In the last corresponding fixture between these two sides, Everton ran out 5-1 winners after a very strong performance saw them destroy a poor Hull City side. A brace from Mikel Arteta and goals each for Landon Donovan and Jack Rodwell, plus an own goal by Richard Garcia gave Everton the convincing win, while Tom Cairney found the net for Hull’s consolation goal.
Although the result in the previous game turned out to be a rout, recent history shows that this fixture isn’t a one-sided affair. The last four Premier League meetings between these sides have ended with two Everton wins, one draw and one Hull City win, therefore the Tigers should not be written off just yet.
However, it is impossible to look past Everton’s fantastic form this season. The Merseysiders have been especially brilliant at home this term and Hull will be well aware of the fact Everton are currently unbeaten at Goodison Park in their 2013/14 Premier League campaign.
Hull City have played three matches on the road and they will be looking to build on their last away result which turned out to be hard-fought 3-2 victory over Newcastle United. In their other two away matches, the Tigers have failed to score and have ran out 2-0 losers on both occasions, however these results were against Chelsea and Manchester City so in all respects Hull gave a good account of themselves.
Unfortunately for Everton, their unbeaten start to the season came to an end in their last match as the succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Manchester City. Although the result was disappointing, loanee striker Romelu Lukaku was again outstanding as he scored once more, this goal turning out to be his fourth in three matches since he joined the club in September.
Meanwhile, Hull managed to gain one point from their last match against Aston Villa after the score finished 0-0. Although the result was good in that the Tigers didn’t concede a goal, manager Steve Bruce will be wary of the fact his team didn’t manage to score a goal either. In fact a lack of goals is perhaps Hull’s weakness as they have scored just six goals in seven games, with 50% of their total goals being scored in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez will be without Darron Gibson, after the 25-year-old suffered cruciate ligament damage whilst on international duty with the Republic of Ireland this week.
However on a positive note, Steven Pienaar and Antolin Alcaraz are nearing their returns after suffering from hamstring and groin injuries respectively, however is uncertain whether the duo will return for tomorrow’s game.
In regards to Hull City, Bruce will be without long-term absentees Robert Koren and James Chester who are battling to overcoming foot and hamstring problems, however top-scorer Robbie Brady may be fit enough to return which will certainly give the team a boost.
Romelu Lukaku v Curtis Davies:
Everton’s best striker and Hull’s best defender will certainly be one of the main battles to look out for in tomorrow’s game. Hull are currently sitting eighth in the Premier League and their success this season has largely be down to the strength of their back four.
Since Davies joined the club in the summer, Hull have looked stronger at the back and the fact that the centre-back has made more successful clearances than any other defender in the Hull side proves he was a valuable acquisition.
But the defender will definitely have to be at his best when he comes up against Lukaku tomorrow. At just 20 years of age, Lukaku is showing the maturity, confidence and skill of a world class striker and the Belgian international, who is already been dubbed as the coup of the season by many, will be eager to continue his rich vein of goal scoring form tomorrow.
- In their last four top-flight meetings, Everton have won twice, Hull have won once and the other result was a draw.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored 21 goals in 38 Premier League games while spending time on loan at West Brom and Everton, however he is yet to score a Premiership goal for Chelsea, having failed in ten matches with the Londoners.
- Everton have managed to keep seven clean sheets in their last eight home matches, while Hull haven’t conceded a goal in the Premier League in three hours and 46 minutes (226 minutes) of action.
- Hull are yet to win or score against a side in the top-half of the Premier League this season.
Compiled from EPL Index
Possible starting lineups:
Everton: Howard; Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman; McCarthy, Osman, Naismith, Barkley, Mirallas; Lukaku
Hull City: McGregor; Rosenior, Figueroa, Faye, Davies; Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Quinn; Aluko, Graham
Although it was 5-1 to Everton last time out, both teams have changed a lot since then and, with the international break earlier in the week, I imagine both sides will look a bit sluggish. I think the Toffees will win, however the match will be close and, with Brady returning, I am hoping Hull will manage to grab a goal. 2-1.