Odds: Chelsea 2/9 Draw 13/2 Hull 18/1
The second of Sunday’s matches sees Jose Mourinho’s Premier League return to Stamford Bridge along with Steve Bruce and Hull City’s return to the top flight of English football.
Chelsea are strong favourites going into this one after having a productive pre-season but do have an injury worry as they hope Juan Mata will have shaken off a knock to face the Tigers. If there are doubts surrounding Mata, Mourinho isn’t short of attacking options including the new signing of Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen.
Hull are without midfielder Steven Quinn until the middle of next month with a hamstring injury but other than that Steve Bruce has a full squad to pick from.
The Hull City boss said the club couldn’t have picked a better game to open up with saying: “Let’s go and enjoy it and take them on.”
It’d be expected that Hull will try and contain Chelsea for long period and try and nick a goal on the counter-attack as they settle back into life in the division, as Chelsea should have the lions’ share of the play – they may be different from Bruce’s words but going toe-to-toe with Chelsea could prove a difficult task.
For this reason there could be a lot expected from Tom Huddlestone’s passing ability to ensure that Hull use the ball wisely – because if they’re sloppy it could well be a long afternoon for the visitors.
However, with so much quality in amongst the Chelsea side, it is very hard to see how Hull are going to get through 90 minutes without conceding, which is why Chelsea are strong favourites and the majority expect the renamed ‘Happy One’ to get his second spell underway with a win.
Last time the sides met
Hull City 1-1 Chelsea February 2010
Both sides with contrasting aims went head to head, Hull City to try and beat the drop whilst Chelsea were battling Manchester United for the title. Hull took a surprise lead when Steven Mouyokolo headed home Stephen Hunt’s corner only for Didier Drogba to equalise from a free-kick shortly before half-time, but neither side were able to find a winner.