Hull City vs Southampton: Match preview and predicted line-ups
This weekend sees two clubs with differing fortunes come head-to-head. Hull City have just returned to the Premier League and are facing an uphill battle to remain there due to all of the uncertainty surrounding the club. Meanwhile, Southampton are an established top ten club who are coming into the match after a historic victory over Inter Milan in the Europa League.
After a good start, Hull have collapsed and lost their last six Premier League matches. Their defence has been their biggest problem as they have conceded 20 across that period. If they don’t improve that soon, they could find themselves cut adrift of safety with a very bad goal difference. Mike Phelan was appointed as the permanent manager just a few weeks ago, but that is looking like a decision that the board already regret as he doesn’t have the experience as a number one.
There were doubts about Southampton’s ability to have another successful season after losing key players once again. However, they have had a good start and have established themselves in the top half, while also picking up good results in Europe. They will see this weekend’s game as one that they should be winning, especially after beating Inter Milan in the week.
As stated above, Hull are in disastrous form and it is difficult to see that run stopping any time soon. The side is lacking in confidence and they have a manager that doesn’t have the experience to arrest the slide. There has been a slight improvement in the last two matches as they have conceded only three goals, but they have only scored once in their last four. It will be a huge achievement if Hull stay up this season.
The visitors are in slightly better form with their defeat against Chelsea last weekend being their first in the league since the 10th September. They haven’t picked up as many wins as they would have liked, but they have been playing well and they are likely to finish in the top ten again.
Hull are likely to be unchanged from the side that lost to Watford last weekend. They have a small squad and there aren’t many options for Mike Phelan to make changes. They still have a lengthy injury list and there is a great need to strengthen in January. Abel Hernandez is their main threat, but he has struggled over the last month.
Charlie Austin and Ryan Bertrand are both expected to start after being rotated for the match against Inter Milan. Pierre-Emile Hojberg could start in place of Jordy Clasie after an impressive performance in the Europa League. Summer signing Sofiane Boufal is another that could be in contention to start.
Hull City Southampton
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The Tigers should be boosted by the return of Dieumerci Mbokani and Robert Snodgrass this month, but neither will be fit for this weekend’s fixture. Andrew Robertson, Alex Bruce and Moses Odubajo remain on the sidelines.
Southampton could be boosted by the returns of Cedric Soares, Matt Targett and Shane Long, all of whom are back in full training. Jeremy Pied and Alex McCarthy remain out of action, ruling them both out of this weekend.
I expect this one to go with the form book with Southampton running out comfortable winners. They are coping well with the Europa League, rotating the squad well and that means that they can still aim to pick up wins in the Premier League. I expect the visitors to have too much for Hull and they could win by a big margin. There are plenty of problems at Hull and I’m not convinced that Mike Phelan is the man to solve them.
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