Free falling Hull City host Swansea City in a crucial game as the season enters the festive period. They find themselves in serious trouble lying second from bottom in the table with almost half of the season played with Steve Bruce becoming the bookies’ favourite for the sack after a dismal run, which stretched to nine games without a win after the defeat to Chelsea last week.
Swansea meanwhile have been dragged into mid-table after a strong start to the season and face the prospect of three straight Premier League defeats under the reign of Gary Monk for the very first time. The Swans fell to a late defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at the Liberty Stadium and must improve their away form if they intend to pile more misery on the home side on Saturday.
Robert Snodgrass continues to recover from a dislocated kneecap and will be out until February while Mohamed Diame will be unavailable for at least another few weeks with a knee injury.
Michael Dawson picked up a hamstring injury against Chelsea and will be out for at least three weeks while Tom Huddlestone will be suspended for four matches after getting sent off at Stamford Bridge having already collected his 5th yellow card of the season.
Hatem Ben Arfa will have his loan terminated in January after a fall out with the manager and won’t be featuring again for the Tigers.
Federico Fernandez will face a late fitness test before the game while Lukasz Fabianski returns having served a one match suspension following his red card in the defeat to West Ham United.
Hull City: 4-4-1-1: McGregor; Rosenior, Chester, Davies, Robertson; Elmohamady, Meyler, Livermore, Quinn S; Aluko, Jelavic.
Swansea City: 4-2-3-1: Fabianski; Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Taylor; Britton, Ki; Routledge, Sigurdsson, Montero; Bony.
- Hull are without a win in 9 Premier League games and have won just once in their last 15 games in all competitions.
- Hull City have averaged the worst shots per game in the Premier League with just 9.2.
- Hull City haven’t scored in six of their last eight Premier League games.
- Hull City have won the least number of points at home in the Premier League (6).
- Swansea have had the most players sent off in the Premier League (4), followed by Hull who are joint second worst (3).
- Swansea have failed to win any of their last six away games in the Premier League.
- Swansea have lost a league high 16 points from winning positions this season.
- Swansea haven’t beaten Hull in their last six league encounters and haven’t scored in their last three trips to the KC Stadium.
05 Apr 2014 Hull City 1 – 0 Swansea City Premier League
09 Dec 2013 Swansea City 1 – 1 Hull City Premier League
12 Apr 2011 Swansea City 1 – 1 Hull City Championship
07 Aug 2010 Hull City 2 – 0 Swansea City Championship
26 Aug 2008 Swansea City 2 – 1 (AET) Hull City League Cup
Hull City: Ahmed Elmohamady
The versatile Egyptian has been one of the consistent performers for Steve Bruce’s side and the manager singled out the 27-year-old’s importance for the club if they are to go on a run that will lift them out of the drop zone.
Elmohamady is set to feature in his 71st consecutive Premier League game and was praised by his manager who said:
”I’ve managed Elmo for the best part of five years now, and he’s been an absolute saint for me. He is just so consistent and has got all the attributes you need to be a success in the Premier League.
Because he is so athletic, he finds it easy to play either at right-back, as a right-wing back or on the right side of midfield. He trains well, never misses a session, and he is never injured. I don’t think he has missed a training session in all the time we have been together.”
Indeed, he has played seven games as a wing-back, six as a right-back and three as a midfielder. Averaging 1.2 key passes per game, he has registered a couple of assists. His battle against Neil Taylor on Saturday will be an interesting one as Jefferson Montero will be looking to link up with the left-back and provide the ammunitions.
Swansea City: Wilfried Bony
With more goals than any other player in the Premier League in this calendar year, Bony is on a hot streak of form having scored eight goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances. The Ivorian averages 3.6 shots per game and is a clinical finisher, who has found the knack of finding the net again in recent weeks.
He is a predator in and around the six yard box, and with Montero, Sigurdsson and Routledge feeding off him; Hull’s brittle defence could be in for a rough time. With one of their best defenders Michael Dawson out injured, Bony could have a field day if he is on the top of his game.
Swansea have lost their last two games and haven’t won on the road since the opening game of the season when they beat Manchester United. Hull City however have been on a dreadful run and with key players missing in midfield and defence, the Welsh side could compound their woes with a rare away win.