Preview: Manchester City v Hull City

Hull travel to the Etihad Stadium looking to continue their ascent out of the relegation zone, while a win for Man City will see them regain third place on the league table.

Premier League
8 April 2017
Match Day 32
Kick-off: 16h00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Head-to-head summary:

Manchester City 10 6 3 1
Hull City 10 1 3 6

Previous encounter:

Hull City 0-3 Manchester City

Manchester City goalscorers:
Y. Touré (72′), K. Iheanacho (78′), C. Davies (OG)(90+4)

Players to watch:

Of all the superstars that the Citizens have signed since their emergence as Premier League and Champions League contenders, David Silva is undoubtedly the player who has delivered the greatest amount of net value.

And now, almost seven years after his move from Valencia and three months after his 31st birthday, Silva shows no signs of slowing down. Barring the phenomenal Eden Hazard, Silva was the best player on the field in the Sky Blues’ midweek loss to Chelsea and Pep Guardiola will be keenly aware of how important the midfielder is to the remainder of what has been a tough campaign.

Hull City’s Sam Clucas has been a revelation in the Hull midfield. The 26-year old, who was handed two consecutive starts due to Tom Huddlestone’s suspension, covered every area of the pitch in his club’s two victories over West Ham and Middlesbrough. With Huddlestone still banned, all eyes will be on him to see if he could give his manager a selection headache once the suspension is served.

Team form and manager quotes:

They may have a match in hand and only trail third-placed Liverpool by two points, but Manchester City will be exceptionally concerned over their recent form.

A paltry three points earned from four matches means that the pressure they had been exerting on second-placed Tottenham Hotspur has all but abated – the Londoners now a comfortable seven points ahead of Guardiola’s men.

To make matters worse, over their shoulder lurks both Arsenal and Manchester United – each with a game in hand – desperate to revive their respective quests for a Champions League place.

Following his side’s disappointing loss to the Blues on Wednesday, Guardiola admitted that his side’s Premier League campaign no longer involves aiming for the title.

“It’s between Chelsea and Tottenham now,” he told reporters. “Now we have to think about qualifying for the Champions League and finishing in the top four.”

Hull City have recovered well from their 4 – 0 to Everton three matches ago, regaining the momentum that beating Swansea the week before gave them.

Since returning from Goodison Park, the Tigers came from a goal behind to beat West Ham and won what could be one of the most important matches of their season against Middlesbrough last weekend, again despite conceding first.

The six points earned from these two matches saw Marco Silva’s side leapfrog the Swans into the safety of 17th spot on the league table.

Meanwhile, Silva wants to see his side play as well away from home as they do at the KCOM Stadium. He said, “We need to start translating our home form to when we go away because in front of our own fans we are playing well and with a lot of confidence.”

Team news:

Manchester City are without Gabriel Jesus(foot) and long-term absentee Ilkay Gundogan(knee), while Hull will be missing Harry Maguire(knee) and Tom Huddlestone(suspension).