Pundit Charlie Nicholas has told Sky Sports that he expects Hull City to beat Newcastle United 2-1 in tonight's EFL Cup quarter-final clash.
Hull head into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon, as Michael Dawson rescued a point for the Tigers after Gareth McAuley's opener.
Mike Phelan's side have won just one of their last ten Premier League games, but did beat Bristol City 2-1 in the last round of the EFL Cup – and tonight, they must tackle another Championship side in Newcastle United.
Hull City manager Mike Phelan
The Magpies pose a much different threat to Bristol City, as they sit top of the Championship table, and had won eight games in a row before a shock home defeat to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Rafael Benitez decided to rest a number of players over the weekend in preparation for tonight's game, with star striker and top goalscorer Dwight Gayle among those left out of the side.
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez
A place in the semi-finals is up for grabs, and combining promotion back to the Premier League with a deep run in the EFL Cup would be ideal for Newcastle boss Benitez as he looks to rebuild the Magpies.
Ahead of tonight's game, pundit Charlie Nicholas has offered his prediction, and it may surprise some, as he's backing Hull to claim a 2-1 win at the KCOM Stadium.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Nicholas suggested that Hull have to go with their best team, and after Newcastle 'killed their momentum' against Blackburn, he's backing the out-of-form Tigers to beat Benitez's high-flying Magpies.
General view of the KCOM Stadium
“It does surprise me that Newcastle are favourites to a degree, although given the way Thommo was talking about Hull, they hardly turned the corner by salvaging a draw against West Brom,” said Nicholas. “The problem for Hull is that they can't really rest anybody, which is worrying for their Premier League survival hopes, but means they have to pretty much go with their best team here. They seem to be having the most problems with their midfield, Tom Huddlestone dropped and Ryan Mason hauled off at half-time.”
“Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez tried to play it clever by leaving out Dwight Gayle among others at the weekend and it backfired, with a troubling loss killing their momentum. In terms of value, Hull are appealing here as the outsiders in what I see as a tough one to call,” he added.
What's your prediction for Hull City v Newcastle United?