Hull City vs Sunderland Preview: Tigers look to take control in the battle to avoid the drop

Hull City vs Sunderland Preview: Tigers look to take control in the battle to avoid the drop

Marco Silva's men can put some distance between themselves and Swansea City with a win tomorrow against a sorry Sunderland side.

Jack McGraghan

Hull City face an already relegated Sunderland side in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon in a game that is one they will be looking at as a must win as they look to take control in the relegation battle.

Last week's 0-0 draw at Southampton saw Hull condemn the Black Cats to spending next season in the Championship and all the visitors can do now is try to finish the season with a little dignity, although their recent form says that is unlikely.

Marco Silva's impressive escape act is nearing completion

The decision to appoint Marco Silva was met with a few raised eyebrows from many fans and pundits alike with the Portuguese manager largely unheard of on English shores after managing Olympiakos prior to his current stint in Humberside.

Silva and Hull have done a fantastic job thus far in shutting their critics up however, with the Tigers now in 17th place and two points away from the bottom three after they were originally rock bottom of the table at the time of his appointment.

The club's home form since Silva's arrival has been nothing short of outstanding with eight wins and one draw in all competitions seeing the KCOM Stadium transform into something of a fortress, which was certainly not the case early on in the season.

The hosts will be looking to avenge their 3-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light back in November, at a time when it looked as if they would be heading straight back to the Championship with Sunderland much the better side on the day.

Silva's rescue mission on Humberside is close to completion. | Photo: Getty Images Sport / Gareth Copley

Black Cats hoping to finish the season in a dignified manner following relegation

It is no secret that relegation has been staring Sunderland in the face for a number of seasons, and now that the dreaded drop has finally arrived on Wearside all that is left to do is finish the last four games of the season with some diginity.

Last week's 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Bournemouth saw relegation confirmed in front of a quiet and disillusioned fanbase at the Stadium of Light and now that David Moyes has confirmed he will be staying on as manager next season the club's plans for the Championship will be underway.

For now though there are still four games left in the Premier League and they could still have a say in the relegation battle with tomorrow's game at Hull followed by the visit of 18th placed Swansea City to the Stadium of Light next weekend.

The Black Cats have won just once in 2017 and that came in February's shock 4-0 win at former manager Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace side who are now on their way to safety having improved their form while Sunderland's has only declined in the shape of eight losses and two draws in their last ten.

Team news

The hosts have a few absentees from their squad for tomorrow's game with Will Keane, Ryan Mason and former Sunderland man David Meyler all out due to injury although apart from those three Silva will have a strong squad to choose from.

Sunderland have suffered with injury problems all season long and they are without Jan Kirchhoff, Paddy McNair, Duncan Watmore and Bryan Oviedo who will all likely not feature again for the club this season while Jack Rodwell, Lee Cattermole, Jason Denayer and Billy Jones are doubts for the game.

Predicted line-ups

Hull City (4-2-3-1): Jakupovic; Robertson, Maguire, Ranocchia, Elmohamady; Clucas, N'Diaye; Grosicki, Evandro, Markovic; Niasse.

Sunderland (4-5-1): Pickford, Love, O'Shea, Kone, Manquillo; Borini, Ndong, Pienaar, Khazri, Anichebe; Defoe.