On the fourth of October, Crystal Palace travel to the KC Stadium to take on Hull City. While this match doesn’t have the star power of say Arsenal vs Chelsea, the points in this match could be vital for both of these sides come the end of the season. This is a classic six pointer for the relegation race and that makes it a big, albeit not a flashy, match. Both of these sides main goals this season is to stay in the Premier League. Neither team are in the relegation zone this early in the season, but neither will want to drop points against a team of a similar level to them.
Both of these teams are nearly at full strength for this match up and are both in great shape injury wise. Hull will be missing summer signing Robert Snodgrass as he continues to recover from his horrific dislocated kneecap. Palace will be at full strength if midfielder can recover from his ankle injury in time for the match. Both teams are also free of any suspensions so we should see what these teams are really made of.
Crystal Palace have won the last three of the meetings between these two squads. Palace are undefeated vs Hull in the last eight meetings. There has been a red card in each of the last two meetings between the two sides. The last time more than one goal was scored in the first half of a match between the two was the last time Hull won back in April of 2008. Hull have shipped 11 goals so far this campaign The only side with a worse defensive record that is not in the relegation zone at the moment is Everton with 14.
They key man for Crystal Palace will be their Australian captain, Mile Jedinak. Last season when Crystal Palace achieved their best ever Premier League finish they were built on defensive stability. The Australian is a catalyst for that stability in the midfield. So far this season, the 30 year old has won 53.5% of his duels, made a successful tackle every 21.6 minutes, and has made a clearance every 32 minutes. The Crystal Palace captain is that important shield in front of the back four for Palace. His ability to shield the defense as well as get out and cover the wide areas allows some of Palace’s dangerous wingers more freedom giving them the ability to get at the defense. Jedinak’s presence in the midfield is vital for Neil Warnock’s men
One of the keys for Hull this season is to have more of a goal threat in the side. Record signing Abel Hernandez gives them a much needed goal threat. Hernandez came into the team on deadline day from Palermo in Italy. He has come into the team and has scored two goals in his first three games for his new side.The former Palermo man has the pace to get in behind defenses as well as the quality to finish off his chances. The Uruguayan’s success in bagging goals will be key for Hull this entire campaign and will be crucial to this match vs Crystal Palace.
This will be a tough match to call. Both teams are somewhat cautious about going forward to begin with and neither team will want to lose a six pointer making them even more cautious. Hull have been unable to get three points against Palace for the last eight meetings, but I have them breaking that streak and squeezing a victory from this match.