The FourFourTwo Preview: Hull vs Crystal Palace
Tigers vs Eagles minus the teeth, claws and ferocity.
- Southampton 4-1 Hull (Prem)
- Hull 1-0 Sunderland (Prem)
- Spurs p2-2 Hull (LC)
- Spurs 1-0 Hull (Prem)
- Everton 2-1 Hull (Prem)
- Palace 0-0 Everton (Prem)
- WBA 2-0 Palace (Prem)
- Palace 0-2 Arsenal (Prem)
- Palace 1-4 Fulham (Prem)
- Liverpool 3-1 Palace (Prem)
Steve Bruce will have doubtlessly taken his side’s mid-table position after 11 games of their top-flight return, but he’d love nothing more than a few more points away from the KC Stadium too.
Sure, they’ve beaten Newcastle on their travels, but it’s been the only positive result in six attempts. Luckily for him, Hull have the opportunity to extend their five-game unbeaten home stretch when Crystal Palace head north.
And where to start with the table-propping Eagles? It’s just shy of a month since Ian Holloway jacked in his brief Selhurst Park tenure, yet still the south Londoners are without a permanent boss.
Poor Keith Millen has been handed the task of making Palace competitive in the meantime, but so far it’s proved nothing short of impossible. He finally picked up a point in his third game – a hard-fought goalless draw against Everton before the interlull. It's not all bad (just 95% of it).
Thankfully (or not, depending on your outlook), it appears Tony Pulis will be riding in on the white horse soon enough after finally caving to Steve Parish’s come-and-get-me plea during Holloway’s press conference. Heads up, Marouane.
Hull net-dweller Allan McGregor is in line for an early return after a thigh injury, while wide-man Robbie Brady (groin) looks likely to take his place back in the starting line-up. The game is too soon for Sone Aluko (calf), James Chester and Stephen Quinn (both hamstring).
Palace aren’t expecting any returns after the international break, meaning Adlene Guedioura (ribs), Jonny Williams, Jack Hunt (both ankle) and Glenn Murray (ACL) remain sidelined.
Player to watch: Robbie Brady (Hull)
With Hull’s form stale (one win in their last six in all competitions) and goals at a premium (nine in 11 games), hopes of injecting life back into the Tigers may rest on 21-year-old Brady. The Irishman hasn’t started since the defeat at Everton in mid-October but could be the spark on the right wing Bruce’s men need to put the basement strugglers to the sword.
Brady’s four goals this season (two penalties, admittedly) prove his threat from wide. He creates opportunities with regularity from set-pieces and isn’t afraid to help out defensively either, as shown by his seven ball recoveries against Newcastle earlier this season. If he can also start providing more crosses from open play, the likes of Yannick Sagbo & Co. might just find some more joy. They need all the help they can get right now.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Palace 4-2 Hull (C’ship, Mar 13)
- Hull 0-0 Palace (C’ship, Nov 12)
- Palace 0-0 Hull (C’ship, Mar 12)
- Hull 0-1 Palace (C’ship, Aug 11)
- Hull 1-1 Palace (C’ship, Apr 11)
It’s another new opponent in the dugout for Millen, having never crossed paths with Bruce during his short spells at Bristol City. The latter, though, as nice a chap as he is, isn’t going to go easy on his struggling opposite number.
“I’m pleased the chairman has showed trust in me," said Millen this week. "He's not had to rush into filling the position and that's good from my point of view.”
It’s certainly got nothing to do with bad planning or managerial rejections Keith, that’s for sure.
Facts and figures
- There have been just 5 goals scored in the 5 Premier League games at the KC Stadium this season.
More facts at FFT's Hull vs Crystal Palace Stats Zone page
Tips and trends
- Hull are unbeaten in their first 5 home matches since returning to the Premier League, winning 3 times.
- In each of Hull's home fixtures there have been fewer than 3 goals.
- The Tigers have also kept 4 clean sheets out of 5 and haven’t conceded in their last 3.
- Crystal Palace have failed to win any of their last 18 away games in the Premier League, a run that stretches back to October 2004.
- Palace have lost each of their 5 away matches this year, 4 of which were by 2 goals.
- Palace have failed to score in 3 of their away games this season, with each of those games providing fewer than 3 goals.
Find the best odds with Bet Butler
A slight upgrade from this fixture’s Championship stalemate last season – Hull grind it out again at home. 1-0.