COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Saturday 1st February 2014
VENUE KC Stadium






Due to lack of time, this is just a short preview, but Hull City are on a bad run of form at the moment, with a 0-1 reverse at Crystal Palace in midweek.  Since beating Fulham at the KC 6-0, they have dropped down the table and Spurs will be looking to pick up their form after being soundly beaten at home by Manchester City on Wednesday.

Two fresh strikers signed by the Tigers in the transfer window are likely to make their first appearance at their home ground, with Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic both having scored against Spurs in the past for their former clubs West Bromwich Albion and Everton.  However, it was reported that Jelavic had a stinker against Norwich City the previous match and Long has not been prolific this season, but Spurs will have to be wary of their old boy Tom Huddlestone, who has found a team built around him and he is starring in midfield for Hull.  He never had that privilege at Spurs, where he had to fit into the side, but his passing ability has always been there for all to see.  Luckily, Spurs have the pace of Danny Rose available at left back after having his red card wiped out and with Walker on the other flank, they should be able to cope with any attempted passes over their heads to get the Hull wingers in.

There are some players who like to let you know they are there, but with the players fitting into Tottenham's system better now, hopefully they will be able to play around the home players.  It was a tough task to beat them in the league game at the Lane, with the League Cup tie going to penalties, so Spurs cannot be complacent, even though our away record is good.  Although Liverpool played a poor game on their visit to Humberside, they still came unstuck and Hull won 1-0.

They don't score many goals, which is why they have shelled out on new forwards, with Robbie Brady having scored three and he takes penalties.  Yannick Sagbo is a tall striker, but he looked a little heavy with his touch when he played at Spurs in the League Cup tie, while Gedo has not featured too often, looking a similar player to Sagbo.  Sone Aluko is out injured and that leaves Matty Fryatt, who scored a lot of Championship goals, but has struggled at the higher level, although he has a good shot and an ability to pop up in goal-scoring positions.

Wingers Elmohamady and George Boyd can be tricky, but need to improve their final ball, while David Meyler provides a physical presence in midfield, verging on the dirty.  I am sure he will try and put the wind up the Tottenham midfielders without Jake Livermore able to play against us while on loan at the KC Stadium.  Robert Koren is advancing in years, but has a good understanding of the game, using his passes well and being a dab hand at free-kicks, while Stephen Quinn is energetic and will be in and around people to put them off.

The defence is aging, with Paul McShane and Curtis Davies in the middle of the back four, although one might drop out to full back to allow Alex Bruce in the centre-half pairing.   All are good in the air at both ends, but may lack pace to keep up with the likes of Lennon, Walker and Rose.  Liam Rosenior or Maynor Figureoa could slip into the other full back position, with options lsightly limited by injuries to Chester and Dudgeon.

In goal, reserve keeper Steve Harper will feature after Allan McGregor got sent off at Selhurst Park on Tuesday, so Spurs will be well advised to test him out early on and keep on doing so.

With Adebayor in good form, it will be interesting to see if Sherwood plays Soldado alongside him, but with Paulinho returning, it could be time to rest Nabil Bentaleb, as the Brazilian looked good just before he got injured against Charlie Adam.  If you like your games medium roar, then the Hull side will aim to please with a tigerish display.  Spurs to edge it, but it will be a war of attrition.

PREDICTION Hull City    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Jan Vertonghen, Paulinho and Younes Kaboul return to the squad after injury, but Erik Lamela (thigh) and Andros Townsend (hamstring) are still sidelined.  Danny Rose is free to play after Spurs won an appeal against the red card he was given on Wednesday against Manchester City.
January transfer window signings Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic are in line to make their home debuts, with Danny Graham having returned to Sunderland, but James Chester (hamstring), Sone Aluko (shin) and Joe Dudgeon (knee) are all out long term.  Maynor Figueroa might be fit to play if he has shaken off his calf injury.

Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.35 (highlights)  Also available online.

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BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Hull City  1 (1)                                                                                  Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)
Premier League
Saturday 1st February 2014                                                                                                        Kick off 15:00
KC Stadium
Long 12
Paulinho 61
Meyler (foul on Bentaleb) 75 


Soldado (foul on Meyler) 90+2


Crowd :   24,932 Weather :  Dry, but chilly and windy
Referee :  Anthony Taylor (-) Assistant Referees :  Mr. D. Cann; Mr. M. McDonough
Fourth Official :  Martin Atkinson -
Hull City kicked off and played towards the MKM South Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes.
Hull City : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
22  Steve HARPER

  2  Liam ROSENIOR
  6  Curtis DAVIES
15  Paul McSHANE
  3  Maynor FIGUEROA

27  Ahmed ELMOHAMADY  (10  Robert KOREN 70)
  7  David MEYLER     
11  Robbie BRADY  (17  George BOYD 70)

18  Nikica JELAVIC  (20  Yannick SAGBO 89)
21  Shane LONG 

Unused subs: 
  4  Alex BRUCE
29  Stephen QUINN
12  Matt FRYATT

  25  Hugo LLORIS

  2  Kyle WALKER
20  Michael DAWSON
  3  Danny ROSE

  7  Aaron LENNON
42  Nabil BENTALEB
23  Christian ERIKSEN

  9  Roberto SOLDADO     
10  Emmanuel ADEBAYOR (37  Harry KANE 90)

Unused subs: 
24  Brad FRIEDEL
15  Etienne CAPOUE
21  Nacer CHADLI

Manager :  Steve Bruce Manager :  Tim Sherwood
Sponsor :   Cash Converters Shirt sponsor :  Hewlett Packard
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Spurs had to settle for a draw at Hull City after a ragged first half and a better second 45 minutes, but failure to take chances (three of nineteen shots on target) cost them the opportunity to further extend their run of consecutive away wins.

Sherwood made a couple of changes, with players returning from injury, as Paulinho was drafted in taking the place of Mousa Dembele, injured by Toure on Wednesday and Jan Vertonghen came in for Vlad Chiriches.

Hull had the first chance of the day when a quick free-kick on their right caught the Spurs defence napping and Nikica Jelavic snuck in to meet it on the volley, but while his cushioned effort just eluded Lloris it also went a little too high and went over the bar.

Spurs hit back with a good opening of their own when Lennon played the ball to Soldado and his cross picked out Emmanuel Adebayor on the edge of the box and the first time volley forced Harper to tip it over the top.  However, in the 12th minute, Hull scored the opening goal of the game and for them, the opening goal of 2014.  A long goal-kick dropped and Jelavic hooked the ball past Dawson and Vertonghen, allowing Shane Long to run onto it from 20 yards out and shooting past Lloris as he reached the area.

While Hull were pressing the Spurs man on the ball, the team did start to move better and find some fluency, although without testing Harper too much.  A dodgy free-kick awarded to Hull after Dawson won the ball with Long gave Jelavic a chance to curl one a foot wide, with Lloris left standing, just seven minutes before the break.  As the clock reached 45 minutes, Christian Eriksen picked up the ball, took it inside one Hull player and ran at the defence; shooting from outside the box and flying over the bar.

The break came and there had not been too many scoring opportunities in the first half, but Hull had taken theirs and Spurs needed to make the Tigers' keeper work harder.

Spurs started the second half slowly, allowing Hull to nick a ball off Rose and win a free-kick down by their right wing corner flag.  They were first to the ball and Spurs were not holding onto the ball very well.

Ten minutes into the half, a move that saw Lennon have a shot blocked and then Eriksen played in on the right, with his drove beaten away for a corner by Harper.  A late challenge where Meyler stamped down on Bentlaeb's foot only got Spurs a free-kick, with no caution for the Hull midfielder, but further punishment was to come.  The ball was played short to Rose, who hit a shot, which was going nowhere until it landed at the feet of Paulinho.  The Brazilian struck a shot on the turn from 12 yards out and the power of it beat Harper's attempt to save making it 1-1 just after the hour.

A couple of minutes later, Long hooked a ball back into the far post area from the right, where Jelavic got there before Walker, nudging a volley against the bottom of Lloris' post, with the keeper tight to it, so unlikely to let it past him.  The game really opened up and only loose passing stopped either side getting away.  Lennon put a low ball into the six yard box, cutting out Harper, but it was a home player there to clear the ball.  Space opened up for Robert Koran, a minute after he had come on as a substitute, but he dragged his shot wide, then Jelavic poked the ball past Lloris, as the keeper came to the edge of the box and Dawson got back to hack the ball away.

Meyler finally got booked for another foul on Nabil, but the free-kick was cleared and when it came back in, the young midfielder struck a low volley a yard wide.   Adebayor put in a good cross into the six yard box, but no Spurs player attacked it, Vertonghen hit a 25 yard free-kick that swerved away from the goal and Eriksen's dipping cross was held by the keeper at his near post.

Long put Jelavic away on the left with five minutes left, after some sloppy Spurs passing, but the Croatian's low shot was kept out by Lloris.  Towards the end, Bentaleb crossed for Soldado to head, but it was too high for him to get any direction on the ball, while Ade was on the floor having been crunched from behind by McShane.  Harry Kane replaced the Togo striker.

At the other end, Jan let Long nip in front of him and dragged him back, conceding a late free-kick, which Tom Huddlestone whipped in from near the dead-ball line.  It went knee high across the face of goal, somehow without anyone getting a touch.

Spurs had a couple of moves going forward but the game ended with a point apiece and that was probably better for Hull than it was for us, especially with Everton winning to go back above us.  And it is the Toffees who provide the next opposition next Sunday in what could end up being an important game for the fifth place if not a higher one.

Burton Bradstock


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Cardiff City 2 Norwich City 1 Saturday
Everton 2 Aston Villa 1 Saturday
Fulham 0 Southampton 3 Saturday
Newcastle United 0 Sunderland 3 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Manchester United 1 Saturday
West Ham United 2 Swansea City 0 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Liverpool 1 Sunday
Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 0 Sunday
Manchester City 0 Chelsea 1 Monday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 24 17 4 3 47 21 55 +26
2 Manchester City 24 17 2 5 68 27 53 +41
3 Chelsea 24 16 5 3 44 20 53 +24
4 Liverpool 24 14 5 5 58 29 47 +29
5 Everton 24 12 9 3 37 25 45 +12
6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 24 13 5 6 31 32 44 -1
7 Manchester United 24 12 4 8 39 29 40 +10
8 Newcastle United 24 11 4 9 32 31 37 +1
9 Southampton 24 9 8 7 34 26 35 +6
10 Aston Villa 24 7 6 11 27 34 27 -7
11 Stoke City 24 6 6 12 23 35 25 -12
12 Hull City 24 6 6 12 23 30 24 -5
13 Swansea City 24 6 6 12 29 35 24 -6
14 Sunderland 24 6 6 12 25 36 24 -11
15 Norwich City 24 6 6 12 19 37 24 -18
16 West Bromwich Albion 24 4 11 9 28 34 23 -6
17 Crystal Palace 24 7 2 15 15 35 23 -18
18 West Ham United 24 5 7 12 24 33 22 -9
19 Cardiff City 24 5 6 13 19 41 21 -22
20 Fulham 24 6 1 17 22 53 19 -31


Position before match :  5th
Position after match :  6th
Position after the weekend :  6th

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