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Stuart Dalgleish 7th Nov 2009 - 18:15

Tigers are lacking bite for the battle ahead

Chelsea might be playing Man Utd this Sunday but you try telling Hull and Stoke fans that that's the biggest game of the day.

For these two, this game is hugely important but the hosts are in a sorry state for it; sitting in the bottom three of the Premier League, without a goal in their last three games and have had changes in the boardroom that have their left manager in an extremely precarious position.

Not that Phil Brown seems to mind, the Hull City manager seems convinced that he'll be in charge next season AND in the Premier League, I'm not sure what planet he's on to be honest; he somehow managed to keep the Tigers in the league last season but I think that was more other teams doing than his own, and they've started this season as they finished last - awful in front of goal and a soft touch at the back.

If the Humberside outfit don't sort out their problems soon then I fear that second season syndrome will claim yet another victim; as there are certainly better equipped teams in the division than hapless Hull.

The Tigers just can't afford to lose their home games, but unfortunately they are; two so far including one to fellow relegation rivals Birmingham, with three games in a row to come at the KC Stadium they've got to start claiming all three points when they're on home turf.

The other two opponents at the KC this month are West Ham and Everton, both teams that are struggling for form so it's paramount that points are gathered here to gain momentum ahead of those games and the busy schedule to come around Christmas time.

Brown's charges are 7/4 to get off to a good start ahead of that run of home games with all three points in this one. The draw, which Stoke have achieved in three of their last four away games, is an 11/5 shot. The Potters are 8/5 to make it back-to-back away wins following their sensational victory at Tottenham.

The last player to score for Hull was Geovanni four games ago, the Brazilian play-maker is suspended for this match so the Tigers will need somebody to step up to the plate and start converting chances; Stephen Hunt could be one of those players, the former Reading man has two goals so far but they were in the first two games of the season - he's a 12/1 shot to end that drought with the first of the match, 5/1 to grab one at anytime of the 90 minutes.

Stoke have spread the goals about this season with seven players managing to get on the scoresheet so far in the Premier League, James Beattie is their main threat at odds of 11/2 for the opener, 6/4 to notch at any time of the match, but looking further back Matthew Etherington (12/2 first goal, 5/1 any) and Glenn Whelan (14/1, 11/2 any) have both opened the scoring in recent weeks and could be worth a shout.

The match is sure to be a close affair, make sure you join us to bet In-Play on a wide range of markets.


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