Queens Park Rangers have reaffirmed their commitment to Premier League survival at all costs by canceling their Christmas Party ahead of their dust-up with Burnley.
All bar those football fans with the shortest of memories will remember a similar story doing the rounds back in 2012, the year of QPR’s last top-flight relegation battle.
Of course they failed dismally to cheat the reaper on that occasion, but there is a subtle difference between the two shunnings of seasonal jollity.
Whereas Harry Redknapp pulled the plug two seasons ago, this time around the knees-up has been binned at the players’ behest.
Such resolve among the troops makes the R’s an attractive 11/10 price to down a resurgent Burnley at Loftus Road.
The draw is an 11/5 shot; with the Clarets 5/2 for victory, but the west London side’s excellent form on their own patch should see them bring home the bacon.
QPR’s inability to net away from their manor is entirely responsible for the fact that they accompany Sean Dyche’s men in the relegation zone.
They’re only a couple of points off the Europa League places in the Premier League’s ‘home’ table, with Liverpool the only visitors to win at Loftus Road in six games.
Burnley are enjoying a less location specific renaissance of their own just now, going four games unbeaten.
However, having scored more than once in only one of their last seven games they are reliant on limiting the opposition to a single goal if points are to be pilfered.
Having bagged at least twice in their last five home games R’s are unlikely to be tamed so easily.
Former Clarets striker Charlie Austin has been particularly partial to a goal, thrilling the home fans in each of his last three outings.
He can be backed to enact football’s famous pretend not to be happy-when-your-score trope at any time during proceedings at 7/4.