When Tony Pulis took over the reins at Selhurst Park, he was seemingly faced with an impossible task; Palace sat rock bottom of the league, and it seemed inevitable that they would be facing life in the Championship next season. Ten games later and the man in the cap has given them a fighting chance, changing that bleak landscape into a portrait of hope, by initiating a remarkable revival that has meant staying up is a real possibility.
The transformation under the Welshman has been stark; since his arrival, Palace have five clean sheets, taken 16 points from the last 33 on offer, compared with just 4 from the opening 33, and even Marouane Chamakh has started scoring. An FA Cup exit to Wigan at the weekend will not dampen spirits either for the man on a mission and one mission only, to stay in the league. A win in this match would remarkably see them draw levels on points with their opponents Hull, but they will have to do without Jonathan Parr, who suffered concussion at the weekend.
Hull will of course have other ideas. The Tigers have already been busy in the January transfer window and manager Steve Bruce will be relishing the prospect of unleashing his two new signings, Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long, up front. Bruce, has also attracted plaudits for his team’s performances on their return to the Premier League, but will be expecting a close encounter when the sides meet on Tuesday. The Tigers’ boss will though be without James Chester, Sone Aluko and Joe Dudgeon for this clash, as his team look to avoid a fourth straight league defeat and being sucked in to a relegation battle.
KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 8.00pm
Hull haven't won at Selhurst Park in their last 10 visits in all competitions, dating back to an old Division Two fixture in October 1985. They have scored a total of just nine goals in those matches.
Since Tony Pulis took over at Palace they have averaged 1.30 points per match compared with 0.58 per game before his arrival.
Crystal Palace have recouped only one point from a match where they have been trailing at some stage this season, which is fewer than any other team in the top flight.
Hull City have failed to score in their last three Premier League games - only Aston Villa have failed to score in four successive top-flight matches this season.
No team has picked up fewer away points than Hull this season (five, level with Stoke).
The Tigers have fired in the fewest shots on target of any team in the Premier League this season (67).
Crystal Palace to win: 2.5
Hull to win: 3.35
TV: Highlights on BBC1 on Wednesday at 10.35pm
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