Tottenham travel to Hull City this week in the first Premier League fixture since the international break. All though Spurs have been struggling in recent weeks, the time off has given Mauricio Pochettino time to “fix the issues” that he promised to correct.
Venue: KC Stadium
Televised: Sky Sports 1
Statistics (via BBC Sport)
Hull’s only win in six Premier League encounters between the clubs remains their inaugural top-flight meeting in October 2008. Giovanni’s 30-yard free-kick at White Hart Lane proved decisive. Tottenham have won three of the subsequent five league meetings, including two at the KC Stadium. The Tigers have not beaten Spurs at home since a 2-0 victory in the old second division in October 1977.
Tottenham are enduring their worst start to a Premier League season since the 2008-09 campaign, when they had just nine points from their opening 11 games. However, only one of their five defeats has been in an away fixture (4-1 at Manchester City). They have earned eight points from a possible 15 on their travels.
Spurs have conceded a league-high five penalties this season, of which three have been scored. Nacer Chadli has scored six goals in 10 Premier League appearances this season – he scored only once in 24 top-flight games in 2013-14.
The Tigers have only earned one win and eight points from their last 10 league games (W1, D5, L4). Both of Hull’s wins this season have come against sides currently below them in the table: Crystal Palace and QPR. Steve Bruce’s side have not scored a Premier League goal in 314 minutes since Abel Hernandez’s 46th-minute strike in October’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal.
Prior to this run, Hull had scored in each of their first eight league games. The Tigers have conceded a league-high five goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches; Tottenham (four) are equal-second on that list.
Tottenham will be without defender Kyle Naughton through suspension, after his red card against Stoke City. The manager is expected to check on the fitness of Emmanuel Adebayor, whilst Nabil Bentaleb and Kyle Walker remain sidelined. Danny Rose and Andros Townsend are also doubts to face Hull.
Starting XI – Lloris, Dier, Vertonghen, Kaboul, Rose, Mason, Eriksen, Chadli, Lamela, Kane, Soldado (4-4-1-1)
Score – Hull City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
One to watch – Nacer Chadli
With the Belgian in fine form this season for Spurs, he could provide the necessary goals to overcome the Tigers. Chadli’s finish against Stoke was the only ray of light amongst a dark Sunday at the Lane, and should he start at the KC, I predict he will bag at least one goal. Watching the former FC Twente man has been a pleasure this season. His celebrations after the volley against Mark Hughes’ side were pleasing to see, given a lack of passion is evident amongst the squad.