Premier League preview: Sunderland v QPR
By Football News
Harry Redknapp will be in the dugout for the first time as Queens Park Rangers manager when his new team visit Sunderland on Wednesday.
QPR will head to the Stadium of Light in desperate need of their first win of the season after getting off to the worst start in Premier League history, registering just four points from their first 13 games.
Redknapp was in the stands at Old Trafford on Saturday to watch his new side give up three goals in ten second-half minutes to lose to league leaders Manchester United 3-1.
The former Tottenham boss has admitted being tasked to guide QPR to safety will be one of the biggest challenges of his career and he will be determined to get off to the best possible start against the Black Cats.
QPR escaped their trip to Manchester without any fresh injury concerns and will be hoping former Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa, who was ruled out of the game due to illness, can bounce back in time to shore-up Rangers' leaky defence.
Club captain Park Ji Sung was also absent against his former side due to a knee injury but is likely to come back to the squad on Wednesday after returning to training.
Meanwhile, Sunderland will be hoping to recapture the form they showed in their impressive 3-1 win at Fulham last week as they continue to search for consistency in their spluttering 2012/13 season.
Martin O'Neill's side sits two points above the relegation zone in 16th place and were comfortably beaten 4-2 on Saturday against surprise-packets West Bromwich Albion, a defeat which sparked reports O'Neill offered to resign from his managerial position, rumours vehemently denied by the club.
Sunderland have several injury concerns of their own, with Lee Cattermole no certainty to feature after going off in the first half against the Baggies with a knee complaint.
Veteran defender John O'Shea suffered a calf injury in the same game and is also in doubt for Wednesday's match, while striker James McFadden, who injured his hamstring earlier this month, will have to prove his fitness ahead of the trip to the north east.
A win for Sunderland could potentially see them move five points clear of the bottom three and go some way to easing the pressure on the embattled O'Neill, who will be confident his side can deliver the win against their lowly opponents.