Competition: Premier League – Hull City vs. Manchester City
Venue: KCOM Stadium – Monday, December 26 – 17:15 GMT (12:15 ET)
Match Odds: Hull 17/2 – Draw 9/2 – Manchester City 1/3
Mike Phelan’s side sit bottom of the league on just 12 points. There are just seven points separating 13th and bottom, making things very tight and every game could have massive implications on the battle to avoid relegation.
Hull have managed just three wins this season and haven’t won in their last six. They need to bring that run to an end as soon as possible to avoid a gap opening up between them and the other relegation candidates, so a win here would do wonders for the confidence of both the players and the fans.
The Tigers lost 1-0 to West Ham in their last outing and can count themselves unlucky to have done so, despite losing 10 of their last 13 Hull are unbeaten in three at home, so they will have to try and make home form count to start picking up some points against the like of City here.
Manchester City need to get their title bid back on track, and could be doing so after winning their last two games on the spin after losing back-to-back fixtures beforehand.
Their 2-1 win against Arsenal last weekend was an impressive result. Pep Guardiola’s side came from a goal behind to take all three points and showed great resilience to get the job done.
This is a winnable game for Manchester City but they have dropped points in games they have been expected to win already this season, so it’s essential they have no shortcomings this time around.
It’s clear Guardiola has work to do to get his side firing on all cylinders and play the style of football he loves, so they can be forgiven for looking like they are in a transitional period at this stage, but they cannot afford to keep dropping points if they want to challenging for the title.
Hull City’s injury concerns continue as Moses Odubajo, Alex Bruce, Greg Luer, Abel Hernandez and Will Keane are all out, while Allan McGregor, Brian Lenihan and Ryan Mason are all doubts.
Manchester City could be without up to five for the trip to Hull as Vincent Kompany, Fabian Delph and Ilkay Gundogan are all out. City could also be without Pablo Zabaleta, while Sergio Aguero remains unavailable through suspension.
Hull City’s last five: D/L/D/L/L
Manchester City’s last five: W/L/L/W/W
Key Stat: Hull City have not won in their last six Premier League outings.
Key Player: Raheem Sterling – The Manchester City and England winger has been steadily improving under Guardiola, he bagged the winner for City last weekend and will be relishing the opportunity to get at a Hull City defence lacking confidence.
Hull City 1-3 Manchester City – Hull to come up short against a Manchester City side who are expected to win this game. While Guardiola’s men have struggled defensively they are not up against a prolific strike-force from Hull, so they should be able to comfortably take all three points.