Manchester City v Hull City
Aug 31, 2013 at 12.45pm (UK)
Hull City face a very tricky test when they travel to the Etihad Stadium to face a strong Manchester City side on Saturday. Both sides are currently sat on three points, having won one and lost one of their opening two matches.
Manchester City made a great start to their season when they beat Newcastle United 4-0 on matchday one. In this game, Manuel Pellegrini’s side played some breath-taking football and goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri helped City to a very convincing win.
However, in matchday two, the most surprising and unpredictable result of the season so far, occurred when City lost 3-2 to Cardiff. The Welsh club played very well and nothing should be taken away from their performance, however Manchester City looked lethargic and uninventive throughout the game.
Meanwhile, Hull City have not had a bad start to their return to the Premier League. Having lost 2-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on matchday one, the Tigers went on to beat a strong Norwich side last weekend, courtesy of a controversial Robbie Brady penalty.
Hull capped a great week when they beat Leyton Orient in the second round of the Capital One Cup. Although it took the Tigers until extra time to score a winner and shake off the League One side, advancing to the next round of this Cup will maintain their momentum as they head into Saturday’s game.
Manchester City Players to Watch:
Although Manchester City put on a defensive horror show in their last game, the forward players of Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo still managed to score a goal each in the second half.
Dzeko, who was replaced by Negredo in the latter stages of the game, has being particularly impressive for City in their opening two games. As well as scoring a goal against Cardiff, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international made one assist in his side’s win against Newcastle.
Many new faces have arrived in the Premier League this summer, however one of the stand out talents and perhaps the coup of the transfer window has to be Manchester City’s signing of Fernandinho. The Brazilian, who City signed for £30million, is an exciting midfielder who has the ability and skill to change a game in seconds. Fernandinho has bags of pace so the Hull defence will have to put in a shift to keep the midfielder at bay.
Hull City Players to Watch:
Robbie Brady has been Hull’s best player of the season so far, therefore the Tigers will be relying on him to create something in Saturday’s match. The 21-year-old has scored the winning goal in his team’s last two games, which will give him a lot of confidence ahead of Hull’s clash with Manchester City.
Brady’s darting runs down the left flank will be Hull’s main source of attack when they come up against the likes of Joleon Lescott and Pablo Zabaleta in the City defence.
Hull will definitely field their best team for this fixture which will probably mean starts for Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone. Huddlestone, in particular, is a great addition to the Hull side as he has a lot of Premier League experience which could help ease the team’s nerves when they come up against the Premier League’s big guns.
Manchester City Injury/Suspension News:
Manchester City’s main concerns are in their defence, with Vincent Kompany (groin/pelvis) definitely out. It is not yet known whether Micah Richards (hamstring) and Matija Nastasic will play a part in tomorrow’s game, which could mean Javi Garcia is again played in a centre-back role.
Negredo is likely to be in contention to start after his 90th minute goal against Cardiff last week.
Hull City Injury/Suspension News:
Hull will be without defender Abdoulaye Faye and midfielder Stephen Quinn, who are suffering from calf/shin and hamstring injuries respectively.
The Tigers will also be without Yannick Sagbo after the Ivory Coast international was sent off for an off the ball incident in City’s game against Norwich at the weekend.
Manchester City are overwhelming favourites for the three points, especially as they have won 75% of their last 20 home games and Hull have won just 50% of their last 20 away games.
Furthermore, Hull’s last clean sheet in an away game came five matches ago, while Manchester City last failed to score at home 52 games ago.
The last corresponding fixture between these two teams ended in a 1-1 draw. Shaun Wright-Phillips put Manchester City ahead before Jimmy Bullard’s late equaliser. Bullard’s goal sparked a humorous team celebration in which Bullard mocked Hull’s then manager Phil Brown’s infamous on-the-pitch half-time team talk.
Possible starting lineups
Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy; Silva, Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri; Aguero, Negredo
Hull City: McGregor; Elmohamady, Davies, Chester, Figueroa; Aluko, Huddlestone, Koren, Livermore, Brady; Graham
Manchester City’s Form:
Last Five Competitive Fixtures:
Lost (1-0 v Wigan) – Won (2-0 v Reading) – Lost (3-2 v Norwich) – Won (4-0 v Newcastle) – Lost (3-2 v Cardiff).
Hull City’s Form:
Last Five Competitive Fixtures:
Lost (2-0 v Barnsley) – Drew (2-2 v Cardiff City) – Lost (2-0 v Chelsea) – Won (1-0 v Norwich) – Won (1-0 (AET) v Leyton Orient).