Archive for August, 2016

Match Preview : Hull City v Manchester United

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Hull City and Manchester United put their 100 per cent records on the line when the meet in Saturday’s late Premier League clash.

United have got off to a flying start under the charismatic Portuguese, storming to victories against Bournemouth and Southampton from their first two top-flight fixtures.

Many expected United to improve this season following the arrival of Mourinho and a number of high-profile summer signings – chiefly Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba – and, even at this early stage of the season, that appears to be the case.

If United’s start under Mourinho has been impressive, Hull’s adaptation to life in the top-flight has been nothing short of remarkable.

The newly-promoted Tigers have won their opening two Premier League fixtures despite having only 13 first team players available, including a 2-1 victory against champions Leicester.

Understandably, Hull interim manager Mike Phelan – who was Manchester United’s assistant manager between September 2008 and May 2013 – isn’t aiming to change his side too much against his former club.

Team news

Harry Maguire returned to action for Hull in the midweek EFL Cup win over Exeter, and Phelan will have to decide whether to start him this weekend.

He made seven changes in midweek and the likes of Abel Hernandez, Adama Diomande, Robert Snodgrass, Tom Huddlesstone and Andy Robertson will all return, but Greg Luer is sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury.

However, the Tigers remain without the likes of Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo, Alex Bruce and Allan McGregor for the foreseeable future.

Mourinho looks set to have a full squad to choose from for Saturday’s trip to Humberside.

Midfielder Jesse Lingard has missed the last two games, but confirmed via Twitter on Tuesday that he was back in training after his injury.

Defender Chris Smalling made his first appearance of the season by coming off the bench in the 2-0 win over Southampton last Friday and will be hoping for a return to the starting line-up.

Opta stats

Hull City have lost 10 and won none of their last 11 contests with Manchester United in all competitions. The Tigers’ last victory over United came back in November 1974 (2-0).

Man Utd have won three of their four previous Premier League visits to the KC Stadium (D1) but have had a player sent off in the last two.

Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League games against Hull City. Overall, Rooney has been involved in 10 goals in six league appearances against the Tigers (seven goals, three assists).

Hull City have won their opening two Premier League games of 2016-17 – the only newly-promoted side to have won each of their first three games in a Premier League season are Bolton Wanderers in 2001-02.

Ibrahimovic has scored three goals in his first two Premier League appearances. The record for goals scored in a player’s first three Premier League appearances is five – Pavel Pogrebnyak – while eight players have scored four goals in their first three PL games.

Only eight players have scored in each of their first three Premier League appearances: Michael Ricketts, Brian Deane, Adrian Mutu, Dalian Atkinson, Mick Quinn, Diego Costa, Pavel Pogrebnyak & Michu.

Forty-nine of Jose Mourinho’s 58 league defeats as a manager have come away from home (84%).

Mike Phelan was Manchester United assistant manager between September 2008 and May 2013 – during this time, United won three Premier League titles.

Ahmed Elmohamady has appeared in every one of Hull City’s 78 Premier League matches since the start of 2013-14.

NaijaBet Odds

As at this post Hull City has 7.96 odd to win the match on NaijaBet while Manchester United  has 1.40 odd to win the match also, while the odd to draw the match is 4.39

Real Madrid v Celta Vigo preview

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Isco will be sidelined for Real Madrid’s opening La Liga fixture at the Bernabeu when they host Celta Vigo on Saturday evening.

The 24-year-old midfielder has picked up a knock on his ankle and will not feature in the game live on Sky Sports 3, while manager Zinedine Zidane reiterated the importance of all members of his squad.

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo – who won the UEFA’s Best Player in Europe award for the 2015/16 season on Thursday – also remain unavailable, while rumours continue to swirl about the future of James Rodriguez and Raphael Varane.

“He’s got some discomfort in his ankle. Last week he took a knock on his ankle and he’s still not recovered. He left the training session and he won’t be with us tomorrow,” he told a pre-match press conference.

“Anything can happen until the 31st. Nobody is coming in, that’s certain, but it’s possible some may leave. This is the squad I’ve got and I’m happy with the players I have.

“There are injured players and some who still haven’t come back yet. There’s good depth, the season will be tough and we’re going to need all of our players.

“I have 23 or 24 players and they’re all going to get a game. Cristiano and Karim aren’t playing and there are other players who have done well. When everyone is back, I’ll make the decisions about who will play, that’s not going to change. Naija and Bet

“I want to be clear, every player is important and it’s no surprise that they’re all here. If they’re playing for Real Madrid, it’s because they’re very good footballers.”

Gareth Bale made a goalscoring return to the squad in their opening La Liga fixture of the season – netting twice as Los Blancos beat Real Sociedad 3-0 last weekend – and Zidane is looking forward to being back on home turf.

“It’s exciting, it’s the first home game and we want to play as well as we can,” the former France international added.

“We started very well in La Liga at a difficult ground. Now we’re up against a very good opponent, we know all about their quality and we’re ready to play tomorrow. The fans will come to the ground and it’s great for us to see a full stadium.

“We’ve got another tough opponent who play some good football, but our plan is the same as ever. It’s our first game at home in front of our fans and we’ve got to come out the blocks well to try and get the three points.”

Celta Vigo lost their opening La Liga fixture to new boys Leganes at the Balaidos Stadium, with Marcelo Diaz, Claudio Beauvue and goalkeeper Ruben Blanco Veiga injured for the trip to the Bernabeu.

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