QPR will be looking to end a run of five games without a win when they make the long trip north to face recently-relegated Sunderland.

The Black Cats are struggling for confidence after adapting to life in the Championship, making Saturday's game a real opportunity for the Hoops to get back to winning ways.

But what threat do Simon Grayson's side pose? We caught up with the Chronicle's Sunderland reporter Stuart Rayner to get the expert view on the Black Cats.

What to expect from Sunderland

Sunderland have not won at the Stadium of Light since December 17 and the nervousness and fatalism in the stands cannot help but transmit to the pitch. The Black Cats are desperate to end that sequence and the longer QPR can keep them out, the more they can exploit that desperation.

Overview of transfer business

Sunderland have brought 10 players in for a total of £1.25m in transfer fees, while bringing in £32m. It has shown.

Results so far this season

Sunderland are 23rd in the table and their only Championship win so far under Simon Grayson was at Norwich in August. While there have been glimmers of hope along the way - not least in their 2-2 draw at Preston last time out, those results and the odd shocker too have made it impossible to build confidence.

Three QPR players who will be looking to find their form as Hoops prepare for Sunderland test

Key players

Aiden McGeady is Sunderland's best player and how they were able to pay just £250,000 for him is a mystery. The Republic of Ireland international brings flair to an otherwise workmanlike team.

Callum McManaman and Duncan Watmore add pace but both are building match fitness after being inactive for different reasons last season.

Formation/system?

Simon Grayson tries not to tie himself down to any one formation but 4-4-2 has been his favourite so far, and worked well at Deepdale.

Team selection

Grayson had some players - McManaman, Watmore and the disappointing Lamine Kone - on the bench at Preston who were better players than those who started in their position but the team looked well-balanced, organised and hungry so why change?

Predicted starting XI

Steele; Jones, O'Shea, Wilson, Matthews; Honeyman Ndong, Cattermole, McGeady; Vaughan, Gooch.

Prediction

A low-scoring draw. Reproducing the Preston performance should be enough to bring a win it whether the players or supporters have the belief to make that happen is questionable. The run will have to end some time but I am not brave enough to say it will be Saturday.