Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Manchester City

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

Match Preview

Hull City welcome Manchester City to the KCOM Stadium on Boxing Day. The two are at opposite ends of the Premier League table and both desperately need to pick up three points.

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.

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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.

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Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Hull City vs. Manchester United

Venue: KCOM Stadium – Saturday, August 27 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Hull 7/1 – Draw 16/5 – Manchester United 4/9

Match Preview

Surprise early season high-flying Hull City welcome Manchester United to KCOM Stadium as one of these sides will lose their 100% record this weekend.

Hull have defied the odds in their opening two games, winning both, and are one of only four teams to have picked up six points.

Their last Premier League outing was against Swansea, where some ruthless finishing in the last quarter of an hour saw them come away 2-0 winners.

At some point Hull’s squad will begin to feel the pressure due to a lack of depth and injuries, but for the moment they can enjoy each game and they’ll be full confidence. A strong start to the season is all Mike Phelan would have hoped for and he has got exactly that.

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Manchester United have looked very comfortable in their opening two games. They are giving off the real impression of a typical Jose Mourinho side and although they will be expecting a tough tie, they’ll feel anything less than three points this time out is not good enough.

United will be keen to push their way to the top of the table as early on as possible this season, they trail City on goals scored but have the same goal difference as their neighbours. Mourinho loves his side to be pace setters rather than chasers.

Mourinho’s new signings have dovetailed nicely with the rest of the squad so far and their direct approaching is working well.

United have scored at least two goals in their last four Premier League outings and you wouldn’t bet against them repeating that this weekend. They have a strong bench to change things up if they aren’t getting any joy in this tie.

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Team News

Hull City are still light on the ground. Centre back partners Alex Bruce and Michael Dawson remain injured, while Moses Odubajo and Allan McGregor are also both still out. Josh Tymon, Harry Maguire and Greg Luer are all doubts.

Manchester United have no injury concerns so we can expect a very similar lineup from Mourinho in this tie.

Key Points

Hull City’s last five: W/W

Manchester United’s last five: W/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have never lost to Hull City in the Premier League, winning eight and drawing the other.

Key Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – The big Swede has been exactly what United needed in his opening two league games, he’ll be itching to keep his scoring run going and prove to any doubters why they are wrong.

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Score Prediction

Hull City 1-3 Manchester United – Hull deserve a lot of credit for their performances so far this season and they’ve been good value in front of goal but they’ll be able to do little to stop the power of United here. An entertaining one with a result many would predict.

Weekend focus: Arsenal, Hull & Spurs – what to expect

We’re closing in on another action packed round of Premier League fixtures. The ‘weekend focus’ series picks three games and looks at what to expect. This time around we’re looking at Arsenal‘s trip to Watford, whether Hull City can keep their run going and if Tottenham Hotspur can overturn Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

Pressure on Arsene Wenger: 

Arsenal have picked up just one point from a possible six so far and their trip to Watford on Saturday afternoon isn’t going to be an easy one.

The Gunners have drawn their last four away games in the Premier League.

Arsenal managed just four shots on target in their game against Leicester last time out, their defensive performance was much better than their opener but they looked sluggish and out of ideas in the final third.

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Verdict: The pressure will pile on Wenger if they fail to win again. He will have just under five days left to make any signings by the time they have played on Saturday.

Can Hull remain 100%?

Hull City have stunned pundits and fans alike with their opening two performances of the season, winning both games. They’re one of only four clubs to have a 100% record in the league so far.

The Tigers haven’t beaten United in eight attempts in the Premier League, losing seven and drawing one, so this is going to be a big ask.

The last meeting between these two was a 0-0 draw, a result Hull would settle for in this one. However this tie ends up they’ve had a great start to the season and they’ll be full of confidence.

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Verdict: Hull to find this a very difficult tie against a United side who will be expecting to take all three points. 100% record to come to an end.

Will Spurs put an end to their winless run against Liverpool?

Tottenham Hotspur haven’t beaten Liverpool in the last seven meetings between the sides in the Premier League, conceding 19 goals along the way.

Harry Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in August in nine games but he’ll be feeling confident of facing Simon Mignolet – the Liverpool ‘keeper has conceded the last five shots he has faced.

Spurs have lost just one of their last nine home games in the league, picking up 20 points along the way, they’ll be itching to bring that winless run to an end.

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Verdict: Spurs have lacked cutting edge in the final third in their opening two games, while Liverpool have been conceding goals they have also scored nine in all competitions. Draw.

What do you think will happen in these three games?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Hull City AFC vs. Leicester City FC

Venue: KCOM Stadium – Saturday, August 13 – 12:30 BST (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Hull 3/1 – Draw 12/5 – Leicester 19/20

Match Preview

Hull City welcome reigning champions Leicester City to KCOM Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the 2016/17 Premier League season flies into action after a break of almost three months.

It’s been a busy summer of international action and transfer dealings but all eyes will focus back onto what matters most on Saturday – the on-field action.

Hull are back in the top flight after bouncing straight back up from the Championship last term. However, they enter the opening game without a manager, any new signings and several injury worries.

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Caretaker manager Mike Phelan has a tough job on his hands to get anything from Saturday’s game but the Tigers’ fans will be buzzing at the prospect of seeing their side back in the bigtime, so a great atmosphere is expected.

Leicester begin their most unlikely title defence as heavy favourites on Saturday, with Claudio Ranieri’s men the first league champions to open the new season.

It’s been a mixed preseason for the Foxes, who enjoyed wins over minnows Oxford United and Nuneaton Town before heavy losses to PSG and Barcelona.

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They lost last weekend’s FA Community Shield 2-1 to Manchester United but will now be fully focused on proving to everyone that last season’s league success was no one-off.

This will be just the third time these sides have ever met in the Premier League. They faced off twice in the 2014/15 campaign, with Leicester winning 1-0 at Hull thanks to a Riyad Mahrez goal, before they then drew 0-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Claudio Ranieri will earn his 100th Premier League win as a manager if the Foxes can seal the victory on Saturday in a game they are expected to dominate.

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Team News

Hull City are facing a bit of a crisis before a ball has even been kicked. They are without a permanent manager and have a host of first-team stars sidelined through injury. Defenders Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo and Alex Bruce are all ruled out, along with goalkeeper Alan McGregor. Harry Maguire is a doubt and looks set to miss this one, while Shaun Maloney has a higher chance of playing but may also fall short of a place in the starting lineup.

Leicester will begin life without N’Golo Kante here and it will be intriguing to see how much the Frenchman’s departure affects them on Saturday. Claudio Ranieri has no injury worries, however Robert Huth will miss the game through suspension, so new signing Luis Hernandez is expected to fill the void at the back alongside Wes Morgan. Ahmed Musa will be hoping to make his Premier League debut but faces a battle with Shinji Okazaki for a starting berth.

Key Points

Hull City’s last five: N/A

Leicester’s last five: N/A

Key Stat: This is the first time the Premier League Champions have ever kicked off the new season. The reigning victors have never lost on the opening weekend in 23 years (W19 D4).

Key Player: Jamie Vardy – The Foxes star striker took the league by storm last season and will be looking to hit the ground running this term as Leicester set out to show last year’s feats were no fluke. Vardy bagged a goal in the Community Shield last weekend and looks primed to hurt the Tigers’ defence on Saturday.

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Score Prediction

Hull 0-2 Leicester – The Foxes should prove to have more bite than the Tigers on Saturday, with a host of injuries doing Hull little in the way of help ahead of what was already a really tricky opener. Leicester proved tough to break down last term and will hope to start the new season with a clean sheet and a fairly comfortable away win to set the tone for their title-chasing rivals.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Hull City

Competition: FA Cup: Fifth Round – Arsenal vs. Hull City

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Saturday, February 20 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 1/2 – Draw 3/1 – Hull City 6/1

Match Preview

FA Cup holders Arsenal continue the defence of their title at home to Championship side Hull City in the fifth round’s lunchtime kick-off on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners have seen off Sunderland and Burnley in the previous rounds and haven’t suffered defeat in this competition for three years – the last time they last lost was at this stage in 2013 at the hands of Blackburn Rovers.

Arsene Wenger’s side have since won 14 consecutive FA Cup ties and if they go on to win it this year, they will not only become the first team to win it three times in a row since 1886, but if they avoid a draw along the way, they will also set the record for most consecutive wins in the competition, which is currently 16 (a record they hold jointly).

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Arsenal come into this game after much needed wins over Bournemouth and title rivals Leicester in the Premier League and will be looking to continue their return to winning ways.

Hull City arrive in London following a hard-fought goalless draw against fellow Championship high-flyers Brighton on Tuesday night – a result that sees them top the division after 31 games.

The Tigers’ main focus this season will be trying to secure a return to the Premier League, but wins over Brighton and Bury has booked them a place in the fifth round with familiar opposition, as many will recall that Hull faced the Gunners in last year’s third round as well as that famous final in 2014.

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Steve Bruce’s side have only lost one of their last nine games in all competitions (W7, D1, L1) and may fancy their chances of causing a major upset against the defending champions.

The last meeting between these two sides saw Arsenal beat Hull 3-1 at the KC Stadium in a Premier League clash back in May 2015.

Team News

Arsenal could rest a number of key players as Arsene Wenger will undoubtedly have one eye on a crucial midweek Champions League clash with Barcelona. Danny Welbeck could start, while January signing Mohamed Elneny will hope for another run out. Gabriel will miss the game through injury, while Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla also remain sidelined.

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Hull City boss Steve Bruce has admitted that he’ll have to rotate his squad given the fixture congestion of playing midweek, at the weekend, and then midweek again. Nick Powell, who is on loan from Manchester United, is set to make his debut, however, fellow loanees Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden are ineligible to play against their parent club.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five in all competitions: L/W/D/W/W

Hull City’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/W/D

Key Stat: Hull have only beaten Arsenal once in their last 16 attempts in all competitions (D2, L13).

Key Player: Theo Walcott – There’s a chance that Walcott could get a rare start through the middle on Saturday and should he do so, he could cause the Hull defence some serious problems with his pace. The Englishman looks to have been slightly lacking confidence in recent weeks, but that goal against Leicester at the weekend could rekindle his form.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-1 Hull City – The Gunners should just narrowly edge this tie with home advantage to call upon, but they certainly won’t find it an easy task to get past a strong Championship outfit with plenty of Premier League experience.

LA Galaxy to rival Newcastle and Villa for Hull striker – report

Recently relegated Hull City striker Dame N’Doye could be on the way to MLS after the Tigers have reportedly offered the Senegalese international to the LA Galaxy as well as Newcastle and Aston Villa, according to MLS Transfers on Twitter.

N’Doye only joined Hull from Lokomotiv Moscow on deadline day in February but after suffering relegation with the Premier League side he is likely to be on the move again.

The 30-year-old forward scored five goals in 15 Premier League games for Hull but will likely be too expensive to keep on the wage bill in the Championship next term.

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Newcastle and Aston Villa may look to move for the 26-time capped Senegal international as they look to bolster their strike forces this summer.

Though LA Galaxy may also look to sign him as they too have reportedly been offered the chance to add the former Copenhagen striker.

One major issue with any Galaxy move is that the club do not currently have any open Designated Player slots.

Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez and Steven Gerrard are all DP’s and so a move for N’Doye is unlikely.

Add that to the fact that a transfer fee would be necessary, and it’s difficult to see him winding up in MLS this summer.

Would Dame N’Doye be a good signing for the LA Galaxy? 

2014/15 Premier League Review: Hull City

Premier League Final Position: 18th 

Review

The 2014/15 season was a difficult one for Hull City fans to take and the side never really got going. The Tigers won on the opening day but then had a run five games before their next win came and winless streaks became a feature of their season. Their longest winless run came between October 18 and December 20, where Steve Bruce’s failed to take all three points in ten. The Tigers only registered eight wins all season, drew 11 and lost 19 games and their tally of 35 points was two worse than last season. They did show in patches in the season they were capable of picking up points from difficult games but ultimately Bruce’s side never had enough to stay up.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

1-0 win over Liverpool – one of the better moments of Hull’s season. This gave them some hope in their battle against relegation but, unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough.

Worst Moment

Losing both home and away to Burnley. To avoid the drop it is essential to pick up points from teams around you in the league and taking points from both these games could have made all the difference.

Player of the Year

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Ahmed Elmohamady – the winger featured in all 38 of the season and his work-rate was impressive. If Hull can keep players with his mentality they will have a chance of bouncing back next season.

Biggest Win 

Hull City 2-0 Crystal Palace (Oct 4, 2014)
Sunderland 0-2 Hull City (Dec 26, 2014)
Hull City 2-0 Everton (Jan 1, 2015)
Hull City 2-0 Aston Villa (Feb 10, 2015)
Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull City (Apr 25, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester United 3-0 Hull City (Nov 29, 2014)
West Ham United 3-0 Hull City (Jan 18, 2015)
Hull City 0-3 Newcastle United (Jan 31, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Hull City have an awful lot to improve on if they are to come back into the Premier League. Steve Bruce will be hoping to avoid a mass-exodus, but at the same time there are players who Hull need to move on. Conceding was a real problem for Hull this season and if they are to stand any chance of a swift return to the Premier League they have to solidify their leaky defence.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: West Ham

Premier League Final Position: 12th 

Review

West Ham endured a dismal second half of the season, which finished with a 2-0 loss away to Newcastle United, and following the release of Sam Allardyce, the club are now looking for a new manager in what was a season of two halves.

Interestingly if the season had started at Christmas then West Ham would have been relegated based on their form as they only managed 16 points from their last 21 matches.

It’s very much looking like a season for the Hammers to build on though as they played some very attractive football in places, especially early on. Whoever the new manager is, they have a decent platform in the current squad to build on.

And should they capture their early season form to start the coming season, there is no reason to rule out a European place come next May but finding consistency is crucial.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

The 2-1 win over Manchester City was the highlight of a very good start to the season for the Hammers as they managed to place fourth at Christmas.

Worst Moment

The final day 2-0 loss to Newcastle was the icing on a very disappointing cake for ‘Big Sam’s’ men. It was Newcastle’s first win in 11 Premier League games and the Hammers’ late season capitulation was highlighted in that game.

Player of the Year

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Stewart Downing – The England International had an amazing season with the Hammers and arguably merited an England recall. With six goals and eight assists he has proved to be a valuable asset for the East London side and will look to improve again next term.

Biggest Win

West Ham 3-0 Hull City (January 18, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Arsenal 3-0 West Ham (March 14, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Consistency. There is a common theme that runs with West Ham and that is their inability to perform at their potential for a prolonged duration. An early season charge was outdone with their late season struggle and this will need addressing in the coming months. The upcoming season will be their last at Upton Park and they will want to leave on a positive note before the move to the Olympic Stadium.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Hull City vs. Manchester United

Venue: KC Stadium – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Hull City 21/10 – Draw 5/2 – Manchester United 6/5

Match Preview

Hull City face Manchester United for the last game of the Premier League season at KC Stadium on Sunday in an absolute must-win game for the Tigers if they are to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.

Steve Bruce‘s side have only managed to win two of their last eleven games (D2, L7) and have also lost their last three consecutively – the most recent was a 2-0 defeat away at Tottenham.

The defeat that will be hurting the Tigers the most is the 1-0 loss at home to Burnley which has now left them the monumental task of having to beat Manchester United and hoping that Newcastle don’t win against West Ham.

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A draw will not be enough to keep Hull alive, so they have nothing to lose coming into this game and can throw caution to the wind – the problem will arise if they commit too many men forward and allow United to hit them on the break.

Manchester United have faint hopes of finishing in third and avoiding the Champions League qualificaiton playoff, but they will be relying on Arsenal losing at home to West Brom for that to be possible and given the Gunners’ superior goal difference, there would have to be an extremely unlikely scoreline in one of the games.

Louis Van Gaal‘s side have taken their foot off the gas slightly and since a run of six straight wins, the Red Devils have now lost three of their last five (W1, D1).

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Ex-United player Steve Bruce is in the opposing dugout looking to save Hull from the drop and his old club could hammer the final nail in the coffin.

United comfortably won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Old Trafford back in November thanks to Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie.

Team News

Hull City will be without the injured Mohamed Diame, Gaston Ramirez and Robert Snodgrass, while Jake Livermore is unavailable for non-footballing reasons. Curtis Davies will face a late fitness test.

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Manchester United will be without the injured Luke Shaw, Rafael and Michael Carrick. David De Gea, Jonny Evans and Wayne Rooney will all be assessed to see if they’re fit for action.

Key Points

Hull City’s last five: W/W/L/L/L

Manchester United’s last five: L/L/L/W/D

Key Stat: Hull City have lost every one of the seven Premier League game they’ve played against Manchester United. The Tigers also haven’t beaten United since 1974 in a Division Two game.

Key Player: Marouane Fellaini – The Belgian isn’t the prettiest player on the eye, but he’s been extremely effective in recent weeks and could be influential once again.

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Score Prediction

Hull City 1-2 Manchester United – It’s hard to see how Hull can turn round their season now. Even if they win, it may not be enough. They will try their hardest to win the game, but United will have too much quality for them.

PODCAST: LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and Hull City relegation battle discussed

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast, host Zack Walford talks to Ben Ashton and Lewis Addley about LA Galaxy’s slow start to the season, San Jose Earthquakes being the surprise package so far and we also discuss Hull City’s imminent potential relegation from the Premier League.

As always, comment below if you have any thoughts on the topics discussed or get in touch on Twitter: @MLSGB_.