Dean Smith and his Aston Villa side will welcome Hull City to Villa Park for tomorrow’s Championship clash. Villa will be hoping for a much better performance than the one we witnessed against Wigan last weekend.
Smith described the game as his worst in management and stated he expects his side to bounce back. Villa has not won a game in four in all competitions and won’t want to lose to much more ground on the Playoff positions.
Villa needs to improve their home form having only won 5 from 13 at Villa Park. 6 of those ended in draws. Hull, on the other hand, have a decent away form, picking up 18 points from 39 on the road.
Despite a difficult start to the season, Hull City currently find themselves above Villa in the Championship, in 10th position. Many expected them to have a long hard season but Nigel Atkins has found something that works for City. They are currently on a 9-match unbeaten run in the league.
Hull are generally happy to let their opponent have possession of the ball as they sit back. When they do have the ball they are happily playing with the ball in their own half but will look to exploit the wings when they do attack.
One thing that Villa should look to exploit is long shots. Hull will generally allow you to shoot from a distance however if they score first, they are very good at protecting their advantage.
ONE TO WATCH
No real surprise when I say my one to watch is Jarrod Bowen. The 22-year-old right winger is Hull’s top goalscorer with 13 goals so far this season.
Much like Jack Grealish, he is good at dribbling and winning fouls. As his score tally states, he isn’t scared to have a shot and will also put in a shift when required defensively. I am surprised none of the Premiership clubs has not expressed a serious interest in his services yet.
Jonathan Kodjia is fit and available to play after missing out last weekend with an ankle injury. Mile Jedinak is also back in training after being unavailable so far this season.
Despite Jack Grealish’s eagerness to get playing again, the medical staff have advised he doesn’t play just yet and the club has earmarked the Sheffield United game next month for his comeback. Henri Lansbury has yet another knock and will be unavailable.
Hull are still without midfielder Jackson Irvine who is with Australia at the Asian Cup. James Weir and Angus McDonald are missing through injury.
HEAD TO HEAD
Tomorrow’s game will be the 35th game between Villa and Hull City. Villa has 19 wins, compared to Hull’s 6.
Villa has only lost 1 in their last 15 meetings with Hull City. Only three of those games ended in draws.
The first meeting between the two sides came in 1908. Villa won 3-0 in the FA Cup thanks to two goals from Albert Hall and one from Harry Hampton.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Predicted XI: Kalinic; Bree, Chester, Elphick, Taylor; Hourihane, Whelan, McGinn; Bolasie, Kodjia; Abraham.
Kick Off: 15.00
Venue: Villa Park
TV: AVTV (Outside of the UK)
Tickets: Estimated 34,000.