Swansea City travel to already-relegated Sunderland on Saturday knowing that a win there could effectively relegate Hull City.
If they win and Hull lose against Crystal Palace it would see the Tigers relegated to the second tier just a year after securing promotion, for the second time in the club's history, under Steve Bruce.
Time running out
The phrase ‘must-win’ is thrown around a lot in football these days, but as Hull travel to south London for their final away game of the season, it has never been more accurate than it is now.
After Middlesbrough’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea last Monday saw them join Sunderland in the Championship next season, there remains one final relegation place and unfortunately the maths is not on The Tigers’ side for this run-in.
Prior to kick off they are one point and one place behind Swansea in 17th but with a five goal deficit on their Welsh counterparts. The form guide suggests a draw is a likely result with both teams having won seven points from their last five games. Palace have taken all three points from Liverpool and Arsenal in that time so I would have them down as favourites.
Great escape still on?
However, there is reason to believe the great escape is still achievable. Hull have only lost twice in their last six visits to Selhurst Park and were unlucky to concede a late equaliser in the reverse 3-3 draw back in December.
Palace in contrast only need a draw to secure Premier League football for another year, a result which would suit them far more than the visitors, who play host to high-flying Tottenham in the final game of the season next week.
Despite losing 0-2 to bottom club Sunderland last time out, Marco Silva has turned the KCOM Stadium into a fortress; taking 19 points from a possible 24.
With Chelsea securing the title on Friday night after a 1-0 victory at West Brom it would appear Tottenham have nothing to play for this season. Hull fans will be hoping this combined with an excellent recent home record could help lift their team to safety. One thing for sure is that their fate is no longer in their own hands.
Omar Elabdellaoui returns to the Hull squad following a back injury, allowing Ahmed Elmohamady to push further upfield and likely take the right-wing position vacated by Lazar Markovic’s following the ankle injury sustained in last week’s 2-0 defeat to Sunderland. He will miss Hull’s final two games of the season. David Meyler, Will Keane, Moses Odubajo and Ryan Mason all remain long-term absentees.
On loan defender Mamadou Sakho’s season is over as a result of a knee injury meaning potential recalls in defence for Scott Dann and James Tomkins who could potentially return early from injury. Neither are fully fit but Sam Allardyce will be keen to avoid starting four full-backs in defence. Conor Wickham and Pape Souare are also ruled out for the remainder of the season.