Venue: KC Stadium
Date: Saturday, 11 January
Kick-off: 12.45 GMT
This afternoon’s early game sees us away at Hull. In spite of the 2-0 scoreline in the reverse fixture at the start of the season, Steve Bruce’s side gave us a bit of a game and given their form at home, I suspect today won’t be any different.
We have the added incentive of going top with a win, albeit briefly, but then knowing Chelsea, the thought of that will be more of a hindrance than a help.
Ahead of today’s early kick-off, Hull boss Steve Bruce says “I am delighted Jose Mourinho is back because he has proved over the years what he can do. The British managers don’t mind those coaches coming into our game that are really, really talented and good at what they do and, let’s be fair, Mourinho is box office.”
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho meanwhile, says “We have a chance to win tomorrow, it’s a very difficult match, I don’t say that because it’s a Premier League match and every match is difficult, I say that based on my analysis of Steve Bruce’s work. We have a chance to win and if we do that for a few hours we are top of the league, but as I keep saying, the most important thing is to secure a position in the top four which is very difficult for everyone.”
For Hull, as many as nine of their players have had symptoms of a stomach bug over the past week, so it’s hard to say if any of them will be missing. Paul McShane (ankle), Sone Aluko (Achilles) and Robbie Brady (groin) are all injured though.
For Chelsea, Branislav Ivanovic (knee) and Frank Lampard (muscular) are still sidelined and van Ginkel remains out long term.
HULL (Possible line-up) McGregor, Elmohamady, Davies, Bruce, Chester, Figueroa, Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler, Koren, Sagbo
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Torres
Chelsea 2-0 Hull (18th August 2013)
We’re unbeaten in our last six games against Hull and our current defensive record of 19 goals conceded is bettered only by Arsenal (18). Hull meanwhile, have won just one of their last seven games in the Premier League (W1, D3, L3). The only fly in the ointment then, is the fact that Hull have conceded the joint-fewest home league goals (six), along with Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool and all six of their clean sheets have come at the KC Stadium. Given our frustration with our forwards, it’s exactly this sort of stat that could bite us in the arse today.