Premier League Preview: QPR v Newcastle
Newcastle United visit bottom-placed QPR on Sunday knowing a victory will all but secure their place in the Premier League next season. Alan Pardew's side have been dreadful in recent weeks and a run of form that has seen them win just one of their last nine matches in all competitions has seen them slip to 17th in the table.
They could have actually started Sunday in the relegation zone had Wigan held on to their lead against Swansea City on Tuesday, but second-half goals from Angel Rangel, Itay Shechter and Dwight Tiendalli saw the Welsh side escape with a 3-2 win.
That means Newcastle enter this match with a three-point gap on Wigan and they may fancy their chances against a QPR side who have already been relegated and are preparing for life in the Championship next season.
To win they will have to score though, something they have struggled to do recently, netting just one goal in their last four matches.
QPR have not won a match in over two months, with a string of defeats condemning Harry Redknapp's side to second-tier football next season.
They have not scored in four matches and are limping to the finish line this season, with their motivation levels sure to be different to a fired-up Newcastle.
Newcastle have won just once on the road in the league during the current campaign, and that result came all the way back in January when Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye netted in a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
Pardew will be sweating on the fitness of midfielders Moussa Sissoko (ankle) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) while fitness doubts over defender Davide Santon (hamstring) persist.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul (shoulder) and utility Ryan Taylor (knee) will not play again for Newcastle this season.
QPR's injury list is lengthy, with goalkeeper Julio Cesar (back), DJ Campbell (foot) and Shaun Wright-Phillips (ankle) headlining their absentees.
The earlier meeting between the two sides this season saw Shola Ameobi's late strike give Newcastle a 1-0 win, and they have a good record against QPR, who have not beaten Sunday's opponents in their last seven meetings, dating back to 1995.