-loan Manchester United starlet Jonny Evans at Sunderland for another season.
Evans, 19, has been one of the stars of Sunderland's march to the Championship summit and the Northern Ireland international has not lost a league game since joining at the turn of the year. He is due to return next month.
(source: Daily Mirror) QPR

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