A newly promoted team’s first home match in the Premier League is typically a joyous affair, but the atmosphere at Hull City will be rather more sombre. The Tigers short-term future is uncertain, with the club in the midst of take-over talks and former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan installed as caretaker manager following Steve Bruce’s resignation. Transfer activity has been limited and they also face a savage number of injuries. Defending Champions Leicester City travel to Humberside in better spirits; despite their 2-1 loss to Manchester United in last week’s Community Shield there were plenty of positives on show.
Hull’s pre-season results have been decent, with just one defeat in eight friendlies; it was matters off the field that were rather more worrying. Eight friendlies seem a rather hectic workload, especially for a squad already stretched with injuries. Leicester have may have lost to high calibre opponents in the shape of PSG, Barcelona and Man United, but acquitted themselves well at Wembley last week with new signing Ahmed Musa impressing.
Hull Predicted Starting XI Leicester Predicted Starting XI
Injuries and Suspensions
Hull’s first choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor has a back injury that will keep him out for approximately six months. Curtis Davies is Hull’s only fit senior centre back, with Michael Dawson, Alex Bruce and Harry McGuire all absent through injury. Jake Livermore is likely to deputise at centre back leaving the Tigers short of numbers in midfield, with Moses Odabajo and Sean Maloney both out. Leicester, as was often the case last season, have no fresh injury concerns.
Tipsters often look to favour newly promoted teams on the opening day of the season; they typically fancy them to ride a wave of euphoria and capitalise on this positive energy. No such conditions exist for Hull this time around, and though this season is likely to prove tricky for Leicester, they look in decent shape. New signings Musa and Nampalys Mendy have settled in well, and with the Mahrez-Vardy combination still intact the Foxes should have too much quality for Hull. Leicester will be faced with more teams defending deep and in numbers against them this season, and Hull are likely to be the first on Saturday. They might put up stubborn resistance, but with so much uncertainty around them and a depleted squad, you cannot look past the Foxes here.