We have now reached the halfway stage of the season and the opening fixture from Week 19 is that Premier League rarity otherwise known as ‘Friday Night Football’ Tonight’s offering sees Hull play host to Everton at The KCom Stadium.
Basement side Hull come into this game on the back of winless run which is now 7 games long with their last three outings ended in defeat. And after Boxing Day results went against them they find themselves four points from Crystal Palace in 17th and ultimately safely.
Boxing Day showed that Hull had an element of resolve in what was a pretty bleak encounter at home to Manchester City. They managed to keep Pep Guardiola’s men at bay for 70 minutes but once Yaya Toure slotted his penalty home the Tigers lost any roar they may have had and were consigned to another defeat.
If you look at the statistics this season they do not make good reading. They’ve only found the net 14 times which is less than 1 goal a game on average while they have conceded 39 at the end, that being more than 2 on average per game. Whatever way it stacks up it stacks up as relegation form.
Much has been made of the fact that Hull need some new faces in the January transfer window, the question now is whether or not they throw enough money at the wall in which to do so. The easy thing would be to splash the cash and take the gamble but it’s a gamble that could prove very costly if get relegated.
Tonight they play host to an Everton side who play their second successive away game in less than a week. Boxing Day saw them travel to The King Power Stadium and come away with all three points thanks to a 2-0 win over champions Leicester.
That win erased the disappointment of the Merseyside derby and meant that thanks to Southampton’s defeat 48 hours later they stayed in 7th place going into this trip to Hull. But looking at the table now you get the feeling that 7th is going to be the best that they will be able to achieve this season.
With the Top 6 all bit sewn up it means that if Everton are going to harbour any realistic desires of getting back into Europe next season then the winners of the cups are going to have to be from the teams above them to open up any additional European slots.
To have any chance of that happening they have to stay 7th and to do that they need to rid themselves of inconsistency and get themselves on a winning run to solidify their place in the league table and keep the likes of Southampton and West Brom at bay.
They themselves will be looking at adding players when the transfer window re-opens in a couple of days but their main focus will be players that can provide service to Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian is reportedly close to signing a new contract but the club would greatly benefit from at least an additional wide player in the New Year.
With the January sales just days away both clubs will want to go into it with a win, Hull especially as it shows that there is a bit of fight at this club and moving to The KCom Stadium wouldn’t be a complete lost cause for any prospective new signing.
Unfortunately for them I think those prospects will diminish further this Evening as Everton ease to victory. Everton may be patchy in terms of form but these are the kind of games that should be winning with ease. I can’t see anything other than an away win.