Hull City face a pivotal match in their battle to avoid relegation back to the Championship as they prepare to welcome Burnley to the KCOM Stadium. Under Marco Silva, the Tigers have won every game in front of their supporters and stand a fighting chance of remaining a Premier League club for next season, something that seemed improbable at Christmas. Burnley are licking their wounds after suffering a shock FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Lincoln City last weekend. Sean Dyche’s troops are in 12th position, 10 points clear of the drop-zone and tomorrow’s opponents.
Hull’s last outing was the controversial 2-0 reversal against Arsenal a fortnight ago, a match in which they impressed everyone with their spirit and tenacity. It ended a promising run of form that has helped them climb off the foot of the table. Victory over Liverpool and a draw against Manchester United mean they are only one point adrift of 17th-placed Leicester City. Burnley’s results at home in the Premier League have been nothing short of extraordinary, with nine victories to their name already. But on their travels, they have collected only one point, a pattern that Dyche will be desperate to halt.
No Premier League team has a longer injury list than Hull. Recent additions to the treatment table are Abel Hernandez (hamstring strain) and Michael Dawson (calf). With Curtis Davis also sidelined, Silva’s defensive options are seriously depleted. Ryan Mason also remains out of contention following the fractured skull he sustained against Chelsea last month. Kevin Long and Johann Berg Gudmundsson may be available for selection, however. For Burnley, Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick will serve the first game of a two-match suspension. Summer signing Steven Defour is back in training but unlikely to feature.
Hull City starting XI Burnley starting XI
These two sides were promoted from the Championship last season and have performed admirably this campaign. Although Burnley are higher in the standings, their failure to take more than one point on the road thus far is a real concern. The Clarets will be eager to prove a point following their FA Cup embarrassment, but Hull have been dominant at the KCOM Stadium, particularly since Silva arrived, and they will fancy their chances of recording another victory here.
Score prediction: Hull City 2-1 Burnley