Hull City vs Portsmouth preview: How to watch, team news, predicted line-ups, ones to watch
Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Hull City host Portsmouth in a massive top of the table clash at the KCOM Stadium. The Tigers have topped the EFL League One standings virtually all season, but are winless in their last three matches while Pompey have made up seven points in that span and can claim the top spot with a victory. 

Team news

Tigers manager Grant McCann revealed he will still be without Alfie Jones, Callum Jones and Martin Petersen through injuries while George Honeyman's availability will be assessed after the club receive results on his scan.

Pompey came out of their 0-0 draw against Fleetwood Town with no concerns, Tom Naylor picking up a slight knock, but he's expected to be in the starting XI. Lee Brown remains a long-term injury absence for Kenny Jackett.

Predicted line-ups

Hull City: Ingram; Emmanuel, Greaves, Jones, Elder; Smallwood, Honeyman, Docherty; Magennis, Eaves, Wilks

Portsmouth: MacGillivray; Pring, Raggatt; Whatmough; Johnson; Curtis, Cannon, Naylor, Harness; Marquis, Williams

Ones to watch

Malik Wilks continues to impress after his move from Barnsley a year ago, leading the Hull scoring charts with nine goals. Magennis has chipped in with seven goals while Honeyman has been the club's leading assist man with seven.

John Marquis leads a potent Portsmouth attack, having scored ten goals in all competitions while Pompey have found the back of the net 42 times. Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness and Naylor have contributed six goals apiece.

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Head to Head

Portsmouth have won six of the last 14 meetings with hull victorious just twice in that span. They last met in March of 2012 when both where members of the EFL Championship. Goals from Chris Maguire and Joel Ward sealed a 2-0 victory for Pompey.

Manager's thoughts

Despite the Tigers' poor run of form lately, McCann is looking forward to facing a Portsmouth side looking to go five games unbeaten while replacing Hull at the top of the table.

"It's a great game. We're a week away from Christmas Day, it's Hull against Portsmouth, a top of the table clash. It's where we want to be. We set up to be up and around the top end of the league and we are, at the halfway point not so far away.

"It's a good game, two good teams - two teams I believe will be in and around it come the end of the season. It's another challenge for us."

Jackett will also be relishing the opportunity this game presents while knowing the quality Hull possess. 

"It's a massive game and we are looking forward to it. You can't dwell on one game too long, the draw (against Fleetwood) is quickly followed by a live TV game on Friday against Hull, who are recently out of the Championship, and it will be a big test for us.

"They have had a good start to the season and retained many of the players who played in the Championship last year. It is a strong squad with a lot of experience, and we understand it is one of the best squads in the league and they will be wanting that instant return to the Championship."

How to watch

The game will be shown on Sky Sports from 17:30 GMT and can also be seen via the streaming service ESPN + in the United States.

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