Hull City will host mid-table Watford at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday afternoon looking to earn a valuable three points to stretch the gap between themselves and the relegation places.
Currently only two points above Swansea City with six games left to play in the Premier League season, victory for Hull could see the gap increase to five points if the Swans lose away at Stoke.
Watford, on the other hand, have comfortably made their way to 10th place in the table after a mid-season dip in form and have little to play for over the course of the remainder of the campaign.
Read on to see The Boot Room’s comprehensive preview of a must-win tie for Hull City.
Hull City have been a fairly astonishing tale of two-halves this season; excellent at home since the arrival of Marco Silva, but struggling to pick up results away from the KCOM Stadium.
Since victory over Swansea back in August, the Tigers haven’t won a single away match in 16 attempts – losing 14 of these – and it’s this form that has dragged them into a relegation battle.
Their home form couldn’t be more of a polar opposite, with Hull unbeaten in their last seven matches in a run that has included huge victories against rivals Swansea and Middlesbrough at the bottom.
Watford have struggled for consistency this season despite their mid-table position at present, winning five and losing four of their previous ten games in the Premier League.
Wins over Arsenal and West Brom have been mixed with defeats to the likes of Crystal Palace, Southampton and a thrashing at the hands of Tottenham in an erratic season at Vicarage Road.
For the hosts, Uruguayan forward Abel Hernandez could be in line to start up front alongside Oumar Niasse in a more attacking starting eleven against Watford.
In the only other predicted change, Ahmed Elmohamady could replace Michael Dawson in the Hull defence in an attacking move, with Andrea Ranocchia moving inside to partner Harry Maguire.
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri could be set to name an unchanged eleven from the side that saw off relegation-strugglers Swansea City last weekend, with Valon Behrami on the bench.
[sfve id1=”716″ id2=”717″]
Match Prediction: Hull City 2-1 Watford
With only one loss in their previous eleven Premier League matches at the KCOM Stadium this season – including three consecutive victories – Hull will be confident of another win over Watford.
Despite losing a bit of momentum in their fight for survival after successive defeats to Manchester City and Stoke, Marco Silva’s side are still in pole position and should have too much for the Hornets.
Having said that, Watford have beaten Arsenal on the road this season, and with Troy Deeney in decent goal-scoring form they could still pose a danger in the Hull City final third.
Yet with Tottenham and Southampton still to play in the run-in, Silva would have outlined this match as a must-win encounter, and with the KCOM crowd behind them, it’s hard to bet against a Hull City victory.