Considering the fact that Hull were plying their trade in the Championship last term, and Manchester City are naturally the big spenders of British football, one would immediately think that the scoreline writes itself for this game. However, with City experiencing something of a blip through recent weeks, there are suspicions that their hosts might be able to make their home advantage count.
With five points and a game in hand separating Hull from the bottom three, Steve Bruce will approach this clash with little pressure on his shoulders. The club are not expected to get any sort of result against a side as lofty as City and even if they do suffer a defeat, they are unlikely to be thrown into severe relegation difficulties. Nevertheless, after thrashing Sunderland 3-0 in their last game and subsequently reaching the FA Cup semi final, Bruce will be keen to make sure that his side keep their eyes firmly on the league as well. While they did lose their last game in emphatic fashion to Newcastle, prior to that they thrashed Cardiff 4-0 so it’s clear that they just need to iron out some inconsistencies.
When we talk about inconsistencies, Manchester City are experiencing one of their biggest blips yet. For months Manuel Pellegrini’s side looked invincible, but now question marks are being raised as they sit in 4th spot, nine points behind Chelsea. Admittedly, they still have three games in hand over the league leaders, but having last four of their last eight in all competitions their form is hardly inspiring. The most worrying fact perhaps relates to their home form and Pellegrini might be relieved to see the back of the Etihad Stadium this weekend, with three of those losses occurring on their own turf over the last month.
Hull appear to be boosted ahead of this clash with James Chester poised to make a rare start after finally recovering from his hamstring issues. It gets better for Steve Bruce at the opposite end of the field as well, with Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long both back in contention after being cup-tied for the last game. It’s a little different for Manchester City meanwhile, who won’t be able to rely on Sergio Aguero after he picked up a hamstring injury in the loss to Barcelona. Martin Demichelis might be recalled though, with the defender missing the European game due to a suspension.
As for a prediction, we think normal service will be resumed for Manchester City this weekend. Now that they have been eliminated from the FA Cup and the Champions League, their main focus will be clawing back that nine point deficit and our tip is therefore going to be a 2-0 away victory.