Hull City v Chelsea - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 11th January 2014 at 12:45. Venue: The KC Stadium, Hull.

Odds: Hull City 11/2, Draw 3/1, Chelsea 8/13

Last season: N/A

Preview & injury news

Hull have been a strong side at home this season, which has partly led to them sitting in 10th place in the Premier League table. Yet, given the tight nature of the league this season they are only six points above the relegation zone, but they'll be going into this game with confidence having avoided the potential banana skin in the FA Cup by beating Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium. Chelsea seem to be stringing a bit of form together and are keeping up the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the table. Having taken 13 points from their last five games in a run which has seen them play Arsenal, Liverpool and Southampton, they have every reason to be high on confidence. 

On the injury front, Hull could have Robbie Brady available after suffering from a groin problem whilst Sone Aluko is not due back until the end of the month as he continues to recover from a calf injury. Joe Dudgeon is still recovering from a lengthy knee injury which could see him return to the side by the start of next month whilst no timescale has been put on Matty Fryatt's recovery from a hamstring injury as of yet. 

Chelsea are without Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard until later on in the month - but there are no fresh injury worries since their FA Cup win over Derby County. 

Key stats

Robbie Brady is Hull City's top scorer in the league this season with three goals.

Eden Hazard is Chelsea's top scorer in the league this season with eight goals.

Hull City had 42% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 defeat away to Liverpool.

Chelsea had 46% possession in their last league match, a 3-0 away win against Southampton.

5 players to watch

Tom Huddlestone - Usually the most talked about man in the middle of the park for Hull City, and he's going to have to be at his best here against a Chelsea side that is in very good form. His distribution is going to be key, especially in the first half where the visitors may have the Lions' share of the play.

Juan Mata - There are still question marks over the Spaniard's future given he's not playing as many games as he perhaps would like to. This weekend is merely a question of will he play or not? No doubt his performance will be watched very closely if he does. 

Robert Koren - Koren is a very useful player through the middle in between the lines and does carry a decent goal threat so expect the Hull captain to be busy, and cause John Obi Mikel a bit of trouble.

Eden Hazard - Everyone knows about Hazard's quality, and like the Chelsea side this season he seems to have grown the more they understood Mourinho's way of working and has shown that he was one of the top class talents in the league. It wouldn't be surprising if he did it all again this weekend.

Curtis Davies - Whichever striker he is going to be up against, him and the rest of the Hull defence are going to have a tough time keeping the visitors out as they are likely to be pulled over their place with their movement. A solid display from Davies and the rest of the Hull defensive unit could go a long way for the home side to get a positive result.

Earlier on in the season

Chelsea 2-0 Hull City - August 2013

The opening day of the season was a pretty routine win for Jose Mourinho on his return to the Chelsea dugout in what was a comfortable win, and both goals were scored before half time. Oscar give Chelsea the lead after a through ball from Kevin De Bruyne. Frank Lampard doubled Chelsea's lead with a free-kick from 25 yards. Hull put up a spirited fight in the second half but couldn't make any impact on the scoreline.

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