After back to back wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, Manchester United face Hull City at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the kick-off being the traditional 3 o’clock one for a Saturday afternoon game. Manchester United don’t often play games at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. Manchester United have never lost to Hull City since they entered to the Premier League in the 2008/09 season. They have played each other six times in that time with Manchester United winning all six games.
The first encounter between the two sides last season, the first for four seasons after Hull were relegated at the end of the 2009/10 season. This match was at Hull’s KC Stadium on boxing day last year. Manchester United won this match 3-2 after going 2-0 down early on in the match. Hull were 2-0 up only 13 minutes into the match but United were soon back on level terms after 26 minutes through goals from Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney. United got the winner thanks to an own goal from James Chester, who came through the youth system at United and had scored the opening goal for Hull in this match.
The return fixture at Old Trafford last season finished 3-1 to United and it was United’s last game of the season at Old Trafford. By this time David Moyes had been sacked and Ryan Giggs was in temporary charge of United. The match saw the debut of young striker James Wilson and he scored two goals in the match to confirm all the potential he had shown in the youth teams at Manchester United. The match also saw Ryan Giggs coming on to play his final game for Manchester United. He almost marked his final game in the famous red shirt with a goal when he had a free-kick go close in the final few minutes.
Manchester United are currently 5th in the Premier League form table having taken 11 points from a possible 18. In those six games United have only suffered defeat once and that coming in the Manchester Derby, while they have won games against Everton, Crystal Palace and Arsenal and drawn again West Brom and Chelsea. I think United can happy with that return from those six fixtures especially considering all the injuries they have suffered in this period. While Hull City have taken only 5 points in the same period and have lost their last 3 games and haven’t won for 5 games. They were very unlucky to suffer defeat last time out against Tottenham in match that was turned on the harsh sending off of Gaston Ramirez. So Hull City and Steve Bruce will be looking to bounce back in this match, while Manchester United will be looking to carry on their recent decent form and get their third win on the bounce.
Manchester United will be hoping to see some of the injured players return, if not to the starting eleven then at least to the bench. Louis Van Gaal has confirmed that both Falcao and Rojo could return to the matchday squad. Surely also Ander Herrera will be looking to regain a place in the starting eleven having not started a game since at West Brom on the 20th October as he’s been struggling with a broken rib injury. So hopefully Manchester United will be able to call on a few returning players. While it has also been confirmed that Luke Shaw will be out for a few weeks, which is good news because that injury looked like it could have been so much worse. I’m hoping to see Manchester United return to the diamond formation and see them really attack Hull and build on the confidence that they should be feeling after the wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal.