Match Preview: Hull City vs Crystal Palace

By - Friday 22nd November, 2013

With the Eagles still lacking a manager following the departure of Ian Holloway twenty-nine days ago, they travel to fellow promoted club Hull in the future City of Culture

Kevin Phillips – set for some game time? Photo by Tom Brogan, used under Creative Commons License.

With former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis this week’s leading candidate for the Crystal Palace manager job, ‘culture’ is not a word that will be reverberating around many Palace fans’ heads with regards to the style of football the Welshman’s teams often put out. Yet it is that style of football which may keep Palace up, and indeed the style which may result in points in games such as Hull City away, which is where the Eagles find themselves this week as they take on the Tigers in the recently announced ‘UK City of Culture 2017.’

How Palace could do with an award or three from their visit to Humberside; a well fought for and deserved point against Everton last time round may prove to be a turning point for the Eagles – yet even though logically speaking Hull City should be the easiest away trip Palace will face this season (the Tigers having gone up from the Championship in second place) the likelihood is that this will be another considerably difficult away trip for caretaker manager Keith Millen’s men – who let’s not forget have only a sole league victory away from home to their name in 2013, back in March when they defeated Derby County.

That’s not to say that there aren’t positives to take heart from going into this encounter. Palace welcome back Welsh wizard Jonny Williams earlier than expected, who had been missing since picking up an injury on international duty in mid-September. There are no new injury worries for the Eagles, with Adlene Guedioura and Paddy McCarthy still missing, and they will welcome the boost to midfield Williams will bring. Kevin Phillips may get game time, after publicly calling for it during the week; the forty year-old play off final hero scored a hat-trick when these two sides met in the corresponding fixture at Selhurst Park in March, which Palace won 4-2.

Hull have only scored four goals at home in the league this season – the same as Palace

Hull City meanwhile, in the middle of a dispute between the fans and chairman over the renaming of the club, are managed by ex-Palace manager Steve Bruce, still a villain in many Eagles’ eyes for the manner of his departure with Palace sat near the top of the table in 2001. Whether Palace fans like it or not, Bruce is an experienced manager at this level, which has been reflected by Hull’s good form at the start of the 2013/14 Premier League season; the Tigers are sitting in 12th, having gained ten points more than the Eagles. Hull have Robbie Brady, Robert Koren and goalkeeper Allan McGregor available after recovering from injury, but Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn is set to miss out after picking up a knock on international duty.

With Palace still lacking form and facing a long away trip, one would expect this to be another tough battle for the Eagles to gain anything from Humberside. Bruce will have his team well prepared – and with Hull having a rock-solid defence at the KC Stadium this season, having conceded just one goal in five league matches and one Capital One Cup match – Palace will find chances difficult to come by.

Not that it is all doom and gloom however; Hull have only scored four goals at home in the league this season – the same as Palace – and the Eagles will certainly want to impress their potential new manager should he be in attendance. Two weeks ago against Everton, Palace were particularly impressive in defence and should they continue that form into this game, there is no reason why a point is out of their reach.

Prediction: Hull City 0 – 0 Crystal Palace.

Tom Lickley

Tom Lickley

Contributing a variety of roles to the Citizen since early 2013, Tom now focuses upon regeneration, urbanism and real estate writing. He is a strategic communications consultant specialising in the real estate sector, and counts a number of the world's largest investment and fund management companies amongst his clients.

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