Premier League: West Ham vs Hull match preview

A look ahead to this weekend’s Sunday lunchtime clash

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The Independent Online

Sam Allardyce faces Steve Bruce in a must win game if the Hammers are to stand any chance of continuing their push for a European place this season.

Following a winless run of four games in the Premier League, a home match against a Hull side lacking severely in availability up front screams home banker.

A bigger reason for West Ham’s need of three points is their upcoming testing league fixture list which includes Liverpool, Manchester United, Southampton, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Chelsea in the run up to mid-March.

Hull on the other hand don’t have the luxury of a top-half place to fall back on. Bruce’s squad is weltering in the relegation places, and their away record is not something they have been able to rely on of late, especially at West Ham with Upton Park a bogey ground in the past several years.

A largely fit squad to choose from for Big Sam though means West Ham can go all guns blazing on Sunday, with the addition of Alex Song following his return from illness and decision to retire from Cameroon in the build up to the African Cup of Nations.

Steve Bruce failed to land Jermaine Defoe as a solution upfront is yet to be solved. As it stands, it’s difficult to see where Hull’s goals are going to come from. A two week break though after the trip to East London due to early exit from the FA Cup at Arsenal offers Bruce a chance to use the transfer market, rebuild and gather his squad for the relegation run in for the second half of the season. 

KICK-OFF: Sunday, 1.30pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Hull City 2 (Hernandez, Diame) West Ham United 2 (Valencia, Sakho), Premier League, September 2014

West Ham United 2 (Noble, Chester OG) Hull City 1 (Huddlestone), Premier League, March 2014

Hull City 1 (Brady) West Ham United 0, Premier League, September 2013

STATS…

Following a seventeen year gap where the sides did not face each other, the nine fixtures since 2008 have featured five West Ham triumphs, two wins for Hull and two draws.

The Irons have won their last five home meetings with the Tigers, scoring 16 in the process and conceding just three.

Sam Allardyce’s team have lost just once at home in the league since the start of September.

Since the start of March 2014, Hull have won just twice on the road in all competitions.

Hull have drawn a blank in front of goal in six of their eight away games.

Despite Steve Bruce’s side being 18th while West Ham sit high in 7th, they have each picked up six points from their last six Premier League games, with Hull’s two wins and West Ham’s one accompanied with three draws. 

ODDS…

West Ham United to win: 1.8

Hull City to win: 5.5

Draw: 3.75

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 1.30pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm

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