Hull City vs Chelsea
Jan 11, 2014 at 12.45pm (UK)
The KC Stadium
For both these teams the first half of the season has been rather satisfying, but also the two sides hope to achieve even more. Hull, the best from the newly promoted and currently sit 10th position in the league table , are looking forward to pull off an upset win at home on Saturday over the Blues, who aspire to become this season’s champions with only two points behind leading Arsenal.
The hosts will be boosted by the news that nine of their players were passed fit following a sickness bug that have affected the Hull camp. Hull manager Steve Bruce also cannot count on Paul McShane who will remain sidelined for the next four weeks with an ankle injury.
Jose Mourinho is without defender Branislav Ivanovic as well as Frank Lampard, as both face one-month injuries.
The Tigers have lately celebrated a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and are ready to face a difficult Chelsea challenge this weekend. The Blues have dominated the match in the last meeting in August though, with a two goals to zero victory. Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore could be the key to Hull’s success, as the footballers have lately shown an outstanding form. If Jose Mourinho’s men managed to continue their five-match unbeaten run in the league, they would jump ahead of Manchester City & Arsenal in the table and would calmly follow their matches hoping for a slip from any of the teams. A win for Hull would help the team strenghten their position in the top half of the table, while Chelsea’d remain third, nevertheless losing points to the leading duo.
Surely the key men to watchout for in terms of the Blues perspective will the duo of Oscar and Hazard. While the latter has been in sensational form off late, Oscar has been a consistent figure at the heart of Chelsea’s engine and have kept the Spaniard Juan Mata looking from the bench.
For Hull, Tom Huddlestone who has been inspirational since his move from Tottenham will once again be the key ingredient to break up Chelsea’s attacking moves. His partnership along with Livermore is probably the main reason Hull City are doing well this season.
- Hull City last defeated Chelsea in October 1988 and have gone nine meetings since without a win against the Blues (L7 D2).
- Chelsea have won three and lost none of their previous five Barclays Premier League meetings withHull City (D2).
- Fernando Torres scored his third and final Premier League hat-trick for Liverpool against Hull City at Anfield in September 2009.
- If he plays this game, Fernando Torres will make his 200th appearance in the Premier League.
- Steve Bruce has won just one of his previous 18 clashes with Chelsea in the Premier League as a manager (D5 L12).
- Only in August (2.15) do Chelsea average more points per game in the Premier League than they manage in January (1.91).
- The Blues have kept consecutive clean sheets away from home in the Premier League for the first time since August-September 2012. They last managed three in a row in December 2008 (part of a seven game run of clean sheets).
- Petr Cech has kept 149 clean sheets in the Premier League; one more than team-mate Mark Schwarzer.
Stats compiled from eurosport.yahoo.com
Here are the probable line-ups for the upcoming EPL fixture at KC Stadium:
Hull: McGregor; Elmohamady; Davies, Bruce, Chester, Figueroa; Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler; Graham, Sagbo
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Torres
Hull City 1 – 2 Chelsea