Hull City will be hoping to make it three league wins in a row when they take on Stoke City at the Britannia on Saturday afternoon.
After their successive wins over Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers, Hull have managed to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three. They are not out of the woods yet however and could really do with another victory, although this will not be easy against a Stoke side who have their own aspirations of moving higher up the table.
Stoke picked up a much needed win over Aston Villa last weekend after they had suffered some heavy defeats in the previous weeks. They are currently tenth place in the league and are only three points behind West Ham in eighth. Mark Hughes will make sure his team knows this heading into the game as the fans will be expecting three points.
Stoke have a few injuries in their side that won’t be available this weekend. Marc Muniesa is the player nearest to a return, although not until early April at least. There is still no word on when Ryan Shawcross will be available for selection while Bojan Krkic and Peter Odemwingie will miss the rest of the season.
Mohamed Diame may be able to return for Stoke this weekend but we will know for sure after Hughes’ press conference tomorrow. Liam Rosenior and James Chester are out of action until April at least, while it will be closer to the end of the season before Robert Snodgrass is able to return.
The corresponding fixture resulted in a 1-1 draw earlier in the season.
Stoke have won three of their last six games in the league.
If they win this weekend, Stoke can move up to eighth if other results go their way.
Hull have only won two of their last six league games, both of which have come in the last two weeks.
They have been unable to win any of their previous three away games.
N’Zonzi has been one of Stoke’s most reliable players this season and has made 26 league appearances for the club. From his position in midfield, he has scored one goal and created 18 chances for his team mates which according to Squawka.com, has resulted in one assist for him. He has completed 1,211 passes in the league so far this season which means he has a passing accuracy of 84%. The Frenchman has a 59% success rate in duels, however he has a losing statistic in the most important aspect of duelling; tackling. N’Zonzi has been very good this season at protecting his defence and he will be called upon to do the same against Hull on Saturday.
As ever, Elmohamady has been a standout for Hull this season, making 26 appearances in the league. Like his Stoke counterpart, the midfielder has scored one goal this season but according to Squawka.com, he has created 39 chances for his team mates and made three assists in the process. He has a passing accuracy of 76% after completing 803 passes in the league so far, 74% of which have been forward passes. Elmohamady has won 55% of the duels he has been involved in but it is a better story for him than N’Zonzi, as he has a winning percentage in each of the statistics in this area. Elmohamady has the potential to drive his team on to a win and he will have to be at his best against Stoke.
Despite their return to form, I can’t see Hull winning this match. I believe Stoke to be the better side and when you add their home advantage to that, they should win the game. I think it will finish 2-1 to Stoke.
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