Dec 25, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT
- United have won seven straight games vs. Hull
- The Tigers haven’t beaten Man Utd since 1974
- Hull have conceded just 3 goals at home, the best record in PL
An upset could be in the cards early on Boxing Day, as Steve Bruce’s Hull City welcome Manchester United (watch live on NBCSN, 7:45am ET, via NBC Sports Live Extra) to the KC Stadium.
Hull have already beaten Liverpool at home and Bruce, an ex-Manchester United skipper, will be hoping to add the Red Devils to the list of top scalps the Tigers have taken this season.
As for United, David Moyes‘ men have won four in a row in all competitions as the festive season has brought plenty of hope for the new year ahead. With a win and other results going their way, United could be just six points off the top of the table by the end of Boxing Day. Despite Hull’s great start to life back in the big time, they have won just once in seven games and are sliding back down towards the bottom.
United are ready to pounce and keep their resurgence going.
Wayne Rooney has been sensational and a new-look forward line around him — following RVP’s injury that has strangely coincided with their upturn in results — has seen the Red Devils look much more fluid and threatening in attack. Adnan Januzaj on one wing, Antonio Valencia on the other and Danny Welbeck up top should hive Hull plenty of problems. However, the home side have conceded just three times at the KC and have only lost once at their Yorkshire home all season.
Hull don’t have any injuries worries, as Bruce is expected to name the same starting lineup for the fourth straight games. Man United have worries about Welbeck, as he picked up a knee injury in the win over West Ham last weekend. Michael Carrick and Robin van Persie are still out injured.
What they’re saying
David Moyes salutes Wayne Rooney: “He looks as if he is beginning to take ownership himself. He is starting to say: ‘Look, come on, we need to play better. We need to make sure we are doing much more than we are doing.’ I see that in the dressing room. I see it every day in training when he is continually trying to improve himself. Wayne has those qualities. It is good for us. Hopefully in the years to come we are going to need that from him.”
Bruce excited to face his old side: “For all of us at Hull City, there’s no better time to have a home game against Manchester United than on Boxing Day. Traditionally, it’s the biggest and best day and we’ve got the biggest game. It’s a big occasion for us to host the Champions and they’re hitting a bit of form which you would expect them to do. The one thing that is for certain is that we’re going to have to be at our best. We have to play well ourselves, like we did against Liverpool. We have to enjoy the challenge of welcoming Manchester United here.
We are all expecting an away win here, regardless of United’s struggles this season. As Bruce points out, the Red Devils are hitting top form and will see maximum points from their festive games drag them right back into the title race. If Welbeck is fit, United will look to keep the same front four together to terrorize Hull’s defense. But the Tigers are made of stern stuff, and roared on by a vocal crowd at the KC they could cause a shock. I think United will edge it.
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