Will Chelsea tame the Tigers?
Hull welcome Chelsea to the KC Stadium for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off, although welcome may not be the right word. Hull have gone on a winless streak that dates back to November and Phil Brown's side look set for another defeat in this match, while Chelsea sit top of the table.
Hull are rightly massive outsiders at 9/1 after picking up only 18 points from their first 20 games, they sit second bottom in the table. After slumping to a 4-1 defeat to Wigan in their last game, even after leading 1-0 at half time, Hull's problems are the usual - trouble scoring, leaking soft goals and unable to hold on to a lead.
Although they did well to come back from 2-0 down at Bolton, which resulted in Gary Megson leaving the Trotters, Hull have nowhere near enough quality to overcome a strong Chelsea side. The best Hull could hope for is that Chelsea have a rare off day in front of goal and they could maybe get a 0-0 draw (11/1).
Table-toppers Chelsea are experiencing quite a different season. Sitting two points clear of Man Utd, Chelsea seem to have put a poor December behind them by beating Fulham in the league then smashing Watford 5-0 in the FA Cup.
They will be without hugely influential players Drogba and Essien, along with Kalou and Mikel thanks to the Africa Cup of Nations but there is still enough quality in the ranks to thump Hull, a better price of 19/20 being available for the -1 handicap. Trying to replace Drogba is ex-Man City youngster Daniel Sturridge who bagged two goals against Watford in the cup, priced at 6/1 to get two or more here or 7/2 just to score first.
The constant threat of Nicolas Anelka is favourite to bag the first or last goal at 3/1 but the best value on the goal scorer market must be Lampard at 5/1 first or 5/4 anytime. The free scoring midfielder has maybe not been in as rich scoring form as usual but he is always a threat. With four of his five league goals coming from the penalty spot Frank is always an option to score.
In last season's fixture Anelka and Lampard helped Chelsea to a 3-0 victory. If you fancy a similar match you can use our Doubled Anytime Scorers to get 3/1 on them both to score anytime. Also the -2 handicap offers a generous 13/5.
The stats point to nothing but an emphatic Chelsea victory such as the last four Chelsea visits to the KC Stadium ending in Chelsea wins, scoring 15 and conceding just one. The Blues have conceded the joint-least goals away from home, just ten in twenty games.
Over 2.5 match goals looks likely at 8/11 if Chelsea rout them by three or four but if Hull manage to get a goal from an early set piece, Giovanni the most likely at 10/1 first scorer, then you would expect Chelsea to attack non-stop till they lead, still giving you over 2.5 match goals but doubled with a Chelsea win is 19/20.
You have to feel Chelsea have far too much for Hull, Drogba-less or not. Hull have looked like Championship material for a long time now and with massive reported debts, a squad cull looks likely - plunging them into even more trouble. I will be hoping for anything other than a Hull victory, just in case Phil Brown takes it upon himself to start singing to celebrate.
My money will be all over Chelsea, Ancelotti's men to win 3-0 at 6/1.
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