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Rupert Wyman 18th Oct 2009 - 14:06

Bullard's return will make no difference to Hull

Jimmy Bullard is in line to return to the starting line-up for Hull City against his former club Fulham on Monday night. The midfielder made the move north in January but since his £5 million switch he has played just 37 minutes for the Tigers.

Bullard is one of the game's bubbliest characters and will be chomping at the bit to get playing competitive football again following his serious knee injury, especially against Fulham who were prepared to let him leave Craven Cottage despite his starring role in 2008 in helping the Cottagers avoid relegation.

The West Ham youth product is 11/2 to get on the scoresheet and romantic punters will like the look of those odds.

Nevertheless I think it will take more than the return of Bullard to help Hull beat Fulham and claim their first away win of the season at odds of 19/5.

A home win is priced at 6/10 and with Fulham notoriously good at home, which is even more the case against the lesser lights of the Premier League, this looks to be the one to be on in the match betting.

Roy Hodgson's side may have only won one out of three at home this term but the defeats did come against Arsenal and Chelsea. In addition they were unlucky to lose against the Gunners as Vito Mannone in goal was superb for Arsene Wenger's side.

Fulham have struggled for goals this term scoring just six in their seven matches while Hull aren't exactly prolific with eight goals in eight matches therefore the under two goals option at 2/1 could appeal to some.

The Cottagers struggle in front of goal is highlighted by the fact that their main striker Andy Johnson is yet to open his Premier League account in this campaign. The former Everton man is 6/5 to break his duck against City and this looks worth a bet.

An anytime wincast bet of Johnson to score and a Fulham win at 17/10 looks a great bet.

At a bigger price Zoltan Gera appeals at 5/1. For Hull yet again this season it is Geovanni who is their biggest threat. The Brazilian has scored or helped create four of their last five goals in the Premier League and at 9/1 to open the scoring could be value.

However, I think Fulham will produce a fine defensive display and shut down Hull's attacks and keep a clean sheet and at 11/10 I like the look of that a lot. An alternative and arguably better bet along the same lines is Fulham to win to nil at 5/4.

If the Cottagers win as expected then they will be three points clear of the relegation zone and it is vital that they do get the win with two hard looking matches against Man City and Liverpool to come plus not forgetting two matches against Italian giants Roma in the Europa League.

It should be another torrid away day for Phil Brown and the way things are going for Hull then there will be thankfully no repeat of the sing song on the pitch at the end of the season.



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