Newcastle head to Hull tomorrow afternoon looking to build on the nervy 1-0 victory over Aston Villa recorded last weekend.
It was the Tigers who took the points when the two sides met at St James’ Park earlier on in the season with Steve Bruce’s men recording a 3-2 victory on Tyneside.
It was probably one of Bruce’s brightest managerial visits to his homeland after suffering the humiliation of being thumped 5-1 when his Sunderland side came to town. Well you can mention Bruce without mentioning that result can you?
In fairness his Hull side have been doing well this season and now seem to have assembled an attacking pair capable of testing Premier League defences. The pace of Shane Long combined with the power of Nikica Jelavic seem to be working well together at the KC Stadium and United’s defence will have to be on guard against them.
Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic will return to the side after missing the FA Cup win over Brighton in midweek. Both players were cup-tied for that game. Tom Huddlestone and Alex Bruce are also available after recovering from minor knocks.
Fabricio Coloccini will miss the match as he has been given permission to return to Argentina following a family bereavement. Hatem Ben Arfa and Davide Santon are injured and will miss the game however Sammy Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux are available for selection again.
A sparse history between the two sides means that only 17 matches have been contested since 1913. United have won seven, Hull have won six with four draws adding up the rest.
In terms of the Premier League just the three games have been played with Hull winning twice and with the points being shared on the other occasion. You can throw in an FA Cup 3rd Round tie from 2009 in there if you like but it still doesn’t make things any better with the two sides registering a 0-0 draw at Hull before once again we fell in front of our own fans in the replay.
Stats and facts…
Newcastle are looking for a 100th Premier League away win.
United have been losing at half-time in eight games this season and have failed to take a point from any of them, which is the worst record in the division.
The pairing of Nikica Jelavic (3) and Shane Long (2) have scored five goals in the five games they’ve played together.
For whatever reason, Hull just seem to be our bogey team. I don’t know what it is but in the modern era they’ve just been able to edge us. The win over Villa will have perked the players up a bit but will it be enough to tame the Tigers on their own turf?
Sadly I believe that win just papered over some of the cracks and instead we’ll be talking about a mauling rather than a taming. Coloccini will be a big miss again but as ever I live in hope.
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 1st February, 2014
Venue: KC Stadium