Hull City v Stoke City - Match Preview
Published : 08 Nov 2009 09:16:18
Hull City v Stoke City
Manager Phil Brown will be wanting to claw his Hull City side out of the relegation zone on Sunday when they host ninth-placed Stoke City.
Brown's position has come under heavy scrutiny over the past few weeks as Hull have failed to get going in the Premier League, with last weekend's dismal 2-0 defeat to Burnley increasing the pressure on the manager.
The arrival of new chairman Adam Pearson has not helped matters although the former Derby County chief, who previously held the position during Hull's exciting rise to the Premier League, has done his bit to reassure Brown.
- Premier League fixtures
- Premier League table
"Phil will be manager on Sunday but there's no point me saying he's got a job for life, that's not the case. We need results, quickly, and that puts pressure on everyone at the club," Pearson said this week.
Stoke inflicted a convincing 2-1 defeat when they last visited the KC Stadium in May, although the Tigers' home form has generally been positive this season.
They've picked up their two wins at the KC and have lost only twice, although their defeats to Everton and Spurs were both by the worrying margin of four goals.
Much may rest on the fitness of key midfielder Jimmy Bullard, who has played only once this season - an ill-fated return to Fulham last month - but whose injured knee could yet recover in time for Sunday.
Brown may be tempted to rush Bullard's return as playmaker Geovanni is suspended this weekend after picking up two yellow cards against Burnley, although with Bullard's history of injuries they will only pick him if he proves himself to be fully fit.
Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill is also struggling with the knee complaint that kept him out of the defeat to Burnley, meaning Matt Duke could keep his place despite a distinctly average performance last week.
Stoke, who are endured a frustrating 2-2 draw with Wolves last Saturday, have no such injury dilemmas.