Hull play host to Newcastle tonight in a bid to reach the EFL Cup Semi Finals and will hope that this turns out to be a welcome distraction from their current Premier League form.
The last 9 league matches have bought 7 defeats for Mike Phelan’s men as they find themselves languishing in 18th place in the Premier League table. Their form has taken a slight upturn with just one defeat in their last three matches but the constant leaking of goals is still an ongoing concern.
Saturday saw them come from behind at home to West Brom to earn a much needed point. Once again Michael Dawson was on hand as his header drew the Tigers level and was subsequently his second consecutive goal in front his own fans.
But Hull can’t keep relying on a centre back to score their goals and they are looking markedly light up front as they are without both Will Keane and Abel Hernandez for a prolonged period. In the former’s case it looks set to be a year on the sidelines.
The question now is how seriously Mike Phelan takes this competition with such a threadbare squad. Yes it may take their minds away from a relegation struggle but will the extra games be to their detriment?
You could also ask the same of Newcastle who they face tonight. Life in The Championship will bring an already hectic season and will this cup run be asking too much of Rafa Benitez’s men as they look to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
That bid took a minor dent on Saturday as they lost at home to Blackburn. A defeat that sees their lead at the top cut to town points and also stopped them from earning a club record 10th successive win.
It was a much changed line-up with star striker Dwight Gayle starting on the bench. Rafael Benitez said the changes were not made with Tonight in mind but all signs point to the fact he fancies his sides chances of progressing to the Semi Finals.
And I think his side have a great chance. They may be a division below but there’s very little between these two squads and Newcastle will make the visit in far better form than hosts Hull.
It might not be the biggest cup upset you will see, can you even class it as one? That is no disrespect to Hull but Newcastle are still a big club regardless of not having top tier status. I’m going to for a Newcastle win to heap more misery on Hull.