Few would disagree that expectations for these two sides were quite even at the start of the campaign. Both were expected to compete in the lower reaches of the top flight although supporters will have probably be hoping for better displays than what they have witnessed, with the home outfit down in 17th position while West Brom are just one place and one point better off in 16th.
Hull actually started the campaign in reasonably solid form, but over recent weeks their results have taken a real turn for the worse. There was plenty of optimism after the Tigers managed a comfortable win over Crystal Palace, and a draw with Arsenal at the start of October. However, those results have been the only shining light over recent times, with the club embarking on a run which has seen them collect just two points from their last six games. It means that they are looking precariously over their shoulder, and one could suggest that Steve Bruce might have some concerns for his job if they fail to get anything against their fellow strugglers this weekend.
On the subject of those fellow strugglers, West Brom are another side who seem to be on a huge downward spiral. It would be fair to say that most fans weren’t satisfied with the appointment of Alan Irvine in the first place, so the fact that they have now lost four straight games has done his case no good whatsoever. We should probably add that it was this sort of run that cost Steve Clarke his job last term – so there could be a definite reason to worry for former Sheffield Wednesday boss Irvine. Admittedly, the club have had some tough games and have lost to both Arsenal and Chelsea as part of that run, but it means that a lot of pressure is now heaped on the Baggies’ shoulders for these crunch ties against other teams who are struggling.
In terms of team news, Hull will be boosted with the return of Abel Hernandez after he missed the club’s last two games due to paternity leave. It’s not all positive for the Tigers though, with Gaston Ramirez suspended and Mohamed Diame still struggling with a knee problem. West Brom on the other hand won’t be able to rely on the services of Chris Brunt and Jonas Olsson through injury, while Claudio Yacob is suspended. On a more positive note, there could be places for James Morrison and Sebastien Pocognoli who both return from the sidelines.
As for a prediction, we think this could be the perfect opportunity for Hull to end their recent poor form. They’re up against a side who are exceptionally low on confidence and with the Tigers armed with the home advantage, we think they will edge this one in 1-0 fashion.