I doubt anyone would’ve predicted at the start of the season that this game would be a showdown between second versus third in the Premier League, but that’s how it stands ahead of our trip to the KC Stadium.
Hull’s unbelievable start to the season has seen them win six games so far and manager Phil Brown insists they have nothing to fear from our visit. The Hull manager says “Everyone is looking forward to the Chelsea game now. I’m not getting ahead of myself and saying we’ll win the game or even get something from it, but we’re confident. We can look forward to the game rather than fear it.”
Chelsea, on the other hand, go into this game still hurting from their first home defeat in 86 games, against Liverpool of all teams. The defeat also saw an end to Scolari’s unbeaten run since taking over as Chelsea manager.
On the injury front, Hull should have Andy Dawson back despite him limping off 10 minutes into their game on Saturday with a dead leg. For Chelsea, Joe Cole should make his return after a three week lay-off (foot) although Didier Drogba (knee), Michael Ballack (foot) and Michael Essien (knee) remain out.
Geovanni adds international quality to the Hull side and if his bragging before this game is anything to go by, he certainly intends to play his part in winning this one.
Joe Cole will be making his 150th Premier League appearance for the Chelsea and with the Blues missing his creativity in their defeat at home to Liverpool, he could be a key player in this one.
Hull have won their last four games, losing just one Premier League game under Phil Brown so far. They’ve kept clean sheets in their last three outings and go into this game in 3rd place in the league with 20 points already this season.
Chelsea have not suffered consecutive defeats in the Premier League in some 85 games. They have the tightest defence in the league, conceding just one goal in four games. Chelsea remain the only unbeaten club away from home in the league this calendar year and will be looking for their eighth away win to take their unbeaten away run to 15 games. Chelsea go into this game in 2nd place, level on points with their opponents.
HEAD TO HEAD
Chelsea have won their last four meetings with Hull although the last time Hull entertained Chelsea in a league match (25 October 1988), it was Hull who came away with a 3-0 win.
Home and Away
League (inc PL): Hull 4 wins, Chelsea 17 wins, Draws 5
At Hull Only
League (inc PL): Hull 4 wins, Chelsea 6 wins, Draws 3
Hull have certainly announced their arrival in the Premier League in style and are still a bit of an unknown quantity, which gives them a slight advantage. Hull are also riding high on confidence for the meeting with a Chelsea side still smarting from a defeat they probably didn’t expect and certainly didn’t want. If the Chelsea players haven’t put that defeat firmly out of their minds going into this game, they could be in for another upset.
HULL (from): Myhill, McShane, Zayatte, Dawson, Ricketts, Marney, Ashbee, Boateng, Geovanni, King, Cousin, Hughes, Dawson, Mendy, Folan, Gardner, Windass, Giannakopoulos, Barmby, Duke.
CHELSEA (from): Cech, Hilario, Cudicini, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Malouda, Obi, Deco, Kalou, Bosingwa, Terry, Lampard, Anelka, Belletti, Alex, Carvalho, Mancienne, Bridge, Di Santo, J Cole.
Andre Marriner (West Midlands)