QPR are the star turns as promoted sides showcase potential
QPR’s transfer market ambition aside, none of the Premier League’s three newcomers did much in the opening weeks to discourage bettors for backing them for the drop.
The Hoops had claimed one fine win at Everton yet looked anything but prolific, Norwich were still awaiting a first success and conceding penalties for fun and Swansea hadn’t even scored let alone claimed three points.
September 17 may be looked back on at the end of the campaign as the day that the landscape claimed completely though as all three earned impressive and on the whole comfortable victories to force doubters to re-evaluate their survival chances.
QPR’s triumph was the most stunning of the lot, coming 3-0 away to a Wolves side who had made a strong start to the season, and featured first goals for summer signings Joey Barton and, more importantly in the long run, DJ Campbell.
Manager Neil Warnock described it as the most enjoyable travelling performance of his managerial career and it was enough to push them out to 5/2 to go down on Ladbrokes.
Norwich got off the mark by prevailing 2-1 at the Reebok against Bolton, who with Arsenal and Chelsea up next have to be considered relegation battlers themselves for the time being at 7/2.
New boys Anthony Pilkington and Bradley Johnson fired the visitors into a 2-0 lead, however there was plenty of time to give away yet another spot-kick and create a nervy finale. The Canaries remain 4/6 joint-favourites for a bottom-three finish.
Joining them at that price are Swansea, who silenced those questioning their ability to score goals at this level with three against currently second-bottom West Brom (4/1).
The result provided a positive conclusion to an emotional day in South Wales, in which the Swans played for the first time since four miners were killed in a tragic accident on Thursday.