Hull City vs Manchester City Preview: Can the Tigers upset the Citizens?

Hull City vs Manchester City Preview: Can the Tigers upset the Citizens?

Part and parcel of footballing tradition in the UK, Boxing Day football has arrived as City look to build on their home victory against Arsenal with a win on Humberside.

Oscar Norman

Hull City welcome Manchester City to the KCOM Stadium on Monday evening, with both sides in need of a win for very different reasons.

Last time out

Manchester City enjoyed getting back to winning ways before the festivities began, as a satisfying performance from the Blues saw them come from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 at The Etihad. Goals from Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling elevated the mood amongst the players and fans alike, who have experienced a rather mixed bag of results in recent weeks. 

Meanwhile Hull City have endured a pretty dismal December, only registering a single point in their last four games. It's looking grim for the Tigers as they lie at the bottom of the table, yet after Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion's heroics in the past, they can take heart knowing it isn't mission impossible in a crowded bottom half.

Team news

Hull City - Ryan Mason, Josh Tymon and Allan McGregor are all available for the Tigers once more, while striker Abel Hernandéz is still out. 

Manchester City - Fernandinho will be available now having served his three match ban he received for his involvement in the bust up with Chelsea at the beginning of the month. Pablo Zabaleta will not feature having picked an injury in last week's victory over Arsenal, captain Vincent Kompany is still recovering from his knee injury and will not travel either.

Predicted line-ups

Hull City: (3-5-2) Marshall; Maguire, Dawson, Davies; Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Clucas, Robertson; Snodgrass, Mbokani.

Manchester City: (4-1-4-1) Bravo; Sagna, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Sterling, Touré, Silva, de Bruyne; Iheanacho. 

What they're saying

Despite being "confident in the players we have", Pep Guardiola won't deny the fact City are in the market for players this January as City will look most likely look to strengthen their somewhat flimsy defense. Targets such as Alex Grimaldo and Ricardo Rodriguez have been rumoured but finding value for money in January is especially difficult in today's climate. 

"Our targets are to win football matches," Mike Phelan simply put, not shying away from the grim truth that faces them: "Setting points can be the worse thing you can do because when you start to look at the points you set and you don't reach them, the pressure mounts and mounts."

Can Hull spring a surprise?

Given the state of affairs for the two clubs there couldn't be a greater contrast in form. It's hard to see anything other than the visitors coming away with three points but, as is clear on a weekly basis, anything can and will happen.

However, in spite of the topsy-turvy nature of games around Christmas time, the quality of players, tactics and form should see the Blues through with ease as the Tigers run of dismal form doesn't look likely to improve anytime soon.