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Prediction: Hull City vs Leicester City

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

Newly promoted Hull City face all sorts of problems ahead of the opening match against Premier League holders Leicester City, with the game set to be marked by huge protests against club owners. Meanwhile, the Foxes can take some heart from the promising performance in the Community Shield defeat to Manchester United, and they head to KCOM Stadium as hot favourites.

Hull City

There was plenty of reason for celebrations when Hull City secured their return to the elite division by defeating Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship final, but little did the Tigers fans know that the team heading into the Premier League season will be much weaker than the one that played at Wembley. The Hull City supporters have every right to feel angry with the club owners seeing as how they have let manager Steve Bruce and key midfielder Momo Diame leave the club without signing any replacements. On top of that, the Tigers have failed to address a serious injury crisis, and while they are expected to bring in some quality footballers before the end of the transfer window, they will have just a dozen or so fit outfield players for the opening game against Leicester City. This means that the starting line-up on Saturday will feature quite a few footballers who weren’t even first team regulars in the Championship, so it is clear that the Tigers have little to hope for, despite the fact that the reigning Premier League champions have yet to hit the ground running.

Team News

With Alex Bruce, Michael Dawson and Harry Maguire all out injured, Tom Huddlestone is expected to start alongside Curtis Davies at the back.

Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo and Shaun Maloney are also sidelined, meaning Adama Diomande, Sam Clucas and David Meyler will all start.

Leicester City

Leicester City achieved one of the greatest successes in the history of sports by lifting the Premier League title after they had been priced at 5,000/1 before the season started. Everyone agrees that the Foxes fully deserved to win the coveted trophy, but it will now be interesting to see how they will cope with the pressure of expectation as well as their first ever Champions League campaign. Claudio Ranieri has so far done well to keep hold of most key men, with only N’Golo Kante leaving, although recent reports suggest that Riyad Mahrez is nearing the exit door as well. However, the Foxes have also added more bodies to the squad, signing the likes of Ahmed Musa, Nampalys Mendy, Bartosz Kapustka, Ron-Robert Zieler and Luis Hernandez, and the Italian manager admits he will be forced to rotate his players this season. It would appear as though Leicester are still short of options in the middle of the park, meaning they can be expected to make few more signings before the transfer window comes to an end. Following some under-par performances in pre-season, the Foxes showed some improvement in the Community Shield match against Manchester United, which is enough to suggest they should have enough in them to see off lacklustre Hull City.

Team News

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has no fresh injury worries, but he does have a couple of dilemmas regarding the starting line-up.

Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray could come in for Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton, whilst Nampalys Mendy is also pushing for a start.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Hull City missing a host of starters
  • Tigers failed to score in last three league meetings with Leicester
  • Leicester have three wins in last five league matches vs Hull (D2)
  • Foxes recorded a 1-0 win last time they visited KCOM Stadium in Premiership
  • Leicester are unbeaten in last five away games in EPL (W3 D2)

Conclusion

Empty spaces and fans protests at the KCOM Stadium will add extra pressure on the Hull City side that look destined for the drop unless they recruit a host of quality footballers in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Leicester City looked pretty good in their first competitive match this season and we are backing them to emerge victorious.

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

Thu 11 Aug, 2016
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