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Scouting The Opposition: Hull City v Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Hull City have pulled two great wins in their return to the Premier League and have done so even with an incredible amount of injured first team members. In recent seasons, they seem to come up just as much as they go down, and this often harms their chances of improving. Especially since key players leave the club every time they go down. The Tigers finished last season in fourth place in the Championship, and with a number of great performances, they have earned themselves yet another chance to try and prove their worth in the Premier League. The summer transfer window hasn’t been exceptional for Hull City, however, as they have looked towards their younger players to substitute their injured first team players. Manchester United won’t just witness yet another former player come back to play at Old Trafford, but he also happens to be a former coach and assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson, and that man is Mike Phelan. Last season, Phelan was an assistant at Hull, but this season he has become the caretaker manager. Unfortunately for the Tigers, expectations don’t seem to be high for them to continue their winning streak, and this weekend is set to be a slowdown to their successful return to the Premier League.

Manager: Mike Phelan

As mentioned before, Phelan used to be a key figure under Sir Alex Ferguson’s successful time at Manchester United, but his time eventually came to an end when Ferguson announced his retirement back in 2013. Once David Moyes joined Manchester United, the entire coaching staff was replaced, which led to Phelan taking a year off Football, until joining Norwich City in November of 2014 as an assistant manager. Half a year later, Phelan became the manager for a short month until leaving to be an assistant to former teammate, Steve Bruce.

Form Guide:

Hull City 2-1 Leicester City

Swansea City 0-2 Hull City

Key Man: Robert Snodgrass

Robert Snodgrass isn’t the type of player that will make you stand up out of your seat every time he touches the ball, but he is a player who can certainly take control of the direction of the game if he needs to, and he will be the key man holding Hull together this Saturday. Snodgrass helps his team most when he is able to deliver the ball to the attackers. His set pieces and crossing ability are his main abilities, and that takes away the attention from the number nines. In addition, his passing and long shot should not be taken lightly, as they can be lethal.

Predicted XI:

After winning their first two games of the season, I expect Hull City to play the same team as they have done against both Leicester and Swansea. Against Swansea, Mike Phelan made Tom Huddlestone the key central midfielder, with David Meyler and Sam Clucas alongside him, and the trio had success, therefore I would expect them to play together again. As mentioned previously, I believe that Robert Snodgrass will be Hull City’s main man going forward. However, when defences pay more attention to him they tend to forget how both Abel Hernández and Adama Diomande will develop.

Score Prediction:

Hull City 0-4 Manchester United

Whilst I believe that Hull City will be optimistic to put in a great performance at home and continue their winning streak, I believe that they will play defensively and hope to hit Manchester United on the counter. I have no doubt, however, that Manchester United will put in yet another great performance and beat them, no matter what they attempt. Manchester United finally have the threat factor when playing a team like Hull, making it hard for them to stay focused even before the match has begun. Manchester United have dominated both Bournemouth and Southampton so far in the season, and I don’t believe that Hull will be any different. Players like Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic should flourish in these games and show what they’re capable of in the field, and I fully expect them to go out there with no mercy in order to win against Hull City.

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