A marathon spread across 46 games, the EFL Championship is rarely a foregone conclusion before the new year. Currently sitting in sixth place, Hull City can be proud of their start to the season but know that the real hard work is yet to come.
Their opponents this weekend comes in the form of a Watford side that have seen steady improvements in recent matches however, with just one win on their travels this season, there is clearly room for improvement if The Hornets are to trouble the top six.
A hard fought comeback in midweek saw Watford overturn a two goal deficit to complete a 3-2 win over Norwich and make it just one defeat from their last eight outings.
Whilst the league table suggests Hull should be favourites going into Saturday's game, there is no doubt that Valérien Ismaël will not let his side go down without a fight.
Thanks in part to being afforded the luxury of resting players during the comprehensive win on Tuesday night, Liam Rosenior was able to declare no new injuries amongst the first team going into this weekend.
The only ongoing issues within the squad are the injuries to Ruben Vinagre and Dogukan Sinik. The former looks set to return in the new year whilst it will not be for a while until we see his Turkish counterpart back on the pitch.
Regan Slater and Adama Traore looked to have overcome their fitness issues and both returned to action against Rotherham. Whilst neither look likely to start on Saturday, their returns give Rosenior a bolstered arsenal going into the demanding festive period.
Much like their opponents, Valérien Ismaël was able to deliver a clean bill of health for his squad going into this weekend.
The big news for Watford fans comes as captain, Daniel Bachmann returns to the fold after picking up a straight red card in last weekend's defeat to league leaders Leicester. Ben Hamer stepped up in the Austrian's absence against Norwich and after a strong performance, may hold onto his spot for the trip to East Yorkshire.
Valérien Ismaël stopped short of confirming his choice between the sticks for the Hull clash, telling reporters:
“We’ve got two great keepers and it’s great to see that Ben can compete at that that level.. we’ll see what happens on Saturday now."
Allsop; Greaves, McLoughlin, Jones, Coyle; Seri, Morton, Philogene, Twine; Tufan, Delap.
Hamer; Andrews, Porteous, Hoedt, Lewis; Kayembe, Livermore, Kone; Asprilla, Rajovic, Sema
Watford's defensive vulnerabilities away from home are well documented with The Hornets shipping an average of 1.5 goals per game on the road. With their frailties in preventing goals so clear to see, Saturday's game could prove a platform for Jaden Philogene to run riot.
Joining from Aston Villa on deadline day, Philogene has been a revelation at the MKM Stadium, making his £5million transfer stand out as one of the bargains of the summer.
Since making his debut for The Tigers on the 15th September, the winger has contributed six goals and five assists, a tally only bettered by the league's top scorer, Sam Szmodics.
Confident shooting with either foot and able to beat his man with ease, the England youth international will prove a tough assignment for Watford's 19-year-old right-back, Ryan Andrews. Whilst putting up a string of formidable performances recently, there is a good chance that marking Philogene will make it a day to forget for the teenager.
Officially joining the ranks at Watford at the start of last season, few would've predicted Yaser Asprilla to stand out as one of the brightest stars at the club.
After just one goal in 37 appearances last campaign, the 20-year-old has flipped the narrative this season with three goals and two assists to his name already, including one at Norwich in midweek.
The Colombian produced the winning goal at Vicarage road, latching onto a parry from George Long and producing some neat footwork to carve out the angle for a tidy finish. It was this goal that garnered praise from across The Hornet's faithful, including his manager who told the press after the game:
"He’s starting to get his breakthrough... we know he can be a really key player for the club for the future and I’m pleased for him that he gets the reward, he shows up and is decisive in an important game.”
There is no doubt that Asprilla will be desperate to follow up midweek with another strong performance on Saturday and there is every possibility that he will be able to do so.
Where is the game being played?
Hull are the hosts for this fixture with the match taking place at the MKM Stadium.
What time is kick-off?
This game is scheduled to get underway at 15:00 GMT on Saturday, December 2.
How can I watch?
Taking place during the blackout, viewers in the UK cannot watch this game live.