WILL DYER (@w2dyer) it's a must-win game for Hull in the relegation scrap as they travel to Crystal Palace on Sunday lunchtime – can they banish their away day blues?
Crystal Palace v Hull City | Sunday 12:00 | Sky Sports 1
After a run of six wins in eight Premier League games, the Crystal Palace players seem to have given up the ghost. The Eagles have now lost three on the bounce without scoring a single goal, including a 2-0 home reverse to Burnley. They are well and truly, on the beach.
Or at least they must have thought they were safe. Since their last win, Hull have picked up four points and Swansea seven and thus closed the gap considerably.
Palace rest in 16th spot on 38 points and defeat here would see Hull reeling them in to just a solitary point advantage, far from ideal when Swansea look pretty sure to beat Sunderland.
Big Sam did a wonderful job of hauling them clear but this is more evidence of why he’s not always held in such high esteem. Is there ambition to take Palace further up the table and does he have what it takes to manage in the top six? For many he’s just a middle-of-the-road kind of man.
Luckily, for Palace, Hull have had more than a few miserable away days this term. Their form elsewhere than the KC stadium is abysmal; W1-D3-L14 which puts them rock bottom of the away league. In those 18 games, they’ve scored just nine goals, another league-low.
A strong performance on their last away trip though did return just their second point since September. The 0-0 draw at Southampton was vital, Dusan Tadic spurning a last-minute penalty, which so nearly undid all their hard defensive work.
No Sakho, No Party
Palace will have to do without Mamadou Sakho, who’s been nominated for their Player of the Season award despite playing just eight games. Since being stretchered off against Spurs, they’ve lost both subsequent games without him.
Hull’s away form is dire but they have no significant injury concerns to worry about and I’m a fan of the work that Marco Silva is doing in the North East. I’m much more comfortable getting with the underdog here.
Tigers Fight Back
Their 2-0 loss at home to already relegated Sunderland last time out was a hellish result but a little undeserved. It means that Hull have a lot of catching up to do, a tricky situation to be in but potentially easier from a mental point of view.
I can't have Palace at odds-on to win under mounting pressure and without Sakho at the heart of the defence. I’ll back the Tigers to avoid defeat at 10/11 via the +0.5 Asian Handicap with BetVictor.
Crystal Palace v Hull City – Hull City +0.5 Asian Handicap (10/11 BetVictor)