Hull City and Sunderland will sense a valuable opportunity to edge themselves further clear of the relegation zone as they meet on Tuesday at the KC Stadium.
The hosts will be looking for an improvement after their three-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 1-0 loss at Stoke City on Saturday. They claimed the only goal should have been ruled out for offside, but in truth they were second best throughout and only managed one shot in the entire game.
The absence of strikers Nikica Jelavic and Dame N’Doye clearly hit them hard in the East Midlands, so they will be hope to be reacquainted here as the Tigers go for a third straight home win, and they will fancy their chances having won their last four meetings with Sunderland.
Gustavo Poyet’s side did a good job in the first half of their game at Manchester United last time out, but struggled to compete in the second as they lost fairly comfortably amid the confusion of Wes Brown seeing red rather than defensive teammate John O’Shea. From that moment on, there was only one team in it.
It was further evidence of the Black Cats’ lack of creativity and incision, with Connor Wickham’s early shot providing United keeper David De Gea with his only save of the afternoon. The fact they have managed some 13 draws is the main reason why they do not occupy a place in the bottom three, but they must start winning soon.
N’Doye and Jelavic are likely to start, with the latter having recovered from a swollen knee. However, midfielder Robbie Brady has joined the list of long-term absentees.
Sunderland have Brown available after his aforementioned red card was rescinded, while Adam Johnson, Billy Jones and Ricky Alvarez hope to return after injury.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Hull