Friday, February 3, 2023

Hull City Vs Leicester City Preview: Can The Champions Get Off To A Winning Start?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

The Premier League Champions start their defense of the English title with a travel to the newly promoted Hull City that is managed by Mike Phelan. Claudio Ranieri, who scripted Foxes’ inspiring story last season, will now be responsible in getting the team back to their playing best and will hope for a decent start to their new Premier League campaign. Phelan has not been able to make any additions to the Hull squad from last season and can only dream of a positive start to their campaign.

Time, Date & Venue

Hull will host this game at the KC Stadium on Saturday, the 13th of August. The kickoff is scheduled at 12:30pm BST.

Team News

Hull have a very small and slim squad to choose from as the manager will hope that he can get them to play as a group. Phelan has just one recognized centre-back for this game in Curtis Davis with midfielder Jake Livermore expected to partner him at the back against the Foxes amidst an injury crisis. Abel Hernandez, the goal-scorer for Hull last season is expected to start up front while the likes of Michael Dawson, Alex Bruce and Harry Maguire are still not fit enough to play a role in this game.

Leicester City will also miss the services of Robert Huth, who is serving his third game of a three-match ban he picked up late last season. Other than that, Ranieri has a fully fit squad to choose from and will set out his strongest XI for this game. N’Golo Kanté who moved to Chelsea will be missed but the likes of Nampalys Mendy and Ahmed Musa will add the mettle they need to go all the way on Saturday.

Predicted Lineups

Hull City

Jakupovic; Elmohamady, Livermore, Davies, Robertson; Clucas, Huddlestone, Meyler, Snodgrass; Dimonade, Hernandez

Leicester City

Schmeichel; Simpson, Hernandez, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez, King, Drinkwater, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy

OXFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City during the pre-season friendly between Oxford City and Leicester City at Kassam Stadium on July 19, 2016 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
OXFORD, ENGLAND – JULY 19: Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City during the pre-season friendly between Oxford City and Leicester City at Kassam Stadium on July 19, 2016 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

What can be expected?

Hull City were one of the meanest defenses at home last season in the Championship, shipping away just 12 goals in 23 games in all competitions. However, the change in manager and injuries to key players may see the home side set up to defend and try to grind out a result. This will be unfamiliar territory for Leicester City who will be the first Premier League champions to kick off a new season. Ranieri’s side flourished playing on the break in the previous season but in this game against Hull, they will be favorites to win but will have to work hard to break the home side’s defense. Hull will have their own threats going forward but with just 13 fit players in the squad, it will be important for them to hold on to the game for long periods of time. It will be an interesting watch for the neutrals as well as this game can set the tone for the rest of the season for both clubs.

Prediction

As already mentioned, Leicester City will be expected to take all three points from the newly promoted Hull City this weekend but it will not be all that easy.  They will have to work hard, play patient football and break the Hull City side with possession football which is not their forte but the strength of the team could be enough to outscore Hull City on the night. But if the KC Stadium is at its loudest, Hull City may as well be able to get the better of the Premier League Champions.

Hull City 1-2 Leicester City

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