Both Hull City and Swansea City may be out of the FA Cup on quarter-final weekend, yet this Premier League crunch clash throws up an intriguing battle. Not only does it resonate extra excitement due to the nature of both sides fighting to beat the drop but it also brings together two managers who like to play the game in its more attractive manner.
Expect an attractive encounter
It is rare to see two teams at the foot of the table who enjoy possession of the ball so much. With both sides playing well over 75% of their passes along the floor and enjoying an average of just shy of 50% possession per match, there is unlikely to be many balls played up into the Humberside sky.
Yet neither side is particularly known for their patient play as the main source of creating goals. In fact, Hull are barely recognised as a goalscoring unit with the second worst strike rate in the league. However, both sides have their own respective threats as they each look to break open the two leakiest defences in the Premier League.
Potential for plenty of goals
Swansea hold the unwanted tag of most goals conceded with 59 shipped in 27 games. They will have to be wary of the Hull counter-attack employed by Marco Silva. With disciplined units of four and five, the Tigers look to keep a tight midfield and soak up pressure before breaking at speed through the likes of Lazar Markovic and Kamil Grosicki. Jack Cork at the base of the Swansea midfield will have a key role to play in protecting his back four.
Despite Swansea being without the services of wide duo Nathan Dyer and Jefferson Montero, whilst Wayne Routledge finds himself out of form, the Swans offer a real threat from the flanks. Cork plays a key part going forward with more passes than anyone else in his team and along with Tom Carroll will look for the likes of Luciando Narsingh and Martin Olsson out wide. Hull full-backs Andrew Robertson and Ahmed Elmohamady will have to prevent the ball being swung into the box with the dangerous Fernando Llorente lurking.
Set-pieces will be key
Yet despite the obvious passing abilities of both sides, the game could be won and lost at set-pieces with the threat of two men in particular. The aforementioned Grosicki has created more chances than any of his teammates since arriving at the end of January. The likes of Harry Maguire and Oumar Niasse will be looking to feast on his excellent dead ball delivery.
However, Swansea have a real threat of their own. Not only do Swansea possess Gylfi Sigurdsson who has been involved in 18 of their 35 goals this season, but he is also responsible for creating more chances from set-pieces than any other player in the Premier League. Considering Hull have conceded more goals from dead ball situations than any other top flight team, this could be a key area to decide where the game is won and lost.