The memory of Queens Park Rangers’ miserable 2012/13 Premier League campaign has evidently proved hard to shake for the bwin odds gurus.
At least that’s the most obvious explanation for the fact that they have the R’s as 5/4 outsiders in a Premier League match bet with West Ham, who are as short as 3/5 to emerge victorious from the duel.
However, given three points have separated positions 13-17 in the standings come the end of the last two campaigns Super Hoops believers are advised to back their heroes with a +3.5 point handicap at 17/20.
Here’s why they’re unlikely to need the head start…
Harry Redknapp’s cordial relationship with Tony Fernandes is in stark contrast to its Upton Park equivalent.
It wouldn’t be hard to be on more friendly terms than Sam Allardyce and the West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan – a situation which is sure to cause disquiet at squad level.
Whether it’s buddying-up with Ravel Morrison or endorsing anti-Allardyce rhetoric on twitter (Gold favourited an @harris2011_s tweet reading ‘Is today the day we get rid of BFS?? Fingers crossed.’) the bankrollers seem hell bent on undermining the boss.
Unlike the Irons, QPR have signed proven Premier League players this summer.
Solid and restrained investment in men familiar with the rigours of life in the English top-tier has been the QPR modus operandi this summer.
Across London, Hammers hopes are largely pinned on an Ecuadorian from the Mexican league in Enner Valencia, while better-adjusted customers such as Matt Taylor and George McCartney have been jogged on.
Loic Remy is expected to remain at Loftus Road.
In the absence of anything approaching a concrete interest in the Frenchman, the R’s remain 3/5 favourites to stable him come the close of the transfer window.
Good for 14 goals and three assists in 24 starts and two sorties from the bench at Newcastle last term, keeping him in west London could prove a massive coup.
The previous season’s play-off winners have finished no lower than 11th for the last three years.
It’s a counterintuitive trend, but Swansea, West Ham themselves and, most recently, Crystal Palace have all gone on to finish at least two places higher than the 13th Hammers managed last term in their freshman years.