Hull City will be looking to lift themselves away from the relegation zone with a win over a struggling Everton side at the KC Stadium on New Year’s Day.
The home side suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Leicester City at the weekend, the latter achieving their first win in 14 games. The result leaves Steve Bruce’s team just outside the bottom three on goal difference and with the January transfer window upon us, the need for a win is urgent.
Everton are struggling themselves, finding themselves in the bottom half of the table and just five points above the relegation zone. They are in desperate need of a confidence boost and playing against Hull could provide an opportunity for a much needed win for Roberto Martinez’ team.
Everton can’t move further up the table even with three points but if Hull can get the victory, they can move up to 15th place in the table providing that other results go their way, of course.
Gaston Ramirez and Andy Robertson are both likely to miss this game for Hull. Michael Dawson and Mohamed Diame are still injured and won’t be available for selection until late January at the earliest. Robert Snodgrass remains the only long-term injury for Hull.
Everton are currently ravaged by injuries but do have some reason for optimism: Phil Jagielka, James McCarthy and John Stones could all return to the squad for this game, providing they pass fitness tests. Christian Atsu could also return to the side for this match. The news that came today will be another disappointing episode for Everton fans; Tim Howard is out for six weeks with an injury. Joel Robles will likely start in goal in his place.
- Hull have not won any of their last four league meetings with Everton.
- They have won just seven points from their last 12 games.
- Everton won the corresponding fixture last season 2-0.
- However, Everton have lost their last three league games.
In a season of bad performances for Hull City, Elmohamady has been one of their most consistent players. He has played in every league game so far this season in Hull’s midfield. He has created 28 chances and made three assists for his team mates. According to Squawka.com, Elmohamady has completed 605 passes so far which gives him a passing accuracy of 77%. Hull fans will be pleased to know that around three quarters of these passes were going forward. He has won 54% of his overall duels and when you look at the relevant statistics, he has a winning percentage in every one. He has been involved in an average of five defensive actions per game with most of these being defensive clearances. If Hull are going to beat Everton, then they need players like Elmohamady to inspire them to it.
While Barkley may not have quite reached the bar he set for himself last season, he has still demonstrated why he is considered one of the Premier League’s best youngsters. He has made 12 appearances so far this season and has scored one goal. According to Squawka.com, he has created 16 chances for team mates but only one of these have resulted in an assist. He has an 89% passing accuracy as he has completed 490 passes in the league. However, unlike his counterpart at Hull, just over half of these were forward passes. He has won 55% of his overall duels and while he has a winning percentage in most of the relevant statistics, he has only won 45% of the tackles he has attempted. Hull’s defence have been weak this season and there is nothing that Barkley loves to do more than run at defenders. I expect this to cause havoc for the home side as the game goes on.
Both teams have been struggling this season but I think that Everton have still put in some good performances despite that. Hull may have home advantage but their record against Everton is poor and so I cannot see anything other than a 2-1 win for Everton in this game.