Both sides head into this game having suffered defeats in their last five matches but Liverpool have the slight edge when it comes to form with the Reds recording their first back-to-back victories of the season last weekend when they beat Harry Redknapp’s QPR – Liverpool have two wins in five matches compared to Hull’s solitary one victory. However, you wouldn’t like to call Liverpool’s two recent victories good form with both matches (West Brom and QPR) turning out to be real struggles for the Merseyside team. Hull meanwhile have enjoyed themselves so far this season. The Tigers sit in eleventh place which is probably where they’d realistically like to be at this stage of the season. Hull’s supporters will hope this comfortable status lasts the full course of the season with securing safety surely the Eastern club’s foremost objective.
For Hull this might be a free swing but a victory here is the only thing that will satisfy an increasingly frustrated Liverpool support – this is the second match in a reasonable run of fixtures for the Reds and points must be won to ensure their average start doesn’t turn into a really bad one.
Brendan Rodgers refused to put a time scale on Daniel Sturridge’s comeback during his Thursday afternoon press conference so the England striker could be out for many more weeks with his fresh calf injury. Attacking midfielder Suso is out until December with a groin strain – by which time he might have agreed a deal to move elsewhere such is the confusion surrounding his existence at Anfield. Out of favour centre-back Mamadou Sakho is out for at least another ten days after he confirmed via Facebook that his thigh injury is still hampering his ability to figure for the Reds. Jon Flanagan is the player facing the longest spell out with the young full-back out until at least mid December after his knee operation.
Steve Bruce has issues of his own to deal with and he travels to Merseyside with five injuries harming his squad. Defender Michael Dawson should be out with an ankle knock whilst goalkeepers Steve Harper and Allan McGregor are missing with arm and shoulder injuries respectively. However, Bruce will miss his creative players the most with Nikica Jelavic (knee) and Robert Snodgrass (knee, season) out for the foreseeable future.
- Liverpool have kept just one clean sheet this season (away to Tottenham Hotspur) and that one clean sheet is their only one in their last 17 Premier League games.
- Liverpool are yet to score from a corner this season.
- Liverpool have already completed a massive 302 clearances so far this term.
- Hull have scored two goals directly from set-pieces this season (not including penalties and shooting free-kicks) – the Tigers have scored one goal each from corners and crossed free-kicks.
- Both sides have scored 13 league goals this season.
- Liverpool win 50% of their duels compared to Hull’s slightly lower 48%.
- Steven Gerrard has scored four goals against Hull City in the past – including two free-kicks. With this in mind, Tailor Bet are offering 3.5/1 for Steven Gerrard to score at anytime during Saturday’s match. Don’t miss out – Liverpool are due a penalty!
At the moment, if Raheem Sterling doesn’t play well then Liverpool play awfully. Such is his importance to this Liverpool side, Sterling hasn’t been rested since his return from international duty – perhaps meaning manager Brendan Rodgers no longer has any high ground on the issue of player burnout. Liverpool struggle to create without him and they only scraped past QPR last week because the young England international burst into life during key moments of the game – namely the first, second and third Liverpool goals.
Sterling has been a beacon of hope for Liverpool supporters this season and he’s tried his best to force Liverpool into some kind of creative fluency. The young attacker has bagged three goals for the Reds in eight league appearances whilst also maintaining a high shot accuracy of 64%. The pacey winger has also created 21 chances for his teammates this season which is just under three chances created per 90 minutes played – a level not dissimilar to Luis Suarez during last season. However, Sterling’s care in the final third must be improved with his passing accuracy standing at just 78% – this could be down to Liverpool’s poor movement this season but nevertheless it needs to improve.
Abel Hernandez has enjoyed a very good start to his career in English football and the exciting striker is already one of the main men over at the KC Stadium.
Hernandez matches Sterling when it comes to league goals scored (three) but the Uruguayan frontman has done this in three less appearances than his English opponent. Hernandez has been incredibly efficient so far this season with 75% of his shots hitting the target and troubling the ‘keeper. However, there are some areas of his game that require improvement. The Uruguay international has only won 34% of his total duels this season which could be an indication that he is yet to fully settle into life in the pacey Premier League. Hernandez is also not the most creative of strikers with just the two chances created for his teammates in five league appearances.
My prediction for this one is a 2-1 home win. If Liverpool don’t win this game there will be serious question marks above the manager’s head and anything less than three points will indicate a desperate regression from last season – when Liverpool were almost perfect at home. Hull will certainly give the Merseyside club a good game – they did very well during their recent away draw with Arsenal – but quality should ensure Liverpool take the three points here.