The Sky Bet Championship returns from the international break on Friday evening and it is the race for the Premier League that is in immediate focus as Huddersfield Town look to move to within three points of Bournemouth when they travel to Hull City.
Hull City might only be two spots above the drop zone but they are 13 points clear of safety with just eight matches remaining so something will have to go incredibly pear-shaped for them to be in danger of the drop. That makes this a bigger match for the visitors than the hosts.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels. The build-up to the contest begins at 7pm and the kick off at the MKM Stadium comes at 7.45pm.
There is an argument to be made that Hull City didn’t want the international break to come as they had won two of their previous five matches heading into it, although they were well beaten by Luton Town in their latest outing. Those two wins and a couple a little earlier than that have ensured that the Tigers should stay up in their first season back at this level. That means they can play this match with a little bit more freedom.
The big issue for Hull City is their home form. They have lost their last five home matches without scoring a goal in any of them. Their new owners allowed season ticket holders to take someone else for £2 in their last game and the ground was still barely half full and those that were there were fighting among themselves at times so there is a bit of an issue at home games that they need to overcome between now and the end of the season.
If Hull City didn’t want the international break to come I think it is fair to say that Huddersfield Town certainly did. They have played more matches than anyone else in the division this season despite also making the fifth round of the FA Cup and the signs were that they were just beginning to run out of petrol. If you include that FA Cup fifth round tie they went into the international break without a win in four matches which has probably ended their automatic promotion hopes.
They have had a couple of weeks to get themselves rejuvenated again and they will need to have because they are not yet secured to be in the play-offs so they have to keep going right through until the end of the season. Prior to that recent winless run Huddersfield had gone 17 matches without defeat so as long as the recent form was a case of them running out of gas rather than feeling the pressure we should expect them to perform well here.
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Shota Arveladze has suggested that he has a fully fit squad to choose from with the exception of Randell Williams. That means that Lewie Coyle is going to be available for the first time since early February which will be a boost.
Carlos Corberan suggested that this match being on the Friday night means that some of his international players may not feature in this game. One man who definitely won’t is Tino Anjorin who pulled out of the England Under-20 squad with injury.
Huddersfield Town will have been disappointed with their form going into the international break but their winless games came at West Brom, Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, at Millwall and home to Bournemouth so it wasn’t like they were games they were expected to dominate. Hull City is very much a drop down in standard for the Terriers and if they harbour hopes of taking their automatic chances down to the wire then they simply have to win here.
Hull City have a clear issue playing at home at the minute. There is a statement on their website about stadium bans for fans coming onto the pitch and the atmosphere wasn’t the greatest when I was there a couple of weeks ago so there shouldn’t be a better time for Huddersfield to get back to winning ways here, especially with them not inconvenienced too much by injuries. I’m amazed the odds have these two sides level. I have a gulf between the two and expect the visitors to show that here.
Back Huddersfield Town (0AH) to beat Hull City for a 3/10 stake at 1.89 with BetVictor
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