Hull City vs Liverpool Preview: Tigers look to pounce on poor Liverpool form

Hull City vs Liverpool Preview: Tigers look to pounce on poor Liverpool form

The hosts have won more matches in their last five games than the visitors have in their previous nine.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

A glance at the Premier League table and a thought about the club names and invariably you would expect Liverpool to be the favourites going into such a contest. Yet a look at the recent form book suggests that Hull City will be more confident than normally expected as the resurgence presented by new manager Marco Silva will offer the Tigers hope against Jurgen Klopp's self-proclaimed "team in a bad moment".

Each team desperate for three points after midweek draws

Both sides earned a point during the midweek fixtures, valuable for varying reasons. Hull proved their progress under Silva as they kept out the superstars of Manchester United for the entire game. The goalless draw followed a narrow aggregate defeat to the Red Devils in the EFL Cup semi-final.

For a Liverpool team with just one win in 2017, coming against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup, the result was more a display of resilience after a handful of poor results. Following shock defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton and Swansea City, Liverpool had found themselves under pressure as their promising start to the season disintegrated.

Wolves stunned Liverpool in the FA Cup (photo: Getty Images)
Wolves stunned Liverpool in the FA Cup (photo: Getty Images)

Tigers look to make up for 5-1 defeat earlier in the season

Hull go into the contest boasting the better record between the two teams on Humberside recently. The Tigers have won two of the last three meetings at the KCOM, drawing the other, though their home ground has hardly been a fortress this season. Hull are still yet to complete a Premier League game without conceding against their home fans.

Liverpool won 5-1 earlier in the season and such a result could be on the cards, despite the variable run of form both teams have presented recently. The Reds have attempted more shots on target with 143 and scored more goals, 52, than any other top flight team. Considering Hull have the second worst defensive record in the league with 47 goals conceded, there is potential for another drubbing.

James Milner scored two in the fixture at Anfield and he has netted five in his last six against the Tigers. However, Hull's main weakness has been in the air and they will be looking forward to a team not known for their copious amounts of headed goals.

Selection headaches for Silva

The outcome of the match could depend on how Hull's new recruits perform. Liverpool found joy on the flanks in that 5-1 win, suggesting Omar Elabdellaoui will have to perform better than he did when Hull lost 4-1 if he is selected at right-back. The return of Sadio Mane offers the visitors a dangerous alternative as he will look to roam around the pitch, both on the flanks and down the middle.

Hull's new signing Alfred N'Diaye could be tasked with marking Mane as he returns from the African Cup of Nations. Dieumerci Mbokani will also be available for the hosts after returning from the same tournament, whilst new signings Kamil Grosicki and Andrea Ranocchia will be pushing for starts. However Lazar Markovic will be unavailable against his parent club.

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