Having shared so much success together during their playing days at Old Trafford, winning the domestic double in the 1993/94 season, ex-teammates Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce will once again lock horns on Sunday as managers as they attempt to steer their teams to victory.
While admittedly it may not be the most glamorous fixture the Premier League has to offer, expect a tight affair when these two sides meet at the KC Stadium. In recent seasons, the sides have been evenly matched with only one goal being scored in the two games they played last season. However, they are both works in progress; Hughes continues to shape Stoke in his own image after Tony Pulis’ long reign as a manager, while Hull’s rise under Bruce doesn’t look like ending anytime soon after he guided them back to the Premier League and into Europe for the first time in their history.
With a new season comes a new look for both teams as they dip their toes into the transfer market. Stoke have added plenty of Premier League pedigree with the signings of Phil Bardsley, Steve Sidwell and Victor Moses, as well as the more eye catching signings of Mame Biram Diouf and in particular, Bojan, who will be hoping to reignite a waning career following a move from Barcelona where he was once considered one of the club’s most exciting prospects. Unfortunately for Hughes, none of these signings could stop his side from slumping to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, and the Welshman will be expecting better from his players as they search for their first points of the season.
Meanwhile, Bruce has added to his squad as well as he attempts to juggle campaigns on a domestic and European front; Jake Livermore has completed a permanent move from Tottenham after a successful loan spell last season where he formed a great partnership with another former Tottenham teammate, Tom Huddlestone in the centre of midfield, while Tom Ince has been joined by defensive reinforcements Harry Maguire and Andrew Robertson. Though, things are not quite as rosy for Hull’s other summer signing, Robert Snodgrass, who is out for six months with a dislocated kneecap picked up during the Tiger’s opening day 1-0 win at QPR. James Chester scored the winner in that game, and will start in defence alongside Curtis Davies, however there are places up for grabs in defence as Bruce prepares to shuffle his pack following an injury to Alex Bruce.
KICK-OFF: Sunday 1.30pm.
Stoke 1 (Odemwingie) Hull 0, Premier League, March 2014
Hull 0 Stoke 0, Premier League, December 2013
Stoke 2 (Fuller, Lawrence) Hull 0, Premier League, April 2010
Hull 2 (Olofinjana, Vennegoor of Hesselink) Stoke 1 (Etherington), Premier League, November 2009
Hull 1 (Dawson) Stoke 2 (Fuller, Lawrence), Premier League, May 2009
Before their victory at QPR, Hull had conceded at least two goals in their last five Premier League games.
Hull have only won one Premier League game since securing their spot in the FA Cup final in April.
Stoke have never recorded a positive goal difference in the Premier League. Overall the Potters have scored 233 goals in 228 Premier League matches.
Stoke’s new signing Steve Sidwell scored seven Premier League goals (for Fulham) in 2013-14, as many as he managed in the previous four campaigns combined.
Only Aston Villa (491) committed more fouls than Stoke City (486) in the 2013-14 Premier League.
Hull to win: 2.54
Stoke to win: 3.25
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