The Blues haven’t had their desired results at times lately, but with a lead of six points over nearest contenders Manchester City and a game in hand at this stage of the season should be more than enough to see them crowned champions again. With ten more games to play, the Blues travel to KC Stadium to play against Steve Bruce’s Hull City this Sunday.
Let’s take a detailed look at our opponents:
The History of the team:
Based in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull City A.F.C was founded in 1904. Their greatest achievement in cup competitions came in 2014, when the team reached the final of the FA Cup. Their highest league finish was for the 2013-14 season, in which they finished 16th in the Premier League table. Hull City play their home games at KC Stadium, they previously played at Boothferry Park and moved to their current home in 2002. They traditionally play in black and amber, often with a striped shirt design, hence their nickname The Tigers.
Steve Bruce’s team are three points above the relegation zone but Hull’s chances of survival have noticeably improved over the past six weeks with a decent run of results that began with a 1-1 draw against Manchester City. Having gone three games without a win, the Tigers are in desperate need of points to get themselves out of the relegation battle. Their defense has been flawless but have struggled upfront.
Form in the Premier League: W-W-L-D-D
Steve Bruce would opt for his usual 3-5-2 formation with Aluko and N’Doye upfront and the trio of McShane, Bruce and Dawson as centre-backs. The Tigers desperately need goals and a win, being only three points above the relegation zone, they are likely to attack often, giving the likes of Costa and the trio behind him more space in front of goal.
Tom Huddlestone’s sending-off against Leicester means the former Tottenham man will be suspended for the visit of Chelsea. Record signing Abel Hernandez is set to return to Hull’s starting line-up after the Tigers lost Nikica Jelavic (knee) for at least six weeks. Mohamed Diame, Liam Rosenior, James Chester and Robbie Brady are all unlikely to be risked by Steve Bruce on Sunday.
Strength – Key Player
Dame N’Doye: N’Doye has scored in every home Premier League fixture he’s played since moving from Lokomotiv Moscow. He has been a revelation since signing for £2.2m and has helped propel the Tigers up the Premier League table. The 30-year-old is already called up for international duty at the end of this month. The Senegalese striker is fearless and intelligent upfront, his tenacity could be a problem for the likes of Gary Cahill and is expected to keep Chelsea right-back Branislav Ivanovic on his toes throughout the game.
As a team, the Tigers are having issues upfront in their goal scoring department. Their attacking midfielders don’t seem like a threat to the opposition’s defense. Unlike their impeccable defense who have conceded three goals in their last five league matches, the offense has often struggled to finish the game off. With their top goalscorer Nikica Jelavic out for at least six weeks, Steve Bruce is left without his greatest attacking threat making this Hull City side weak. The Tigers have also had a bad disciplinary record having picked up five red cards this season.
Head to Head:
Hull have never beaten Chelsea in the Premier League – losing five times and drawing twice. The Blues have conceded just two goals against Hull in their seven Premier League meetings. The Tigers’ last victory over the Blues was over 26 years ago – when they won 3-0 in the old Division Two in October 1988.
– Steve Bruce’s side are yet to beat a top-10 team this season, taking just five points. only QPR have a worse record.
– Hull have only conceded three goals in their last five league matches.
– Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight league games, with five wins and three draws.
– Chelsea have only failed to score in one of their 28 league matches this season – a goalless draw with Sunderland.
Steve Bruce will be aware at this stage last season Chelsea slipped up against teams you wouldn’t have expected them to slip up against, so would Jose Mourinho who would be making sure he puts out a team capable of killing the game and securing three important points. On paper this fixture rules in Chelsea’s favor without a doubt, but the Tigers on its day have the potential to harm just about anybody.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt