The FourFourTwo Preview: Man City vs Hull
Hull's chance to kick Man City while they're down (but more likely, Man City's chance to get back up and kick Hull where the sun don't shine…)
Hull's previous two Premier League visits to the Etihad (nee the City of Manchester Stadium) have been more memorable for what happened when the ball wasn't in play. The first, on Boxing Day 2008, saw then-Tigers boss Phil Brown give his half-time team talk on the pitch in front of the travelling fans, after a dismal first-half showing which left his side trailing 4-0. Eleven months later, crap-haired japester Jimmy Bullard mimicked Brown's actions of the previous season after scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Manchester City have come a long way in the intervening four years, and despite their defeat at Cardiff last Sunday, a similar result would be a huge upset.
Hull will know they're up against it but should be in the right mindset, having come under siege in the first half of their opening match at Chelsea, then gone down to 10 men just 26 minutes into their second game against Norwich. Their performances thus far will have pleased Steve Bruce, and he'll likely be content enough with another solid showing this time out, regardless of the result.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Hull City 2-1 Man City (PL, Feb 10)
- Man City 1-1 Hull City (PL, Nov 09)
- Man City 5-1 Hull City (PL, Dec 08)
- Hull City 2-2 Man City (PL, Nov 08)
- Man City 4-1 Hull City (D2, Jan 89)
Manchester City will still be without skipper and defensive linchpin Vincent Kompany, with Stevan Jovetic and Micah Richards both said to be 'touch and go', which is an odd phrase when you think about it.
Hull have Amdy Faye and Stephen Quinn sidelined until mid September.
Key battle: Sergio Aguero v Curtis Davies
Hull's victory over Norwich came thanks largely to a solid rearguard action, with centre-back Davies winning many plaudits for his impressive showing. However, facing Aguero will be an altogether different proposition to Norwich's Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
The Argentine will drop deep and drift wide to pick up possession, leaving Davies (and defensive partner James Chester) unsure whether to hold their position or stick with their opponent.
Let us shock you, Manuel Pellegrini and Steve Bruce have yet to pit their wits against one another. Although we all know which of the pair is likely to endure an unhappy afternoon on Saturday - and indeed, an unhappy season - the pressure is more firmly heaped on the Chilean at present.
Should his team again fail to win, the pressure would be enormous. It would be a ridiculous state of affairs given he's been in the job barely a couple of months, but that's football.
Facts and figures
- Manchester City have not lost successive Premier League games since October 30 2010.
- Hull have won just seven points from a possible 75 in their last 25 Premier League away games (W0 D7 L18).
- Hull City won the last meeting between these two teams in the Premier League (2-1 in Feb 2010).This remains their only victory over Man City in the Premier League (W1 D2 L1).
- Hull City have not won back to back Premier League games since October 2008 (69 matches since) – the longest such run in the competition currently.
- Edin Dzeko has attempted more shots than any other player in the Barclays Premier League so far this season (10).
- Man City have scored in each of their last 51 home league matches – the longest current run of its kind.
- Former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce has won just four of the 17 clashes he has had with Manchester City in the Premier League as a manager. None of those wins have come away from home.
- Watford (39) were the only team to win more points on the road in the Championship last season than Hull City (36).
- In each of the last two seasons, Manchester City lost just once after taking the lead in the Premier League. They matched those figures with defeat to Cardiff last weekend - 2-3, after leading 1-0.
- Hull striker Danny Graham has failed to score in 1,056 minutes of Premier League football.
Manchester City to bounce back from Sunday's disappointment in Cardiff with a emphatic victory. 3-0.
Man City vs Hull LIVE ANALYSIS using online Stats Zone