Saturday 9th May – 15:00 – KC Stadium
Hull and Burnley face off on Saturday afternoon with the Clarets, who sit bottom of the table, knowing anything less than a win will see them relegated. The game is a genuine ‘six-pointer’ with Hull also in desperate need of points to keep themselves above the drop zone ahead of two very tricky games with Tottenham and Manchester United to conclude their season. The Tigers themselves sit in 17th, just one point and one place above the relegation zone. Steve Bruce’s side were well beaten 3-1 by Arsenal on Monday, bringing them back down to earth after victories over Crystal Palace and Liverpool prior to that game. Burnley, on the other hand, have lost five of their last six, including 1-0 defeats in the last four, and have failed to score a goal since beating Manchester City 1-0 on March 14. Even victory for Sean Dyce’s men is unlikely to save them with an inferior goal difference and an eight point gap to Hull in 17th. An immediate return to the Championship now looks a matter of when rather than if. A bigger question is, will Hull be joining them in the second tier?
The Key Battle: Michael Dawson vs Danny Ings
In the absence of Curtis Davies, Michael Dawson has stepped up to the role of Hull City captain this season, and lead the Tigers’ back line.
A player who has over 10 years of top-flight experience will be crucial to Steve Bruce’s side as the battle to avoid the drop intensifies.
Dawson even scored his first goal in over two years against Liverpool last month, to claim a shock win over the Reds, that without which Hull would be in the relegation zone.
Speaking of goals, Burnley have not hit the back of the net in nine hours and 29 minutes of football, which has set a new club record last weekend of failing to score in six consecutive top-flight matches.
Part of the problem is the miss-firing Danny Ings, who looks a different player to won scoring week in week out at the start of the campaign, but has now not got on the scoresheet since the middle of February.
Despite this, he is still on the radar of clubs like Liverpool, who are looking to pick up the striker who is a free agent in the summer. Relegation and losing the player who scored 21 times last time Burnley were in the Championship could be a double hammer blow for Sean Dyche’s side.
- Midfielder Mo Diame will undergo knee surgery next week and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
- Tigers boss Steve Bruce must decide whether to hand striker Nikica Jelavic a starting place, while Jake Livermore faces a late test on his injured ankle.
- Curtis Davies and Robert Snodgrass remain sidelined, the latter has been since the first game of the season.
- Defender Michael Duff is available for Burnley after the red card he received against West Ham was rescinded.
- Striker Sam Vokes is doubtful with the thigh injury which has ruled him out of the last two games.
- Defender Kevin Long and midfielder Dean Marney are both long-term absentees for Sean Dyche’s side with knee injuries.
Hull City wins = 18 / Burnley wins = 28 / Draws = 11
Last Meeting: Burnley 1-0 Hull City (8th November 2014)
Ashley Barnes ended Burnley’s wait for a Premier League win with the only goal of the game against Hull at Turf Moor. The Clarets had not won since returning to the top flight and were the only professional club in England without a victory this season. But striker Barnes secured the three points against Hull with a header five minutes into the second half. The Tigers were unable to find an equaliser with Abel Hernandez’s shot on the turn the best they could muster.
Stat of the Match
Five of the last six league meetings between these sides have ended with a 1-0 scoreline.
Where can I watch it?
As it is a 3pm kick-off, there is no channel showing the game live, but internet streaming and radio is available. To watch it legally though, Match of the Day on Saturday evening will show the highlights at 10:45pm on BBC One.
My Prediction: Hull City 1-0 Burnley
Sadly for Burnley, I can see their goal drought continuing and the threat of relegation becoming a reality on Saturday. The Clarets are on a dire run which they will find it difficult to get out of it against a Hull side who will fight harder for a vital three points with tough games to come as they look to not join Burnley in the Championship. The Tigers’ goal will come courtesy of Dame N’Doye.
Last week I got a prediction exactly correct for the first time this season. Not only did I say that Chelsea would beat Crystal Palace 1-0, but I also predicted that Eden Hazard would score the only goal, which he did as the Blues were crowned champions.