QPR vs. Sunderland Soccer Picks and Betting Odds

Lee Phelps

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 2:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 2:13 PM UTC

On August 30th at 10:00 AM Eastern, Queens Park Rangers will play Sunderland in Loftus Park as part of the English Premier League season. Find out what this handicapper recommends for an optimum betting strategy.

I'm a little confused by Queens Park Rangers. They have some quality players, a good manager, an excellent coach, should have great team spirit having gained promotion the hard way, yet seem strangely lacklustre. Admittedly they came up against a Tottenham side on Sunday that purred through the gears beating them 4-0, but it wasn't all about Spurs' ability, QPR could have made it harder for Mauricio Pochettino's men. The much discussed 48 pass goal, contained plenty of sideways passes in defence where QPR just let them have the ball. If they are playing a zonal game, then fine but you have to stay alert when the opposition decide to attack.QPR woke up a little when they went four nil down and should have scored, but their forward line failed to create enough chances, with one shot on target in the entire match. Loic Remy is a quality forward and Harry Redknapp needs to get him in a happy place rather than have him looking around for bigger clubs to take him. You can forgive the Frenchman for expecting a big move after a good season at Newcastle last term, but it was just good, not great.

I like the QPR midfield, with Joey Barton playing some of his best football over the past few seasons. He was Rangers' most influential player at White Hart Lane and I also expect Jordon Mutch to do well. He scored seven goals in 2013/14 for Cardiff and Redknapp is playing him just behind the front two, so he should get chances to build on that scoring record.

The formation came in for some scrutiny from the press pack after the derby defeat, but 'Arry says it won't change. That formation sees a three man defence consisting of 36 year old Rio Ferdinand, 34 year old Richard Dunne and 22 year old Steven Caulker. You can see what they are trying to do with a mix of experience and youth, but so far mobility hasn't been a key attribute of the back line. One bonus of the three man system is how it allows one of the trio to get forward and stay forward after a set piece. Caulker showed this against Tottenham. The former  Spurs' man had the only effort on target of any Rangers' player and he also had a header on target versus Hull in their opening loss. He scored five times for Cardiff last season, which is hardly prolific but at a decent price, I'd be playing him as an anytime scorer for the next few weeks or until he scores!


Sunderland are a largely unspectacular side, but one who benefited from Poyet's Miracle last season. I think he's made some decent signings to make sure they don't have to call on God to save them again. Poyet played a 4-5-1 at West Brom in the 2-2 draw and a 4-3-3 at home to Manchester United when they finished 1-1.

I guess it's safe to assume Poyet will stick with the away day system, it saw them pick up wins at Chelsea and Manchester United as they secured safety last term. They're unbeaten in four away games spanning the summer and have scored 20 games in their last 12 with only blank in a dozen road trips.


Betting Verdict
I think both teams to score is a good bet here, I know QPR haven't scored yet, but the Black Cats don't keep to many clean sheets away from home and I've just outlined they know how to score. The midfield has a nice blend of aggression and flare. Anyone looking for a top goalscorer could do worse than Seb Larsson. He breaks into the box really well and QPR struggling to hang on to runners last week.

In summary I want to be on QPR's side but I need to see more desire before I invest money on them. I prefer the draw, but would leave the outright prices alone and go for BTTS or for a bugger price BTTS and over 2.5 goals, with Caulker and/or Larsson as anytime scorers.      

Free Soccer Pick: Both teams to score and Over 2.4 Goals at Bodog.

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