Manchester City will be determined to pick up their first win in over a month as they take on a Hull City side deep in trouble and among the bottom three.
There was plenty of positives for the hosts to take from their last game at title rivals Chelsea, but there was also some regret as they created the better chances and had more of the territory, though failed to reduce the gap between first and second to two points.
It means that a huge effort is needed to close the gap and overhaul the West London club in the final 15 games, so this is the kind of game where they cannot afford to drop points. Securing victory here could require patience, and the creativity provided by David Silva and fit-again Samir Nasri could prove vital.
It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Hull boss Steve Bruce as he oversaw a demoralising 3-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United. All of the goals came from careless mistakes, while they struggled to create chances and found inspiration difficult to come by.
The most worrying aspect was the apparent lack of team spirit on display, with several players showing poor body language. Bruce is being given time to turn things around, but taking anything here looks a tall order. The Tigers’ fate could be decided by some critical home matches ahead in the coming weeks.
Along with Nasri, defender Eliaquim Mangala is likely to back available for Man City, but Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure are still away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Hull are without Mohamed Diame until the end of February, but James Chester, Robert Snodgrass and Liam Rosenior are longer-term absentees.
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