Pre-match analysis: Pride at stake as Hull look to defy the odds against Spurs

Pre-match analysis: Pride at stake as Hull look to defy the odds against Spurs

It could be Hull's last game in the top flight for a substantial period of time.

Chris Lincoln

With Hull City certain of relegation back to the Championship and Tottenham Hotspur's second place finish confirmed, the final game of the season on Sunday will be all about who has the greater desire and pride.

What could have been

Just a fortnight ago, both sides would have seen this contest as a season definer. Hull were putting up a tough fight against relegation, whilst Spurs continued to defy the odds to keep their title hopes alive.

Yet the season came crashing down on both teams at the start of the month. After Spurs effectively handed the title to Chelsea with a 1-0 defeat at West Ham, a lacklustre performance from Hull saw them lose 2-0 at home to relegated Sunderland, thus leaving their survival hopes all but over.

The worst defence...

With fate all but sealed for both sides that weekend, the last few games have been a real test of professionalism and pride. Spurs proved they still wanted to finish the season on a high with a 6-1 drubbing of the champions on Thursday night. It was another sign of their improvement from last season.

Harry Kane netted four to top the golden boot charts by two ahead of Romelu Lukaku and he will look to complete the job against the leakiest defence in the league. In contrast, Hull sunk without a trace against Crystal Palace last weekend when they were hammered 4-0.

...Against the best attack

With a Tigers squad that simply does not boast the experience or nous to cope with the inventive movement and quality of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, their own saving grace could be if Mauricio Pochettino decides to field his youngsters. Yet with the summer transfer window just around the corner, they will have enough motivation to show their worth before a season at Wembley.

At the other end of the KCOM, an already goal-shy Hull strikeforce are without the services of Evandro and Abel Hernandez. Taking on the resilient triumvirate of Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, just scoring against the best defence in the league will be a tough task.

With little at stake, the neutrals will hope for an open contest with caution thrown to the wind. Yet they are more likely to be cranking their necks one way for 45 minutes and then the other way for the next 45, as Spurs are likely to dominate territory, possession and shots on goal.