Pre-match analysis: Organised Hull City outfit look to break down industrious Burnley

Pre-match analysis: Organised Hull City outfit look to break down industrious Burnley

The Tigers could climb out of the relegation zone with victory on Saturday.

Chris Lincoln

The return to Premier League action sees an intriguing prospect between two of last season's promoted sides. Burnley are playing above expectations and sitting comfortably in mid-table, whilst Hull are fighting for their top flight status as Marco Silva leads the renaissance at the KCOM stadium.

Brady could provide the key to unlock a tighter Hull defence

A look at the league table would suggest the Clarets go into the match as favourites but the form book suggests quite the opposite. With Burnley reeling after a shock FA Cup exit to Lincoln City last weekend, Sean Dyche's grafters make the trip to Humberside with only one Premier League point to their name so far this season. In comparison Hull have lost just one of their last ten, chasing a record three consecutive home victories in the top flight and will be refreshed after a week long training camp in Portugal.

Much of Hull's renewed success has been based upon an emphasis on positioning and discipline. Loan signing Andrea Ranocchia has helped tighten the defensive line and will continue an improving partnership with Harry Maguire as he provides the perfect foil for the industrious central defender. Yet the pairing will be tested by a Burnley strikeforce that is not prolific but full of energy in Andre Gray and Ashley Barnes.

Goals have been a problem for the Clarets, particularly on the road. With just five strikes away from Turf Moor, conceding 24 in the process, Burnley will be looking to record signing Robbie Brady to create chances in the absence of Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The Republic of Ireland international also adds set-piece quality for a team that are dangerous in the air against a home side renowned for leaving spaces at dead ball situations.

Brady scored on his Premier League debut (photo: Getty Images)
Brady scored on his Premier League debut (photo: Getty Images)

Outcome of the midfield battle could determine the victor

Hull have been deploying a tight three in the engine room of central midfield, though a suspension to Sam Clucas and a real opportunity of another three points could tempt Marco Silva into a more attacking move. Tom Huddlestone and Alfred N'Diaye are likely to be the anchors, whilst the trio of Kamil Grosicki, Evandro and Lazar Markovic could provide an exciting and energetic attacking midfield.

Fortunately for Burnley they have two defensive midfielders not afraid of putting a foot in against the new Tigers' offensive outlook. Joey Barton and Ashley Westwood will protect the back four, though could require additional support with a numerical disadvantage. Oumar Niasse is likely to play the lone striker role for Hull and one of Ben Mee or Michael Keane could be asked to step forward and close down Evandro.

All the ingredients are there for a close contest that provides the opportunity for an important three points for both teams. Hull can climb out of the relegation zone with a victory, whilst Burnley are looking to solidify their mid-table spot and thrust their away form into life.