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Having beaten Wigan Athletic at home last Saturday, it’s back on the road tonight with a trip to East Yorkshire to play Hull City at the MKM Stadium.

Hull go into tonight’s game comfortably in mid-table with 46 points from 36 games in a season that’s seen them change manager since their visit to the Turf in August. Shota Arveladze was replaced with Liam Rosenior in early November.

At the time, they were just one point outside of the relegation positions ahead of just Wigan, West Brom and Huddersfield. Since Rosenior took over, Hull have recorded the ninth best points total in the league and have been beaten just once at home in eight league games.

That defeat came in his first home game in charge against Reading, who beat them 2-1. Since, they’ve won three against QPR, Cardiff and West Brom while drawing four against Sunderland, Blackpool, Huddersfield and Preston.

Speaking yesterday in his press conference, Rosenior highlighted the challenge of playing Burnley. He said: “Burnley are an unbelievable team, a possession team and that’s where we want to get to. But they’ve also got people like Jack Cork, Ashley Barnes, Guðmundsson who can also put their foot in at the right time and win battles.

“Vincent (Kompany) is someone I looked up to as a player. He was captain of what was an unbelievable team at Manchester City. I’m honoured to be sharing the touchline with him and Craig Bellamy. What I’ll say about Burnley, and this is really important, our styles and ideas on football when I watch Burnley are very similar, it’s just Vincent had that time in pre-season.”

He added: “They don’t have a weakness. If you want to play them in a football match, they build from the back, they rotate, they change the shape, they can leave five up the pitch and you’re outnumbered. If you want a battle they can fight, they can press and they enjoy the defensive side of the game. I see a group of player there who no matter what the team is, enjoy doing what they’re doing and believe in it.”

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Rosenior was already without the services of Matt Ingram, Cyrus Christie, Ryan Woods and Aaron Connolly and reported yesterday that Benjamin Tetteh has joined them having been ruled out for around six weeks with a hamstring injury.

They drew 1-1 at Coventry last Saturday when substitute Óscar Estupiñán (pictured above) scored their goal. They lined up: Karl Darlow, Lewie Coyle, Alfie Jones, Sean McLoughlin, Callum Elder, Zavier Simons, Jean Michaël Seri, Ozan Tufan, Regan Slater, Dimitrios Pelkas, Benjamin Tetteh. Subs: Thimothee Lo-Tutala, Jacob Greaves, Greg Docherty, Allahyar Sayyadmanesh, Matthew Ebiowei, Adama Traoré, Óscar Estupiñán.

We travel to Humberside in first place in the table. Sheffield United, currently second and thirteen points behind us, travel to Sunderland while Middlesbrough are sixteen points behind having played one game more.

I mention Sheffield United and Middlesbrough for those who have concerns that they might catch us but the reality is that we now need 97 points to be certain of winning the title but just 91 points to clinch promotion. Reality suggests it won’t require anything like that and I suspect two wins from our remaining ten games will probably be enough.

Usually, at this stage of the season, there can be a potential threat of relegation or hopes of winning promotion. With either scenario you have the calculators out, you are keeping a close eye on other results hoping they will go in your favour.

If it was like that right now, we’d have all been joyously celebrating Ki-Jana Hoever’s equaliser for Stoke at Middlesbrough last night but I’m sure we are now all relaxed and ready to enjoy the final ten games of this incredible season regardless of what happens elsewhere.

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I know things can go wrong. Back in 1962, we were certain champions with ten games remaining but ended the season in second place. Then, the lead was big but nothing like it is today, and I believe the sort of collapse we suffered then is just not going to happen.

Nathan Tella is in superb goalscoring form just now and he’s looking forward to adding to his extended goal target. He said, ahead of tonight’s trip: “We take every game at a time and that’s what we’ve got to do regardless. It’s a league game next; we can increase the gap and there’s no reason why we can’t do that on Wednesday. Everyone is only thinking of that.”

He might have some of his team mates returning from injury soon. Taylor Harwood-Bellis played the first half of yesterday’s under-21 game while both Manuel Benson and Jay Rodriguez are both back in full training. Vincent Kompany also reported yesterday that Josh Brownhill’s injury is not as bad as feared and he should be back immediately after the forthcoming international break.

Just a reminder, our team against Wigan was: Arijanet Muric, Connor Roberts, Hjalmar Ekdal, Jordan Beyer, Ian Maatsen, Josh Cullen, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Vitinho, Nathan Tella, Anass Zaroury, Ashley Barnes. Subs: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Jack Cork, Samuel Bastien, Michael Obafemi, Lyle Foster, Halil Dervişoğlu.




Our last Championship game at Hull was on Boxing Day 2015 on what proved to be a bad day for us, ending in a 3-0 defeat. Hull were top at the time but eventually went up through the play-offs to join us as champions and runners-up Middlesbrough in the Premier League.

That 2016/17 season was our most recent game there and ended in a 1-1 draw. We’d just been knocked out of the FA Cup at home against Lincoln and then faced four consecutive away Premier League games with Swansea, Liverpool and Sunderland to follow Hull.

The Hull side included Andrew Robertson who had been so close to a move to Burnley and Kamil Grosicki who had been even closer.

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The first half ended goalless but we’d been the better of the two sides with Ben Mee coming closest to scoring when his header hit the post. The second half started much better. Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray were close for us before Grosicki almost gave Hull the lead.

Hull did go in front with just under twenty minutes remaining when Martin Atkinson awarded them a penalty for handball against Michael Keane; Tom Huddlestone converted from the spot. Their lead was all of four minutes. A Robbie Brady corner reached Keane beyond the far post and the defender took it down with his chest before firing home. That was it, other than us losing Barnes to a second yellow card in stoppage time.

It was just our second away point of the season, the other coming in a 0-0 draw at Manchester United, but with nine home wins we were comfortably in eleventh place with just twelve games remaining.

The teams were;

Hull: Eldin Jakupovic, Ahmed Elmohamady, Andrea Ranocchia, Harry Maguire, Andrew Robertson, Omar Elabdellaoui (Abel Hernandez 82), Tom Huddlestone, Alfred N’Diaye, Kamil Grosicki, Shaun Maloney (David Meyler 67), Dieumerci Mbokani (Oumar Niasse 67). Subs not used: David Marshall, Adama Doimande, Josh Tymon, Jarrod Bowen.

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, George Boyd, Ashley Westwood (James Tarkowski 85), Joey Barton, Robbie Brady (Scott Arfield 89), Ashley Barnes, Andre Gray (Sam Vokes 85). Subs not used: Paul Robinson, Jon Flanagan, Tendayi Darikwa, Dan Agyei.

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