Bournemouth vs Hull: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Bournemouth and Hull City meet at the Vitality Stadium this weekend, with both clubs looking to put some distance between them and the relegation places. News broke on Friday afternoon that Mike Phelan had finally agreed a deal to manage Hull on a permanent basis, having done the job as a caretaker following the abrupt departure of Steven Bruce in the summer. The Tigers made a promising start the campaign, but some difficult fixtures have halted their momentum. That said, Phelan appears to be a popular figure among the players, and there can be no doubt as to their effort and application thus far.
Eddie Howe and Bournemouth did remarkably well to survive in the top flight last season, but have had a fairly rocky calendar year. The arrival of Jack Wilshere on loan from Arsenal gave everyone associated with the Cherries a lift, and they sit quite comfortably in 13th at present. This is very winnable match for the hosts against newly promoted opposition, and the return of Calum Wilson this term has given Howe’s side extra cutting edge.
Bournemouth inflicted Ronald Koeman’s first league defeat as Everton manager courtesy of a Junior Stanislas stunner in their last home game, before picking up a decent point away at Watford. In fact their only defeat in their last five league games came away at Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and there is little disgrace in that. Hull won their first two league matches but have lost four of their last five; though it should be noted they were losses to Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Bournemouth starting XI Hull City starting XI
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Injuries and Suspensions
The home side are definitely without the injured Marc Pugh and Harry Arter who are both set to piece out with muscular problems. Ahmed Elmohamady is suspended for Hull following his red card for handball in their 5-1 defeat at Anfield last month. Alan McGregor is a long term absentee with a back problem, as is Moses Obudajo. Michael Dawson has a chance of making the trip to the south coast, but fellow centre back Alex Bruce is ruled out.
The question mark over Hull is whether their first couple of results were an outlier, or if they have simply been dealt an unfortunate hand by the fixture list in recent weeks. Their win over Leicester and spirited performance against Manchester United saw their opponents miss a stack of chances. Hull are giving away too many opportunities at present, and though it should be stressed that the Tigers played with 10 men, Liverpool and Arsenal could easily have racked up seven or eight against them. With the exception of Robert Snodgrass, there isn’t much quality in this Hull side and their squad is wafer thin too. Bournemouth conceded 34 goals at home last season, but with Wilshere finding his feet and Wilson firing up front they now look at team with goals in them. We’re backing Howe’s men to maintain their good run of form with a home win here.
Verdict: Home Win
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