Match Preview: Hull City vs. Newcastle United
The most important news this week came down on Monday with John Carver being named the manager for the rest of the campaign. The club is winless in the four matches he has been in charge. But Newcastle finally appears to be getting healthy. Summer signing Siem de Jong could return to action on Saturday.
Steve Bruce’s Hull City club has its own problems. A bad stretch of results has the club sitting in the relegation zone. The Tigers have also been ravished by injuries this season. And they are in desperate need of a victory.
Injuries and Suspensions
Newcastle’s injury crisis finally appears to be easing. Tim Krul and Davide Santon returned to action just before the break. Mehdi Abeid was also an unused substitute in the last match against Southampton. Attacking midfielder Siem de Jong saw his first game action for the reserves this week and could return on Saturday after months of the sidelines.
Rob Eliott (thigh muscle), Rolando Aarons (Hamstring), Ryan Taylor (knee), Jonas Gutierrez (cancer recovery), Steven Taylor (ruptured Achilles) and Gabriel Obertan (thigh) are all expected to be out longer. Papiss Cissé and Cheikh Tioté are also on international duty at the African Cup of Nations and will miss the contest.
Hull City are a hurting side right now. Andrew Robertson (ankle) Nikica Jelavić (knee), Abel Hernandez (thigh muscle), James Chester (dislocated shoulder) and Liam Rosenior (hamstring) are all unavailable. Scottish international Robert Snodgrass is out for the season with a knee injury.
Possible Line-Ups and Tactics
John Carver is not expected to undue much of Alan Pardew’s work. Therefore, the Newcastle boss is expected to use the 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday and likely beyond that. It is unclear where Siem de Jong would play if he is fit enough to make the trip to Hull City. Regardless, he is likely to start on the bench.
Steve Bruce is a believer in the classic 4-4-2 formation although he has been known to change tactics when he deems it necessary. And Saturday may very well be one of those occasions. With Jelavić and Hernandez likely unavailable, the Tigers should be missing their two best attackers. Jelavić leads the club in goals with six.
Hull has only two wins in ten league matches at home this season. However, they beat Everton 2-0 in their last home fixture on New Year’s Day. The Tigers held Newcastle to a 2-2 draw at St. James’ Park back in September in their last encounter. Papiss Cissé came on as a second-half substitute scoring both goals for the Magpies.
This will only be the eighth meeting between these two clubs. That includes twice in the FA Cup. Hull City have won on three occasions. Newcastle’s only win came last March at Kingston Communications Stadium, a 4-1 victory. And of course three draws.
Newcastle are without a victory on the road in seven matches overall. But the club is getting back to full health. Meanwhile, Steve Bruce’s side are expected to be without Jelavić and Hernandez. Newcastle should get back to winning ways on Saturday.
Hull City 0 – 2 Newcastle United
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