West Ham are putting the pressure on Southampton at the top of the Championship table and the visit of Hull will be a tough test for the side who still boast a 100% home record.
Hull are just outside the play-off places but with a game in hand on many of their rivals they are right in the mix. Things were going along superbly for them but three defeats in four games and the loss of their manager to Leicester are major setbacks. Visiting the side with the best home record in the Championship will offer little respite and the bookies make them a 5/1 shot to take the points (bet365 – £200 free bets).
The Saints are just 4/6 (Paddy Power – £100 free betting) to take the three points and with nine wins from nine at St Mary’s it is difficult to look past them making it 10. Of course, records are there to be broken but given they have already beaten four of the seven teams immediately beneath them in the league this is not going to be easy to do.
Nigel Adkins has built a tremendous feeling of togetherness at the club and that will help them after losing 2-0 at the weekend. He also uses a highly analytical method of management and will be well aware of Hull’s strengths and weaknesses.
Of course, all the analysis in the world is nothing without players to carry plans out and Adkins’ squad has some real quality. Rickie Lambert is scoring goals for fun and is always a good bet for him to add to his current tally of 14. Lallana, Fonte and Barnard are also class acts and Nick Barmby, in his caretaker role at Hull, would no doubt be happy with a draw (14/5 – Victor Chandler) on Tuesday.
Barmby’s side were unlucky to lose 3-2 against Burnley at the weekend, throwing away a two goal lead in the final 12 minutes. He will demand more discipline from his players against the league leaders but against the most potent attack in the Championship another high-scoring match looks probable.
This should be yet another home win and over 3.5 goals, which has occurred in four of their nine games at St Mary’s may tempt at 2/1 (Stan James).