In one of only three Premier League Saturday 3 pm kick-offs, Hull City face Swansea City. Since appointing new managers, at almost the same time in January, both sides have seen results improve.
January’s FA Cup tie between the clubs was both managers’ first game in charge, with Marco Silva triumphant in a 2-0 home victory. Since then, Hull themselves have been eliminated from the competition, allowing this league game to go ahead as planned.
Despite having got the better of Paul Clement in that tie, it is the Englishman’s side who have been most resurgent. Having won only four of their first 20 fixtures, relegation was on the cards for the Swans. However, after just seven games, the new boss has doubled the club’s win tally; a particularly impressive feat considering they have faced four of the top five in that spell.
Silva’s turn around, while less dramatic, deserves its own praise. The Tigers had secured wins only three times before the Portuguese’s arrival, they have won two from seven since. One win from their last six may not provide great hope for avoiding the drop, but a single loss – to Manchester City – from five games at the KCOM, gives them a chance.
Recently outings have seen Hull line up in either 4-1-4-1 or -4-4-1-1 formations, it is difficult to say which Silva will go for against Swansea. A repeat of that which faced Leicester City seems a good possibility considering the side’s increasing list of injuries.
Clement has settled on a 4-3-3 since taking charge. Given its success, there is no reason to expect changes to shape. One or two personnel changes may occur due to injuries/return of players.
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Hull’s injuries keep on mounting, striker Dieumerci Mbokani being the biggest loss. Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson remain out and are among seven players currently unavailable who have featured previously this season.
Swansea have a comparatively clean bill of health, It is unknown when Nathan Dyer will return but Ki Sung-yueng is back in full training and Jefferson Montero could make the squad. Clement’s key missing player is full-back Kyle Naughton, who he had started every game so far.
Hull have established a decent home record under Marco Silva but are currently hampered by injuries, which will impact their ability to repeat the FA cup win. They do however need a victory, to ensure they are not cut adrift from relegation rivals.
The Welsh side can approach the game knowing that a draw is a good result, giving them an advantage despite being away from home. They are, however, yet to draw under Clement and will no doubt aim for three points, putting space between themselves and the drop.
Score Prediction: Hull City 1:2 Swansea City