Talk of Jermain Defoe’s impending move to the Premier League helped keep the rumour mill turning between November and January, when there were repeated links between the former Spurs stalwart and Harry Redknapp’s QPR, among others.
Redknapp had signed Defoe twice before when manager of the Lilywhites and Portsmouth, but the 67-year-old insisted the north Londoners were only in the market for loan moves, despite reports that he was trying to convince owner Tony Fernandes to buy the striker outright.
In the end, Sunderland stumped up a whopping three-and-a-half year contract for the 32-year-old in the middle of January, sending flop striker Jozy Altidore to Toronto FC as part of the deal, while Redknapp was preparing to clear out his office at Loftus Road.
QPR travel to the Stadium Light for their Premier League clash with Gus Poyet’s side without a manager or top scorer Charlie Austin, who has bagged 13 of the not-so-Super Hoops’ 22 top-flight goals this term, and have lost 12 out of 12 all-competition away games since promotion in May.
Poyet’s side are clearly not the most reliable around, after racking up more draws so far this season than any other Premier League team, but 10/11 with bwin.com on the Black Cats with at home looks a giveaway.
Sunderland have only gone down to Arsenal, Manchester City, Hull and Liverpool on their own patch in the top flight his term, drawing with Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea.
They took care of Burnley last time out on Wearside, when Defoe finished off Sean Dyche’s plucky Clarets, who have seven away points to QPR’s none, after Conor Wickham’s opener.
You can have 7/2 with bwin about the 55-cap former England man getting on the scoreboard again in a home win for Poyet’s side, while Defoe to score at any time is on offer at an industry-best 19/10.