Premier League Preview: Hull v Aston Villa
Both teams put dismal recent form behind them to put in spirited displays against title chasers Chelsea and Manchester City at the weekend.
An injury-time free-kick from James Milner rescued a 1-1 draw for Manuel Pellegrini's defending champions against Hull after David Meyler stunned the Etihad Stadium with a first-half opener.
Jores Okore ended Villa's 659-minute goal drought with a second-half equaliser against Chelsea before a superb strike from Branislav Ivanovic ensured the league leaders left Villa Park with a 2-1 victory.
The result means Villa have now gone nine Premier League matches without a win since beating bottom club Leicester City on December 7.
But manager Paul Lambert believes the manner of their performance can lend fresh impetus to a team perched precariously two points about the bottom three.
"Villa are going into a run of games where, if we play like that, hopefully we will pick up a lot more points," he said.
"We set a standard there, if we do that, hopefully we will win more games than not.
"You want to go as high as you can possibly can. There are a lot of games still to go but if we do that in the coming weeks, we will pick up points, that's for sure.
"That's the standard they have set themselves. If they play like that and keep that creativity and tempo to their game, they will win more than not."
Lambert could welcome Ron Vlaar back into his starting line-up - the influential defender featured in the matchday squad as an unused substitute against Chelsea for the first time since sustaining a knee problem in early January.
Hull boss Steve Bruce restored Paul McShane, Alex Bruce, Robbie Brady and Sone Aluko at Eastlands and the quartet are well placed to retain their places having helped to halt a three-match losing streak.
Deadline-day signing Dame N'Doye made his debut as a second-half substitute and is likely to be involved once more.
Midfielders Mohamed Diame and Robert Snodgrass (both knee) remain in the Hull treatment room alongside defenders Liam Rosenior (hamstring) and James Chester (shoulder).
Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann were on target as Villa beat Hull 2-1 in August's reverse fixtures - the second of three victories in the opening four league matches of the campaign for Lambert's men. They have collected three points only twice following that early purple patch.