Tiger Taming At The KC On Sunday!Stats
Hull v Stoke
Hull take on Stoke on Sunday afternoon with the Tigers eager to prove they have the squad to cope both domestically and in Europe this season.
Belgian side Lokeren inflicted a first defeat of the season on Hull in their Europa League clash on Thursday night. Boss Steve Bruce made wholesale changes to the side that won their opening Premier League fixture; a 1-0 victory over newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. The manager’s plan backfired as the scoreline was reversed on their trip to the lowlands and the Tigers now have to win next week if they’re not to be knocked out of the first European campaign in the club’s history before the group stages have even been reached.
James Chester’s header got his side off to the perfect start in their league campaign last weekend with a missed penalty by the R’s Charlie Austin sealing the home side’s fate. Hull began their season earlier this month as they overcame Slovakian outfit Trencin 2-1 on aggregate with all the goals coming at the KC Stadium in the second leg.
Bruce’s former Manchester United team-mate Mark Hughes has high hopes for his Stoke side going into this campaign, as the former Old Trafford striker appears to have secured some astute deals over the summer in his recruitment at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters were disappointing in their opening Premier League game of the season last weekend though as they were beaten 1-0 at home by an Aston Villa team many expect to struggle this season and have seen plenty of action in the relegation market. Andreas Weimann’s second half goal gave the Villans all three points as new arrivals Bojan Krkic and Mame Biram Diouf struggled in their competitive debuts for the club.
Robert Snodgrass can count himself desperately unlucky as the Scottish international midfielder has been ruled out for ‘most of the season’ by Bruce after dislocating a kneecap against QPR, his first league game for the club since moving from Norwich over the summer. Defender Alex Bruce is a doubt with a back problem which saw him replaced at half-time at Loftus Road, but the boss is expected to revert to the majority of last weekend’s lineup once more.
Hughes has a clean bill of health to choose from, and has already stated that his selections this season will be on a game by game basis with the likes of Steve Sidwell, Geoff Cameron, Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie all vying for a starting berth with new signing Victor Moses likely to make his first appearance in a Stoke shirt after joining on loan from Chelsea last weekend.
The teams played out a scoreless draw in this fixture last season, with Odemwingie grabbing the only goal of the game at the Brtiannia.
Hull have won just one of the six meetings between the teams in the Premier League and only two of their past ten clashes have had more than two goals.
With both sides coming into this game on the back of poor results there’s plenty for each of them to prove and a tight contest – there’s rarely been anything but in this fixture – is the likely consequence.
Under 2.5 goals seems an obvious punt given the recent history between the teams but at 1/2 seems slightly short so of the odds on bets both teams not to score appeals most at 8/11. Hull didn’t concede many (21) on their own patch last term but scored even fewer (20) so for me a first win of the season for the Potters looks great value at 23/10.