Hull City FC

Midweek Preview and Predictions

Tuesday

Hull vs Liverpool (19:45)
This is a fixture that should mean a lot to both sides who both have a lot to play for. Hull are fighting for their lives down at the bottom and have one of the toughest run-ins. Liverpool can close the gap on United to four points with a win and give themselves an outside chance of a top-four spot. Hull recorded a vital away win at the weekend to give them hope of survival while Liverpool fluffed their lines once more. Had the Reds won that match they would have really been in with a shout of getting a top-four spot but they simply cannot afford to lose this. This will come down to who wants it more but Liverpool should have enough to get it.
Prediction: Hull 1-2 Liverpool

Wednesday

Leicester vs Chelsea (19:45)
What a run Leicester have been on! Some may say they were slightly fortuitous to get the win against Burnley last time out but they have pulled themselves out of the relegation in the most unlikely fashion and could yet survive – a terrific achievement. Chelsea, meanwhile, showed once again why they are deserving champions with an excellent defensive performance against Arsenal and they will be confident of extending their lead at the top tonight. Leicester will play for a point but will keep looking nervously over their shoulder.
Prediction: Leicester 0-1 Chelsea

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@0riginalfooty takes a look at the weekend’s fixtures for the 21st round of Premier League football. Last time out we got four out of ten predictions right and one correct score. Will we do better this week?

Saturday

Sunderland vs Liverpool (12:45)
Sunderland are continually proving themselves to be difficult to beat, although they don’t win enough games. Liverpool slipped up against Leicester in their last match and were very lucky to even get a draw after earning some very dubious penalties. Sunderland have enough about them to get a point.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Liverpool

Burnley vs QPR (15:00)
This is a big game for both these teams. A win will do great damage to their relegation rivals and allow the other breathing space. Burnley fought hard for a point against Newcastle while QPR dropped two points against 10-man Swansea. The R’s are yet to pick up a point on the road this season but they will know how important it is not to lose this match and I think they can get a draw.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 QPR

Chelsea vs Newcastle (15:00)
Chelsea’s remarkable loss to Spurs was completely unexpected and nobody would have thought that they would concede five goals in a single match this season. Newcastle were also involved in a goal fest against Burnley and will have confidence coming into this game having beaten Chelsea earlier in the season. Having said that, Chelsea rarely lose two league matches in a row and normally make a statement to their rivals after defeat. A comfortable home win.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle

Everton vs Man City (15:00)
Everton are close to scooping the prize for most disappointing team of the season and if they continue this form, they could get relegated. I’ve been expecting them to turn things around for a while but they look shot of confidence and are really struggling. City, on the other hand, pulled level with Chelsea at the top of the table and will believe they can regain their title. Everton’s misery will go on.
Prediction: Everton 0-3 Man City

Leicester vs Aston Villa (15:00)
This is another big game at the bottom of the table. Leicester have clawed their way back into contention after appearing dead and buried a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Villa may be sitting in 12th but they are struggling in front of goal and face a tough run of fixtures against three of last seasons top four in their next three matches. Paul Lambert is coming under increasing pressure from the fans and will be desperate for all three points here. They might be playing Leicester at the wrong time, though, and The Foxes are good value for at least a draw.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Aston Villa

Swansea vs West Ham (15:00)
The Swans have lost top scorer Wilfried Bony to international duty and that will prove a huge miss. There’s a good chance that he has played his last game for Garry Monk’s side and will join Man City in this transfer window. West Ham dropped two points in what should have been a comfortable win against West Brom but they have enough to get a point from this one.
Prediction: Swansea 1-1 West Ham

West Brom vs Hull (15:00)
This is another huge relegation matchup this weekend between two struggling sides. Hull pulled off a good victory against Everton in their last league match, while The Baggies fought hard for a point away at West Ham. Only a point separates the two teams but West Brom have Tony Pulis in charge now who oversaw a comfortable FA Cup victory last weekend and he has a knack of earning good results.
Prediction: West Brom 3-2 Hull

Crystal Palace vs Spurs (17:30)
Alan Pardew takes charge of his first league game against London rivals Spurs who demolished Chelsea in their last match. The Eagles will be up for this game and Selhurst Park should be rocking and I fancy Palace to nick a point.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Spurs

Sunday

Arsenal vs Stoke (13:30)
The Gunners were very poor in their last fixture against Southampton and Wojciech Szczesny is under pressure following a very poor performance and for being fined for smoking in the team’s showers. The Potters did well against Man United and beat Arsenal earlier in the season. Stoke will be confident of attacking Arsenal’s defence but Arsenal are generally strong at home and should have too much for them.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Stoke

Man United vs Southampton (16:00)
This is a battle between two sides who believe that a top-four spot is achievable this season. United have dropped points in recent weeks and the gap between them and their rivals has shrunk. Southampton, on the other hand, have battled back into contention after a poor run of form and Ronald Koeman is confident that they will be fighting at the top of the table for the rest of the season. This could go either way and should be an entertaining game but I’ll sit on the fence and predict a draw.
Prediction: Man United 2-2 Southampton

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@0riginalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the 17th round of Premier League football. Last weekend we got seven out of ten predictions right and three correct scores. Will we do better this week?

Saturday

Man City vs Crystal Palace (12:45)
City may not have been at their best last weekend but they still ground out a result and head into the Christmas period in good form. Palace picked up another point towards safety last weekend but will be second best here. This should be a comfortable win for the home team.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Crystal Palace

Aston Villa vs Man United (15:00)
Villa may have lost last weekend but they looked in control until Kieran Richardson got sent off and they performed admirably with 10 men for 70 minutes. United have won six on the spin but haven’t played particularly well in many of those fixtures. Winning when you’re not playing well is a good sign but Christian Benteke is a different kettle of fish to most other strikers in the league and he will put a lot of pressure on United’s weak backline. Having said that, United’s strikers are starting to find the back of the net and should be able to outscore Villa.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-3 Man United

Hull vs Swansea (15:00)
Hull are in terrible form and are showing few signs of turning it around. Swansea saw Spurs leapfrog them last season and now sit in ninth, which is roughly where I’d expect them to finish this season. Hull desperately need to win their home games but Swansea should have too much for them.
Prediction: Hull 1-2 Swansea

QPR vs West Brom (15:00)
QPR suffered yet another away loss to Everton last weekend but teams really struggle to go to Loftus Road and get a result. West Brom recorded victory over their local rivals last weekend but were by no means convincing given that they had a man advantage for the majority of the game. QPR’s home form is what will keep them up this season and they should drag West Brom back into trouble here.
Prediction: QPR 2-0 West Brom

Southampton vs Everton (15:00)
Southampton have now lost five in a row and are suffering a small crisis. The loss to Burnley was really disappointing for Ronald Koeman’s team and their squad is being stretched very thin during the Christmas period. Everton, meanwhile, look like they’re about to kick on and then suffer a surprising result – they are really lacking consistency. A draw looks probable here.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Everton

Spurs vs Burnley (15:00)
Spurs have suddenly began a climb towards the top-four and are only two points behind their main rivals Arsenal who face fellow rivals Liverpool later in the weekend. Burnley earned a magical win over Southampton and pulled themselves out of the relegation zone. Away from home they look more vunerable, however, and Spurs should take advantage of one of their main rivals dropping points and win here.
Prediction: Spurs 3-1 Burnley

West Ham vs Leicester (15:00)
West Ham are proving to be the surprise package of the season but there appears to have been some unrest in the camp this week over their wage structure. Sam Allardyce was rightly furious at certain members of his squad demanding a pay rise when they are yet to achieve anything this season. Leicester, meanwhile, are now five points away from Burnley who are just above the relegation zone and I’ll be surprised, if they don’t win before the New Year, if Nigel Pearson keeps his job. This should be a comfortable victory for The Hammers.
Prediction: West Ham 2-0 Leicester

Sunday
Newcastle vs Sunderland (13:30)
This derby matchup should provide entertaining viewing and Newcastle’s goalkeeping woes aren’t helping them. They suffered a heavy defeat to Spurs and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup but their league form is still stronger than their rivals. Sunderland drew yet again last week but the fans will want a victory here, which may leave spaces for Newcastle to exploit.
Prediction: Newcastle 3-1 Sunderland

Liverpool vs Arsenal (16:00)
This is a vitally important match for both these clubs. Arsenal need to keep pressure on Manchester United and keep distance between themselves and Liverpool while Liverpool desperately need to close the gap on their top-four rivals. Arsenal are certainly in better form following their 4-1 victory over Newcastle and pressure is really mounting on Brendan Rodgers. While Liverpool are in the bottom half, they are still only five points behind The Gunners and this is a great opportunity to really close that gap. Having said that, Arsenal will see it as a chance to put Liverpool’s top-four challenge to rest and I think they’ll have too much for The Reds.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

Monday
 
Stoke vs Chelsea (20:00)
This is a game Man City will be looking at and hoping that Chelsea will slip up. Stoke are known for being solid at home but have been less consistent there this season. Chelsea are still viewed as favourites for the title and won’t give Manuel Pellegrini an early Christmas present by losing here.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2  Chelsea

Premier League Preview: Hull City

There are only 4 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Hull.

On the face of things, referring purely to the Premier League table from last year, Hull had a pretty bad season, finishing in 16th place and a mere 4 points above the relegation zone. However, in reality, Hull had a very successful season. They reached the final of the FA Cup, which affected their league form towards the back end of the season, and for the majority of the campaign they looked a solid Premier League side.

The Manager
Steve Bruce has been the manager of Hull City for two years now, getting Hull promoted to the Premier League in his first season in charge through automatic promotion and keeping them afloat in his second. He’s a well-respected and liked manager throughout the game with previous spells at Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City.

Steve Bruce has enjoyed 2 very good seasons in Hull

Steve Bruce has enjoyed 2 very good seasons in Hull

Biggest Signing
Hull City’s chairman, Assem Allam, seems to have confidence in Steve Bruce as shown by his willingness to pay good money for proven Premier League players such as Tom Huddlestone, Shane Long and Nikica Jelavić. Despite signing Tom Ince on a free this summer I would argue that the purchase of Robert Snodgrass will be their best signing as he has performed well in the Premier League previously with Norwich City whereas Ince hardly impressed in his spell with Palace. Hull have also secured the services of Jake Livermore on a permanent basis, who was an important part of their midfield last season, and that is a good piece of business from the club.

Robert Snodgrass is a proven Premier League performer

Robert Snodgrass is a proven Premier League performer

Who is tipped to join them?
Michael Dawson has been linked and Bruce declared his admiration for the player but also admitted it may be hard to persuade Tottenham to sell at the price they are offering due to the number of years left on Dawson’s contract. Steve Bruce is also hopeful of making Harry Maguire from Sheffield United his fourth signing of the summer with a fee close to being agreed with United.

Harry Maguire is reported to be en route to the KC Stadium

Harry Maguire is reported to be en route to the KC Stadium

Who should they sign?
Hull have a strong squad and Steve Bruce is right in declaring that it’s the best squad the club has ever had in it’s history. One area they could perhaps strengthen is the centre-back area, which they are looking to do because of a lack of partners for Curtis Davies. Dawson would be an excellent acquisition in that respect and Bruce seems to be on the right track with his recruitment drive.

Michael Dawson would be a terrific capture for Hull

Michael Dawson would be a terrific capture for Hull

Key Player
Voted player of the season last year Curtis Davies will once again be Hull’s key player for the coming season. It’s always important to build from the defence when forming a good, solid team and Davies provides just that for Hull. Hull will need big performances from Davies once again in order to build on last season’s success.

Davies is crucial to Hull's Premier League aspirations

Davies is crucial to Hull’s Premier League aspirations

Prediction
I think that Hull will go from strength to strength this coming season with the Long/Jelavić partnership having had a whole pre-season to develop and Huddlestone/Livermore providing a good platform in the centre of midfield. I expect them to finish in the top half of the table, which would represent an excellent campaign. Expect Hull to finish 10th.