Hull V Cardiff at The KC Stadium : Match Preview

13 September 2013 03:31
Hull V Cardiff - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Bruce - Cardiff clash a must win

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes Saturday's match with Cardiff is one both clubs will have highlighted as a must win at the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign.

The last time the sides met at the KC Stadium was the final day of Championship season - a dramatic 2-2 draw capped by a tense period of injury-time that saw Hull miss a penalty and Cardiff score one.

That result was still enough to send the Tigers up in second behind their title-winning opponents and both sides now share the goal of preserving their top-flight status.

Cardiff have already beaten Manchester City, while Hull impressed in patches against the same opponents just before the international break, but Bruce insists it is fixtures such as this that will define each side's season.

"It's a big game for us, but I'm sure they'll say the same. Cardiff came up with us and they'll have put it down as one of their fixtures to get something from," said Bruce.

"Cardiff are a good side and they proved to be the best side in the Championship last year. Since then they've added to their squad well, spent a lot of money to improve and they're going to male a big fist of it.

"Talk about must win's against opposition who you think will be around you at the end of the season. If you can turn those teams over it's a big feather in your cap and can help you enormously.

"We identified the first four or five home games. For any side in the bottom half it's about 'can you pick up the points at home?'

"But Cardiff won the Championship at a canter in the finish and they've added well. They'll be difficult to beat but the way we have played so far has encouraged us."

Hull will be without summer signing Yannick Sagbo, who serves the last of a three-game suspension following his sending off against Norwich, meaning Danny Graham should get another chance to impress up front.

Bruce has a doubt over goalkeeper Allan McGregor. McGregor missed Scotland's World Cup qualifiers this month with a groin problem and is not a certainty to have recovered, but Sone Aluko (hamstring) should be fine.

Maynor Figueroa was the last member of the club's international players to return, having represented Honduras, but loan signing Gedo has yet to receive his visa.

Peter Odemwingie took a swipe at former club West Brom as he claimed his move to Cardiff has seen him join a stronger club.

The 32-year-old Nigeria striker joined the Bluebirds in a B#2.5million move late on transfer deadline day, ending an eight-month period where he was frozen out at The Hawthorns after attempting to force through a move to QPR in January.

Odemwingie could make his Cardiff debut at Hull on Saturday, although he is likely to be selected among the substitutes by City boss Malky Mackay.

But he believes the Welsh club, who spent significantly over the course of the summer, have a stronger pool of players to choose from than his former employers.

He said: "I told my wife that from what I see this is a stronger team than West Brom. Without any disrespect to West Brom, that is how I feel.

"I think the club has shown what brought them here were gradual steps. They showed a lot of ambition in the window but it took them a couple of years of calculated steps.

"From the chat I had with the manager that is the way it will be. They have plans for the near future and I think the objective is to stay in the league because they all know this league is very tough.

"They had a great start but the finish is the most important part and it is important to get points on the board before December."

David Marshall is a doubt for for the trip. The goalkeeper suffered a hip injury while on international duty with Scotland, and manager Malky Mackay will turn to back-up Joe Lewis should Marshall not recover in time to play a part at the KC Stadium.

Source: PA