Hull have no new injury problems, with Mike Phelan having the same crop of players to choose from as in the previous game. Seven remain out however, Hernandez being the most notable, leaving squad depth a little limited in terms of rotation options. Mason could replace Huddlestone in a neutral midfield change, but other changes aren’t likely, with the team being retained despite a poor run of form. They’re in desperate need of a result and will be looking for all three points, but being in poor form, struggling for goals as well as being short on confidence, a draw wouldn’t be a disaster. The aim will be to frustrate and keep the game level, as they’d struggle to come from behind if they concede the opener. They’ll be counter attacking, trying to hit on the break at every opportunity. Even a win won’t take them out the bottom three, but the chance to move off the foot of the table with a win does provide plenty of motivation. They won’t take risks all the while it’s level, and if they do get ahead they’d drop very deep and try to hold on, which is a risky policy given their defensive struggles. A low scoring, scrappy game suits, so they’ll be looking to stifle Everton.
Everton will have the same squad available to them that faced Leicester, with Stekelenburg having not recovered in time to feature, meaning Joel Robles continues in goal, which is a weakening. Bolasie and McCarthy are the other notable absentees, while Barry could be rested to the bench, handing a rare chance for Davies to start. Barkley is also expected to start. Confidence is up after a rare away win last time out, so they’ll be determined to make it back to back successes against the league’s bottom side, though Koeman has insisted they won’t take anything for granted and will pay their hosts the respect they deserve. They’ll still only be satisfied with a win, playing with a fairly direct approach, trying to apply pressure early and get ahead. If they get the opening goal they’d fancy their chances of seeing out a win, but they may have to be patient initially as Hull can prove a stubborn opponent who are organised, until they go behind. Everton will want to establish control and would look for a second before easing off a little. Even if behind they’d believe in a win, but from there, a draw wouldn’t be a disastrous result.
Verdict & Prediction
Morale will be fairly low for Hull after a run of one win in sixteen league games, as they’re starting to become desperate for a result. At home to Everton they’ll only be really satisfied by a win, but with belief and confidence lacking, a draw wouldn’t be a terrible result, giving something to build on.
Prediction: Hull +0.50 AH (same as Double Chance)
Odds: 1.95 SBOBET
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