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Rupert Wyman 26th Dec 2009 - 18:59

Tigers' lack of bite will cost them against Man Utd

Manchester United are still without the vast majority of their defenders as they travel to the east coast for their latest Premier League clash with Hull City. However the Tigers' lack of firepower is likely to mean that they won't be able to take advantage of United's makeshift backline.

Phil Brown's side have scored just 17 goals in their 18 league matches so far this season, admittedly 12 of these have come in Hull's nine home matches. It is this lack of creativity and striking potency that will cost them against the champions, especially as they are without their biggest influence in Jimmy Bullard.

Therefore the 2/5 about an away win is the one to be on in the match betting. Man Utd may have been thoroughly beaten by Fulham last time out but there is positive news in the possible returns of Rafael, Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown to bolster the defence.

United's problems were such at  Craven Cottage that Sir Alex Ferguson had to change his formation as he didn't even have four players to play at the back, so had a back three of midfielders Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick as well as the inexperienced Ritchie de Laet.

If one of Vidic and Brown are able to play then Fergie will be able to go back to his favoured formation with four at the back which his players are much more comfortable with and then one can expect a much improved performance from the one in London.

Hull were also in the capital for their last match as they went down 1-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates. City were not that bad against the Gunners and Geovanni missed a penalty as well, so they could easily have taken a point.

Despite this Man Utd's superior talent should see them home and one must remember that on the final day of last season a second string United side played at the KC Stadium and beat Hull 1-0.

The Tigers may be a bit better than they were at the back end of last season, but with the likes of Wayne Rooney about it is hard to see anything but the three points going back across the M62 to Manchester.

The England hitman is 3/1 to open the scoring or 8/11 to score at any point. The value bet, however, could be Darron Gibson at 4/1 to score at anytime. The Irish central midfielder has already scored three crackers this season and with United likely to see a lot of the ball Gibson should get some shooting opportunities.

On both occasions the sides met last season Man Utd won by the odd goal, with a 4-3 home success added to the aforementioned 1-0 victory at the KC.

However, the pick of the scorelines in the correct score betting looks to be a 2-0 away win at 9/2.

Another good looking bet is for the Red Devils to win to nil and that is available at 19/20.

Some might think that it is crazy to suggest that Man Utd can keep a clean sheet with all their injury problems at the back but if you look back to the way the champs comfortably beat West Ham and kept the Hammers from scoring at the start of December then a performance like that is far more likely to happen on Sunday than a repeat of last week's blip against Fulham, especially as Hull have not got anyone playing anything like Bobby Zamora is right now.



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