Stoke City travel to the KCOM Stadium to face newly-promoted Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and are favourites to pick up all three points to continue their recent resurgence.
Hull look a beaten side already this season, and off-field distractions as well as a broken spirit between the players could well lead to their demise come May. So can Stoke take advantage this weekend?
Tigers giving up the goat already
Hull City recently suffered a 6-1 thrashing by Bournemouth in the league, and have been well-beaten in a number of games in recent weeks. The Tigers have conceded four or more goals in three of their last four Premier League games alone. They enjoyed a bright start to the season, but results have spiraled ever since. Four defeats on the bounce, no win since August and 20 goals conceded in the last two months, Hull City are a mess.
Captain Curtis Davies was scathing in his assessment of Hull’s recent defeat, calling his side’s performance “gutless” and “the most embarrassing match he’d been involved in”, and it looked clear on the pitch that some of the players were giving up, accepting their demise already. With only eight games played, it’s a dangerous attitude to have, but all the more a problem for manager Mick Phelan due to the lack of first-team replacement.
Stoke City coming into form after a slow start
While Hull are now faltering after a strong beginning to the season, Stoke City are enjoying a good run of form ahead a slow start. The Potters were winless in their first seven Premier League games prior to Saturday’s win against Sunderland, but they had been promising a result for some weeks given their unbeaten run. Stoke are unbeaten in their last three games, and have tightened up their backline after shipping 14 goals in their first five league outings.
Saturday’s clash is a game both sides will fancy their chances of winning, but Stoke City have real momentum with one win and two draws under their belt. Hull City have been losing for weeks and don’t have the luxury of being able to make many changes to the squad. Ironically, the Tigers did beat Stoke City in the Capital One Cup in September, but it’s hard to see a repeat outcome given Hull’s defensive lapses of late. Goals could ensue at the KCOM Stadium. Stoke City are 11/8 to win against Hull City in the Premier League this weekend. Will they pile the misery onto the Tigers?