Potential centre-back pairing the first steps to QPR survival

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You can expect plenty of QPR transfers between now and the closing of the summer transfer window as the club look to solidify their footing in the Premier League following their promotion.

If their early work in the market is anything to go by, then they should have no trouble avoiding a 7/4-rated immediate return to the Championship as former Manchester United stalwart Rio Ferdinand joined the club as a free agent.

It’s not expected to be too long before he’s joined by another England international, as Harry Redknapp’s side have agreed a fee with Cardiff for the impressive Steven Caulker.

With that potential pair marshalling their defence, the Loftus Road outfit have taken their first sturdy steps towards survival, an achievement that’s given odds of 2/5.

Although he played for the club that finished bottom of the top flight and conceded the second most goals last term, Caulker was widely regarded as the Bluebirds’ best player and was involved in six of the side’s seven clean sheets.

He never had a player as assured as Ferdinand to play alongside in that time either and having the 81-capper to learn from over the course of 2014/15 will only help develop a career that is expected to contain big things.

At United Ferdinand was also involved in a struggling defence, but registered nine clean sheets in all competitions during the campaign.

His partnership with Nemanja Vidic wasn’t its dominant self, but with a young, powerful and pacey partner to play with, Ferdinand could return to his fire-extinguishing best, sweeping up behind Caulker as he looks to win the ball.

QPR had the fourth-best defence in the Championship last term, with Richard Dunne and Clint Hill starting the majority of games together.

Immediately, the Ferdinand-Caulker partnership looks a more solid foundation to build survival on.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.