Championship preview: Hammers face another tough away trip with Tigers test
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 November 2011
West Ham face a Hull side that has won its last four games at the KC Stadium
Following Tuesday night’s disappointing goalless draw with Bristol City, the Hammers now face yet another tough away trip, this time to the KC Stadium to face Hull City.
The Tigers are riding high in the Championship and currently occupy the last play-off place, sitting two points ahead of seventh-place Leeds and just four points behind West Ham, as Nigel Pearson attempts to haul the club back into the promised land of the Premier League.
The Tigers started their home campaign in shaky fashion losing by a single goal to both Blackpool and Crystal Palace, but both those reverses came way back in August and since then they have added four victories to their record at the KC Stadium.
Reading, Portsmouth, Cardiff City and Watford have all returned from Hull pointless, while it seems that games at the KC are tight ones with only 12 goals scored in six games there so far this season.
Pearson lost Jimmy Bullard during the summer, but managed to bring in experienced Nottingham Forest pair Paul McKenna and Dele Adebola as well as Jack Hobbs from Leicester.
It is strike pair Matt Fryatt and Aaron McLean who have been leading the front line. Although Hull are not prolific scorers, Fryatt has hit the target four times, while McClean has three goals to his name.
Slovenian midfielder Robert Koren has also managed three goals so far and his contribution will make him the one to watch on Saturday.
The last time West Ham travelled to Hull it proved an exciting clash and something of a roller-coaster for the Hammers.
Guillermo Franco and Jack Collison had West Ham 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, but by the time Manuel Da Costa scored, it was to level the match at 3-3 after an alarming capitulation in the middle of the Premier League encounter.
History tells us that West Ham struggle against the Tigers. In fact they haven’t won on Hull City soil since way back in 1954 – a record that Sam Allardyce will be keen to eradicate.
With Pearson being linked with old club Leicester City this week, perhaps there will be some unrest in the Hull ranks this week, and the Tigers did suffer their first defeat in 10 games on Tuesday night at Barnsley.
However, Hull have shown already this season that they are a tough side to beat at home, and two impressive defensive records will be at stake.
Hull have only conceded five goals at home all season, whereas the Hammers have let in just four on the road.
After a frustrating night against Bristol City, the Tigers could feel the full roar of West Ham’s attack.
It may not be pretty, but the Hammers could just sneak home three invaluable points.
Prediction: Hull City 0 West Ham 1
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