Three Black Cats considered the cream of the visitors to Loftus Road need to be kept quiet if Rs are to get anything out of the game.

Steven Fletcher’s stay at the Stadium of Light was rudely interrupted by injury last season to compound an ankle problem the one before that, but as veteran Sunderland FC sports writer Graeme Anderson put it, “he’s a natural scorer, and he hasn’t got one yet, suggesting he will be up for the visit to QPR.”

Fletcher was a £12million signing from Wolves, and the Wearsiders took another expensive punt on Jack Rodwell when they shelled out £10m for the Manchester City midfielder last month.

Determined: Rodwell

“I think (manager) Gus Poyet has taken a calculated gamble with Rodwell,” Anderson explained.

“He played very little football at City through a combination of injury and the welter of class on offer there.

“But he has a physical presence that works well in the midfielder centre - and he did score against Manchester United on Sunday.”

That heartening draw against Louis van Gaal’s stuttering side also featured Connor Wickham.

The ‘main reason’ Sunderland escaped the drop last season, according to Anderson, has developed from a player the club bought as an £8m investment from Ipswich Town, to one fast fulfilling his potential.

Breakthrough: Connor Wickham

“Sunderland signings at that price have to hit the ground running,” said the writer, “but Wickham unusually a player bought for the future: that future is now.”

Wickham is also in the last year of his contract, has so far refused to sign a new one on Wearside, and has a point to prove both to boss Poyet, as well as any would-be suitors.

Keep in touch with all the build-up and post-match reaction to QPR v Sunderland right here on GetWestLondon.