Monday, August 21, 2017

Prediction: Chelsea vs Hull City

Verdict: Chelsea to win to nil

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

Having returned to winning ways with a 3-0 hammering of Leicester City, Chelsea hope to make another step closer to the Premier League trophy by defeating relegation-threatened Hull City. The Tigers improved their survival hopes as they beat yet another relegation rivals, and they basically have nothing to lose at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea

Twenty one games into the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign and Chelsea sit comfortably at the top thanks to a seven-point cushion, so it is clear the title is theirs to lose. Up until some ten days ago, not too many people believed the Blues will miss out on such a great opportunity to lift the major trophy, but the Diego Costa situation is threatening to derail their title bid. The Spain international is believed to have been swayed by the mega-money offer from China and he reportedly wants to leave Stamford Bridge at the earliest opportunity. That is the reason why the striker was left out of the squad for the Leicester City clash, but he has since resumed training with the squad and it appears that he will be in contention for the Hull City game. It is fair to say that Chelsea would stand a decent chance of lifting the Premier League trophy even without Costa, but they are definitely a much stronger team with the Spaniard leading the line, with reports suggesting that club owner Roman Abramovich has ordered Conte and Costa to work things out and ensure everyone remains focused on task at hand. Chelsea responded well to the 2-0 loss to Spurs, hammering Peterborough in the FA Cup and Leicester City in the Premier League fixture and they are widely expected to extend the winning streak vs Hull City.

Team News

Diego Costa should be back to the side after missing the Leicester City clash, and the good news is there are no other worries for manager Antonio Conte.

Hull City

Hull City board appear to have made a correct decision to appoint Marco Silva as their new manager as the Portuguese tactician quickly managed to wake up the players from the winter slumber. The 2-0 FA Cup triumph over Swansea City helped raise the spirits in the team and while the Tigers could not avoid defeat to Man Utd in the EFL Cup, they went on to record invaluable victory over AFC Bournemouth in Silva’s first ever Premier League game. The win saw the KCOM Stadium outfit close the gap behind safety, i.e. sorry Crystal Palace, meaning they currently sit in the bottom three due to inferior goal difference alone. And while they don’t exactly have a lot to hope for ahead of the clash with red-hot Chelsea, Hull City can be cautiously optimistic about their survival chances. The Tigers have a couple of in-form players in Robert Snodgrass and Abel Hernandez, and with Maguire, Dawson and Davies all back to the side, they have reason for optimism. Former FC Porto playmaker Evandro has been added to the squad and he should replace Jack Livermore in the starting line-up now that the former England international has been sold to West Bromwich.

Team News

New recruits Oumar Niasse and Evandro have already been handed their debuts, while Omar Elabdellaoui is expected to join the club shortly.

Key midfielder Robert Snodgrass is unlikely to be risked after picking up an injury, while Ahmed Almohamady and Dieumerci Mbokani are away on international duty.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea have won five straight games vs Hull City
  • The Blues are unbeaten in last 11 meetings with the Tigers (W9 D2)
  • Hull failed to score in four of last five games vs Chelsea
  • The Blues kept five clean sheets in last seven EPL fixtures
  • Hull City lost seven straight away games

Conclusion

Brimming with confidence after the remarkable first part of the season, Chelsea didn’t let the 2-0 loss to Spurs affect them in any way and they have since continued with excellent performances. Meanwhile, Hull City have shown some improvement of late, but we are confident they will make it eight straight defeats on the road at Stamford Bridge.

Verdict: Chelsea to win to nil

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

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