Pre-match analysis: Can Hull keep out top scorers Liverpool?

Pre-match analysis: Can Hull keep out top scorers Liverpool?

The visitors have scored the most goals in the Premier League this season, whilst the Tigers have the second leakiest defence.

Chris Lincoln

Hull City will be looking to produce another disciplined defensive display as they look to keep Liverpool at bay on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers kept a clean sheet against Manchester United on Wednesday evening but conceded five earlier in the season against Jurgen Klopp's attacking outfit.

Attack, attack, attack from the visitors

On paper the way Liverpool position themselves is within a 4-3-3-cum-4-5-1 formation. Yet when they are on the ball it looks more like a 2-1-4-3 set-up as they attempt to overload the opposition half.

Most of their play goes through Jordan Henderson who has made more passes than any other player in the Premier League this season.

The defensive midfielder tends to drop deep to start the play, before venturing forward to use his ability to create goalscoring opportunities. Hull may look to utilise the energy of Sam Clucas to keep tabs on the England international.

Even the central defenders offer alternative options when the ball is in Liverpool's half, splitting into almost full-back positions. That allows the likes of Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner to push forward into wing-back roles and utilise their creativity.

Hull's Andrew Robertson and Omar Elbadellaoui will have to be aware of the threat down the wings whilst also communicating with players around them about the movements of Adam Lallana and Phillipe Coutinho.

The two attacking midfielders like to roam between defence and midfield, though Sadio Mane could replace one of them as he returns to the fold.

With two of Tom Huddlestone, David Meyler or new signing Alfred N'Diaye occupying central midfield roles for Hull, they will have to be organised in their approach as they will also have to deal with the other two Liverpool engine room players.

Gini Wijnaldum is likely to occupy one of the positions with either Mane or Emre Can joining him. Klopp will then choose from Divock Origi, Roberto Firminho or Daniel Sturridge, each of whom enjoy dropping off the central defenders and looking to find space to play in.

Liverpool boast a wealth of creativity (photo: Getty Images)
Liverpool boast a wealth of creativity (photo: Getty Images)

Chances at a premium for the hosts

Following a busy January transfer window, Hull have a number of new faces in their ranks. They will play with a lone striker who will face a challenging afternoon with Liverpool likely to dominate possession.

The Tigers' threat going forward will depend on how quickly they can get their more attacking midfielders to support Oumar Niasse or Abel Hernandez. Lazar Markovic would have been pivotal but is unable to play against his parent club, so Evandro and Adam Diomande provide the most prominent offensive options.

Although Liverpool dominated the wide areas when the they defeated Hull 5-1 earlier in the season, such an area could be the hosts' most dangerous position.

Huddlestone is Hull's best passer and has been at his best when spraying the ball out wide. Robertson and Elabdellaoui will be asked to venture forward and create chances for the lone striker and the late runners from midfield.