Competition: Premier League – Hull City vs Sunderland
Venue: KC Stadium – Tuesday, March 3rd – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)
Match Odds: Hull City: 11/10 – Draw: 23/10 – Sunderland: 12/5
Hull City play host to Sunderland on Tuesday night as both sides look for a vital three points in what should be a close match. With both teams losing at the weekend, it will important that they try to avoid defeat here.
Steve Bruce has turned it around somewhat in recent weeks as prior to the loss at Stoke on Saturday, they had won two on the bounce – the first time Hull had registered back-to-back wins in the Premier League this season.
Much of the lack of success has been blamed on his formation choice. Adopting a 3-5-2 for this campaign has seen the side struggle. However, injuries have not helped Bruce’s squad and they must now focus on trying to steer clear of the relegation zone as they currently sit just four points above it in 15th.
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Hull have to be confident coming into this fixture, however, as they look much more threatening than their opponents and won the reverse fixture 3-1 at the Stadium of Light back in December. The Tigers have received a boost going into the game as it is looking likely that Nikica Jelavic will be able to feature.
Hull City’s Premier League home record: Played 13 – Won 4 – Drawn 3 – Lost 6
Gus Poyet hasn’t had the best season in the hot seat and after Sunderland’s recent form, his side has been pulled into the relegation scrap. They are just three points above the drop zone in 16th but know a win at Hull would propel them above their opponents.
Sunderland have only won one of their last ten and have had an incredible seven 0-0 draws this term.
After the weekend’s match against Manchester United, Sunderland will be hoping for more time on the ball as they only managed 29% of possession on Saturday in that 2-0 loss.
Sunderland’s Premier League away record: Played 13 – Won 2 – Drawn 6 – Lost 5
They were unfortunate to lose Wes Brown to a dubious red card, and the ban has since been rescinded so the centre-back will be able to play on Tuesday night.
The Black Cats have the second-worst form in the Premier League at the moment but must ensure they pick up at least a point against Hull in what is a real six-pointer at the bottom end of the table.
Hull City: Robert Snodgrass (knee), Liam Rosenior (hamstring) and James Chester (shoulder) are all out. Mohamed Diame (knee) and Robbie Brady (calf) remain doubtful. Nikica Jelavic and Maynor Figueroa will face late fitness tests but should be available for selection. Dame N’Doye will expect to start after having to settle for a place on the bench at Stoke on Saturday.
Sunderland: Emanuele Giaccherini (ankle) is likely to miss the remainder of the season, while Billy Jones (ankle), Ricardo Alvarez (knock), Will Buckley (knee) and Jack Rodwell (calf) are all doubts for the game. Adam Johnson has been suspended by the club regarding issues away from football but Wes Brown will be available after his red card on Saturday was rescinded.
Hull City’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/W/W/L
Sunderland’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/D/L
Key Stat: Hull City have won the last four meetings between the two sides in all competitions. The last time Sunderland beat Hull, Steve Bruce was in charge of the Black Cats.
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Key Player: Dame N’Doye – The Senegalese striker has scored on the two occasions he has started for Hull City since joining in January. They have won both of those games too. He’s the one to watch.
Hull City 0-0 Sunderland – Neither side can afford to lose this one as they both are in search of survival in the Premier League. That means it will be a tight, closely contested affair with little to separate them. Sunderland are the draw specialists in the Premier League and could settle for an eighth goalless draw of the season.