Manchester United will be hoping to extend their run four successive victories in all competitions to improve upon what has been an inconsistent campaign to date. The champions sit in eighth, eight points behind leaders Liverpool, and continued their good run of results by defeating West Ham 3-1 at home on Saturday.
Danny Welbeck was on the scoresheet again for David Moyes’ side, however the 23-year-old was forced off early on in the second half and will be a doubt for the Boxing Day clash. With Robin van Persie also sidelined, there will be an increased reliance on Wayne Rooney, who scored five times in the previous two meetings against Hull, to build upon his 10 goals this season.
Steve Bruce’s side are enjoying a steady return to the Premier League as they sit in 12 place, seven points above the relegation zone, and although they may be without a win in four, they have drawn the last three.
Despite losing all four previous matches against United in the Premier League, Hull will provide a stern test for their visitors on a ground where the home side have only lost once in the league this season and will be looking to spring another surprise at the KC Stadium as they did when they beat Liverpool 3-1 at the start of the month.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 12.45pm
Manchester United 4 (Rooney 4) Hull City 0, Premier League, January 2010
Hull City 1 (Fagan) Manchester United 3 (Rooney, Dawson OG, Berbatov), Premier League, December 2009
Hull City 0 Manchester United 1 (Gibson), Premier League, May 2009
Manchester United 4 (Ronaldo 2, Carrick, Vidic) Hull City 3 (Cousin, Mendy, Geovanni), Premier League, November 2008
The Tigers have only lost once at home in the Premier League so far this season and have only conceded three goals which is the best in the division.
Since their shock win over Liverpool, Hull have been unable to register a win, losing once and drawing three in the process.
Robbie Brady is the team’s top scorer this season with three goals, however he will be unable to haunt his former employers as he has been ruled out of the Christmas schedule with a groin injury.
United have beaten their opponents on all four previous occasions in the Premier League, scoring on average three goals per game. The last time they met, Rooney went one better by scoring all four in 2010.
Man United are undefeated in 18 of their last 20 away matches in the Premier League.
David Moyes’ side position of eight is their lowest at Christmas since 1989 when they were 12 and eventually finished the campaign on what turned out to be an unlucky 13.
Hull City to win: 6.0
Manchester United to win: 1.57
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 12.45pm. Highlights on BBC’s MOTD at 10.25pm.