Match preview: Hull City v Leicester City

October 26, 2015

Mitchell Whiley looks ahead to the fourth round clash, and even dares to make a prediction on the outcome.

What an exciting clash we have coming up in the League Cup, as Hull City welcome Leicester City to the KC Stadium. Both sides have had impressive starts to their respective league campaigns, but that all counts for little when it comes to a cup tie. This should be a cracker.

Leicester City found some incredible form towards the end of the 2014/15 Premier League season, which ultimately led to them staying in the top flight. This season has seen them outdo even their own form from the backend of last season, currently sitting fifth in the Premier League, only three points behind Manchester City in first. The two main catalysts to this have been Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy. Mahrez has started the season with five goals and five assists, while Vardy has now scored in seven consecutive league games to take his tally to ten and leading the golden boot race by four goals. The good news for Hull City fans is that Vardy has not been named in the squads for the Foxes’ opening two League Cup matches, and Mahrez has only seen action from the bench in the last cup tie against West Ham. It’s not as though they will be without a decent forward though, as Joe Dodoo had a hand in all four goals in their 1-4 win at Bury in round two, grabbing a hat trick and an assist. He also netted in their most recent cup tie against West Ham, which proved crucial as Leicester went on to win 2-1 after extra time. Leicester have a great record in the League Cup, having won it three times (1964, 1997, 2000) and finishing runners up twice (1965, 1999). Leonardo Ulloa, with a thigh injury, is the only one in the injury ward for Claudio Ranieri’s team.

After arguably their two best performances of the season in the last week, Hull City look to take their red-hot form and show the footballing world why they deserve a spot in the Premier League. Currently sitting second in the Championship table, the Tigers hold the best defensive record in the Football League this term along with Arsenal, Tottenham and both Manchester clubs, having only conceded eight goals. Not only are they looking good at the back, but Abel Hernandez has now scored seven goals this season, and David Meyler has now scored a goal in each of his last three starts. A shaky start to the League Cup campaign saw Hull City overcome Accrington Stanley in a penalty shootout in round one. A 1-0 victory over Rochdale in round two was followed by a 1-0 win against Premier League club Swansea in the previous round. Squad rotation will play a massive role in this match for Steve Bruce and his men, as he 犀利士
himself has admitted that he will have to make changes in order to rest players. This means it is unlikely that we will see Abel Hernandez in the starting eleven, while players like Diame, Huddlestone, Maguire, Maloney, Hayden and Luer may all get the chance to shine at some stage. Snodgrass, Diomande and Davies are still a few weeks away yet, while Alex Bruce and Sone Aluko are also out with injury.

If history is anything to go off, this will be a very exciting match. Hull City hold a slender advantage over Leicester City, winning twenty-eight and losing twenty-six, as well as twenty-three draws. However, the past eight fixtures against the Foxes has seen the Tigers win only one, drawing three and losing four. In the League Cup, the record stands at 1-1-1, Hull City winning the 1973 replay with Leicester winning the most recent tie 2-4 in 2002.  Much like Hull City’s most recent match against Birmingham, the away side visits not having lost on their travels this season, while the hosts are undefeated at home in the current campaign; the unstoppable force against the immovable object. This will be make for brilliant viewing.

My previous prediction of Hull 3-1 Birmingham was not far off, but this one could go anywhere. With team selections anyone’s guess, I’ll unconfidently say Hull City 1-1 Leicester City, with the home side advancing on penalties and taking the club passed the fourth round for the first time in its history.

@MitchellWhiley