Everton notched up two important wins in 3 games as they comfortably dispatched a struggling Leicester City side 2-0 at the King Power Stadium and bounced back up after an unfortunate 0-1 loss against Liverpool. Ronald Koeman came in with lots of expectations and the fact that he was supposedly given the green light to make the desired signings made the fans more expectant. There haven’t been any major alarms till now and the fact that Romelu Lukaku got back on the scoresheet against the Foxes will be a reason to rejoice after the big Belgian’s scoring reserves had run dry for quite some time.
Hull City, on the other hand, will have themselves to blame for putting everything into the match but failing to apply the crucial finishing touches during the game when they are on top of the opposition. While they should have won against the Hammers, they also had chances against the mighty Manchester City. Now they are left to rue them with Everton next on the agenda.
The Tigers are evidently missing the required quality needed to win at the highest level and need to strengthen considerably in the January window if they are to have any chances of bouncing back.
- Hull City won their last Premier League contest against Everton on New Year’s Day in 2015, after a run of four fixtures without beating the Toffees (D1 L3).
- Everton have found the net in nine of their last 10 league games against Hull, though they failed to score in their last fixture against them in January 2015.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored in two of his last three league appearances against the Tigers.
- Lukaku has had a hand in eight of Everton’s 11 Premier League away goals this season (seven goals, one assist).
- Hull City have ended the last two calendar years with a defeat; losing 0-1 to Leicester City in 2014 and 0-1 to Preston in 2015.
- Everton ended both 2014 (2-3 v Newcastle United) and 2015 (3-4 v Stoke City) with a Premier League defeat.
- Hull have scored the fewest goals in the Premier League this season (14) and failed to score in seven of their last 10 games.
- The Tigers are the only side left in the Premier League without a home clean sheet this season.
TEAM NEWS & PREDICTED LINE-UPS
HULL CITY (3-5-1-1)
Hull striker Abel Hernandez will definitely miss Friday’s game and is around two weeks away from full fitness after a groin injury. Will Keane is their other notable absentee which makes them rather light up top.
Marshall; Maguire, Davies, Dawson; ElMohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Clucas, Robertson; Snodgrass; Mbokani
Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg will miss the game as he continues his recovery from the leg injury with midfielder James McCarthy also ruled out as is full-back Bryan Oviedo (unspecified), while Yannick Bolasie and Muhamed Besic are both out of action due to long-term knee injuries.
Robles; Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines; Gueye, Barry, Lennon; Mirallas, Lukaku
HULL CITY- 10/3