May 11, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT
There’s nothing at stake when Everton visit Hull City on Championship Sunday, but both sides will attempt to end their surprisingly successful seasons on a high note (Watch the game at 10am ET on Bravo or live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
Of course, Hull’s season isn’t over quite yet, not really. Yes, they’ve sewn up Premier League safety and can look forward to a second season in the top flight, but they might be forgiven for allowing their minds to wander. After all, next week brings the trip to Wembley, where the Tigers will take on Arsenal for the right to lift the FA Cup.
Everton may already be looking ahead to next season. After nearly reaching the top four this year, surely Roberto Martínez will want to see his side get into Europe’s top tournament next time around. But despite their focus on the future, the Toffees will almost certainly want to finish the year with a win, particularly after losing their last two.
Neither John Stones nor Ross Barkley are in the Everton team – are they getting a rest before possibly boarding a plane to Brazil? In general, it’s a host of changes from Martínez, who’s maybe trying to get a read on who he wants to keep around come summer.
Steve Bruce apparently believes his boys to be tough enough to not need a rest before next week’s cup final – except, perhaps, for Shane Long, who gets to start on the bench. The younger Bruce, Alex, steps in from the start after James Chester picked up an injury last week.
Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa, Bruce, Davies, Huddlestone, Livermore, McShane, Jelavic, Aluko, Elmohamady, Quinn
Subs: Harper, Rosenior, Koren, Fryatt, Boyd, Sagbo, Long
Everton: Howard, Baines, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, McGeady, Naismith, McCarthy, Lukaku, Barry, Osman
Subs: Robles, Hibbert, Deulofeu, Pienaar, Traore, Alcaraz, McAleny
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