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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Hull v Spurs - 19.08.09

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Full League Record of Spurs -v- Hull City

Premier Pl W D L F - A Pts Home 1 0 0 1 0 - 1 0 Away 1 1 0 0 2 - 1 3 ======================================= Total (Prem) 2 1 0 1 2 - 2 3 ======================================= Football Lge Home(Div Two) 7 4 3 0 14 - 4 11 Away(div Two) 7 1 1 5 4 - 9 3 ======================================= Total(Div 2) 14 5 4 5 18 -13 14 ======================================= Total (Prem) 2 1 0 1 2 - 2 3 Total (Div2) 14 5 4 5 18 -13 14 ======================================= Grand Total 16 6 4 6 20 -15 17 ======================================= Last Six Premiership results:- Hull Hull 1-3 Liverpool A. Villa 1-0 Hull Hull 1-2 Stoke Bolton 1-1 Hull Hull 0-1 Man Utd Chelsea 2-1 Hull Spurs Man Utd 5-2 Spurs Spurs 1-0 West Brom Everton 0-0 Spurs Spurs 2-1 Man City Liverpool 3-1 Spurs Spurs 2-1 Liverpool Pos P W D L F-A GD Pts 7 Spurs 1 1 0 0 2-1 1 3 11 Hull 1 0 0 1 1-2 -1 0

Hull's points tally at the end of last season (35) was not the lowest by a team avoiding relegation. That "accolade" belongs to West Bromwich Albion (34 pts), who had that miraculous escape at the end of the 2004-05 season, under the management of Bryan Robson. Hull had the same goal difference as West Brom 4 years ago, but had the benefit of one point more than Newcastle. Striker Craig Fagan's goal at Bolton on 16th May might be perceived as the goal that preserved Hull's Premier League status, as this was their only point in their last 7 games of the season. It's quite amazing that this team stayed up considering their form after their amazing start to their maiden season in the top flight.

Hull's sensational start was achieved partly on the back of wins at White Hart Lane and The Emirates, but they also managed a 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in February, at which point Hull were 11th and Spurs were as low as 16th in the table. It was the Spurs win at Hull on 23rd February that convinced me that we would survive. Jonathan Woodgate scored the vital late winner in that game, but will be missing tomorrow.

Hull so nearly got another draw on Saturday in the opening game of this season's Premier League competition, when Drogba got the winner in added time. My perception was that Chelsea were not using the flanks so much and tended to attack through the middle, where Phil Brown's "Tigers" lived up to their nickname and held the Blues at bay for so long.

Against Spurs, Hull will surely face a different style, with Lennon and Modric to the fore, supported by attacking full backs such as Hutton (or Naughton) and Ekotto. Vedran Corluka is likely to deputise for Ledley King for this midweek game, as the club captain needs a full week to recover from game to game.

Hull's squad has not been strengthened greatly over the summer, and they have one or two crucial injury problems exacerbated by the latest news that club captain Ian Ashbee is out for another 8 or 9 months after a set-back with his knee ligament injury. Jimmy Bullard (signed in January) still has about 6 weeks to go before he will be in the reckoning, after getting injured on his debut.

Former Spur Dean Marney has been ruled out (knee), and 27 year old Australian International Richard Garcia is also out for two months.

Hull's new signings include the combative Steve Hunt, signed from Reading and booed at Chelsea, who hate him for that Petr Cech incident a couple of years ago, and Algerian forward Kamel Ghilas, who was signed from Celta Vigo and who made a substitute appearance at Chelsea. Midfielder Seyi Olofinjana, signed from Stoke, played 90 minutes on Saturday.

Bigger clubs are sniffing around defender Michael Turner, and there is plenty of dust yet to settle in the transfer window. Another former Spur, Anthony Gardner, had a good game on Saturday, and of course Michael Dawson's brother Andy is likely to feature for the home side.

Can Spurs emulate their win of last season at the Kingston Stadium? Both sides had tough first games, and recovery time may be crucial, with Hull having played over 24 hours earlier than Spurs. Harry Redknapp has to ring one or two changes as mentioned, and may choose different options elsewhere.

Spurs beat Hull 3-0 in the Asia Trophy Final in July, and whilst such a result may be beyond them this time, I think their extra sharpness, skill and confidence will carry them to another win, this time by 2-0.

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