Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City
White Hart Lane, London N17 - The World Famous Home of the Spurs
Saturday 16th January 2010, Kick Off 15:00
Premier League, Match 21
Tottenham Hotspur: 5th in Premier League, 37 points from 60
Hull City: 19th in Premier League, 18 points from 60
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistant referees: Peter Kirkup & Phil Sharp
Fourth official: Mark Russell
Tottenham Hotspur's last match against Liverpool at Anfield was postponed because of the conditions outside the ground, although the pitch was deemed to be in a playable condition. Hull City's home game with Chelsea was also called-off due to the severe weather conditions in England. The last matches for both clubs came in the FA Cup Third Round, with Spurs having a comfortable 4-0 win over Peterborough United with goals from Niko Kranjcar (2), Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane, while Hull City lost to Wigan Athletic 4-1 with their goal coming from Deiberson Giovanni.
The reverse Premier League fixture earlier this season at Hull on 19th August 2009 resulted in a very impressive 5-1 win for Spurs with goals from Jermain Defoe (3), Wilson Palacios and Robbie Keane. Hull's goal was scored by Stephen Hunt. The two teams also met in the Barclays Premier League Asia Trophy Final in Beijing, China with Spurs winning 3-0 with goals from Robbie Keane (2) and Aaron Lennon.
Tottenham Hotspur amassed 68 points from their 38 Premier League matches played in 2009, an average of 1.79 points per game while Hull City won 26 points from their 38 League matches during the same period - an average of just 0.68 points per game.
Brothers Michael (Spurs) and Andy (Hull) Dawson could well face each other on Saturday and Hull's current squad also feature ex-Spurs players Dean Marney, Nick Barmby and Anthony Gardner.
Ledley King and Alan Hutton have been ruled out of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Hull City. Defender Ledley complained of knee pain on Friday, while right-back Alan is currently suffering from a tight groin.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Carlo Cudicini, Aaron Lennon and Jonathan Woodgate all remain sidelined for the visit of the Tigers but continue their recoveries from respective injuries. Left-back Benoit has been out with a hip injury since last month's win over West Ham but has started running again this week.
Aaron also picked up a groin injury in that match but has made progress in his recovery this week in an attempt to be fit for next Saturday's FA Cup tie with hometown club Leeds United. Manager Harry Redknapp said on Friday: "He's working hard and running well but only he knows how it feels. He would obviously love to play against Leeds and that's what he's aiming for if it's possible."
Longer-term absentees Carlo (wrist and pelvis) and ‘Woody' (groin) continue their rehabilitation, while striker Roman Pavlyuchenko is back in training after groin trouble earlier in the week.
Hull's Jimmy Bullard will be out for 2 weeks with knee problems and Ian Ashbee is unlikely to feature much before the tail end of the season.
Jozy Altidore has been given compassionate leave to track down relatives caught up in the earthquake that has struck Haiti.
• All three of the matches Tottenham and Hull have played in the Premier League have ended in away wins.
• Hull's 1-0 victory at Spurs last season was their first-ever win at White Hart Lane.
• The two sides have met on 23 occasions: Tottenham have won 10 matches, Hull six and there has been seven draws.
• Spurs are on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions, during which they have not conceded a goal. If they keep a clean sheet it will equal their Premier League club record of five in a row set on three previous occasions, most recently from January to February 2001.
• Harry Redknapp has won 181, drawn 128 and lost 190 of his 499 Premier League matches in charge of West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham.
• Under Redknapp, Spurs have kept 14 clean sheets in 25 Premier League games at home, with only Manchester United scoring more than once against them in a 1-3 loss.
• Hull City are winless in their last six league games. It is their worst run of the season.
• The Tigers are without a first-half goal in six games since they raced into a 3-0 half-time lead against Everton at the end of November.
• Hull have gone 15 away matches without a Premier League win or a clean sheet and have conceded at least two goals in seven of their last eight away games.
LAST MATCH LINE-UPS (FA CUP 3rd ROUND):
Tottenham Hotspur (W 4-0 Peterborough United, H):
Gomes, Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Bale (79 Naughton), Modric, Palacios, Huddlestone, Kranjcar (73 Rose), Defoe (75 Pavlyuchenko), Keane.
Substitutes: Alnwick, Corluka, Crouch, Dos Santos
Goals: Kranjcar 35 & 57, Defoe 70, Keane 90+ pen
Yellow card: Rose
Hull City (L 4-1 Wigan Athletic, A):
Myhill, Mendy, Mouyokolo, Zayatte, Geovanni, Halmosi (Boateng 71), Kilbane, Ghilas (Cullen 67), Carney, Garcia, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Altidore 79)
Substitutes: Duke, Dawson, Doyle, Devitt.
Goal: Giovanni 35
Yellow card: Cullen
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
You always fancy Tottenham at home. They have also been away for a bit of a winter break in the sun, which might give them a lift. I'm not sure if Aaron Lennon will be fit, but Spurs have a lot of attacking talent to choose from and you never fancy Hull on the road.
Tottenham will create a lot of chances in this game and I don't see Hull being able to hold out.
Verdict: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Hull City
WILSON PALACIOS ON HULL CITY:
Wilson Palacios scored his one and only Spurs goal against Saturday's opponents Hull - but he's not concentrating on netting again against the Tigers. The midfielder provided a finish any striker would have been proud of to score our second goal in the convincing 5-1 win at the KC Stadium back in August. Jermain Defoe stole the headlines that night with a hat-trick and Robbie Keane netted the fifth in a performance that made everyone sit up and take notice. We now face Hull again in our first league match of 2010 following last week's postponement at Anfield. We kick-off at the Lane at 3pm.
Wilson broke into a wide smile on recalling his goal but he insists his thoughts are solely on taking three points this weekend. "I remember that goal well," he said. "It was very important as it was my first goal for the club but the most important thing is that we win and get three points on Saturday. If I score, it's a bonus. "It's another very tough game as teams like Hull will come here and make it difficult for us. However, our mentality is to win these home games and to try and finish as high as possible." We go into the game fifth in the Barclays Premier League following Manchester City's win against Blackburn on Monday night.
Wilson, who has started 19 of our 20 league games so far, declared his satisfaction at our position going into the second half of the campaign. "I think the team has been going very well," said the Honduran international. "We're in a good position, we've let a few points slip but I think we deserve to be where we are in the table. Everyone is determined that this will be a successful year."
Saturday's match will be the 30th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City.
The two teams met in the pre-season Barclays Premier League Asia Trophy Final in Beijing China with Spurs winning 3-0.
Here are the results of the previous 29 matches with Spurs' score shown first:
12-Jan-1907F.A. Cup 1 27,033H D 0 - 0 17-Jan-07F.A. Cup 1 Replay18,000A D 0 - 0 (Abandoned after 10 mins of Extra time, result stood) 21-Jan-07F.A. Cup 1 2nd Replay20,000H W 1 - 0 Chapman 26-Sep-08Division 2 12,000A L 0 - 1 30-Jan-09Division 2 21,000H D 0 - 0 12-May-12Tour - NL 0 - 2 (Match played in Brussels, Belgium) 25-Dec-19Division 2 40,008H W 4 - 0 Grimsdell (pen), Cantrell, Bliss (2) 26-Dec-19Division 2 28,000A W 3 - 1 Cantrell, Dimmock, Bell og 27-Mar-26Friendly - A L 0 - 5 06-Oct-28Division 2 28,737H W 4 - 1 Scott, Osborne, Elkes (2) 15-Apr-29Division 2 4,139A D 1 - 1 Harper 21-Dec-29Division 2 9,103H D 2 - 2 Harper (2) 26-Apr-30Division 2 6,396A L 0 - 2 02-Sep-35Division 2 25,603H W 3 - 1 McCormick, Howe, Hunt DA 09-Sep-35Division 2 9,616A L 0 - 1 07-Apr-50Division 2 66,889H D 0 - 0 10-Apr-50Division 2 38,345A L 0 - 1 20-Feb-54F.A. Cup 5 46,839A D 1 - 1 Bennett 24-Feb-54F.A. Cup 5 Replay52,934H W 2 - 0 Walters, Baily 04-Oct-77Division 2 10,966A L 0 - 2 26-Mar-78Division 2 36,913H W 1 - 0 Perryman 24-Jan-81F.A. Cup 4 37,532H W 2 - 0 Archibald, Brooke 15-Apr-88Friendly - A L 1 - 2 Walsh 08-May-92Friendly 9,994A W 6 - 2 Barmby (2), Hendry (2), Turner, Samways 24-Jly-2004Friendly 13,316A D 2 - 2 Defoe (2) 05-Oct-08FA Prem 36,062H L 0 - 1 21-Feb-09FA Prem 24,742A W 2 - 1 Lennon, Woodgate 31-Jly-09Asia Trophy Final10,056NW3 - 0Keane (2, 1p), Lennon (Match played in Beijing, China) 19-Aug-09FA Prem24,735AW5 - 1Defoe (3), Palacios, Keane
LAST TIME WE MET...
HULL CITY 1-5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Premier League, Wednesday 19th August 2009
Jermain Defoe was at his clinical best as Tottenham made it two wins from two by routing Hull City at the KC Stadium. The striker gave Spurs a deserved lead with a neat turn and shot, before Wilson Palacios strode through to smash in his first goal in English football.
Stephen Hunt's free-kick drifted in to give Hull a lifeline, but Defoe strolled through to fire home and restore the visitors' two-goal cushion.
Robbie Keane's header made it four and Defoe then slammed in a hat-trick goal. It is only the second time in 14 years that Tottenham have kicked off the season with two wins, and it is in stark contrast to the start they made last campaign when they went eight games without a victory.
Their victory over Liverpool on Sunday may have impressed the critics, but it is the Londoners' away form that has to improve if they are to make an impression further up the league this season. And even if Hull, without a win at the KC Stadium since December, are often generous opponents at home, the nature of the win will doubtless encourage manager Harry Redknapp. Defoe was the key in a one-sided start, the striker - fresh from two goals for England this time last week - collected Tom Huddlestone's pass for the opener, turned inside Michael Turner and powered the ball into the far corner. He then started the move that led to the second minutes later, Palacios eventually dashing on to Keane's pass and lashing in at the near post left-footed.
It prompted a change from Hull boss Phil Brown as he attempted to stop the visitors running riot - and it paid immediate dividends. Substitute Geovanni's all-action display, full of the passion that had eluded the hosts from the first whistle, inspired his team-mates and, not long after, they pulled a goal back when Hunt's free-kick eluded everyone and bounced into the far corner. Suddenly Hull looked a completely different proposition and, but for a last-gasp saving tackle from Alan Hutton, could well have drawn level as Vedran Corluka's error let in Hunt 12 yards from goal with Spurs keeper Carlo Cudicini exposed. Caleb Folan was causing Sebastien Bassong problems with his physicality, and the likes of Luka Modric and Huddlestone no longer had the freedom of the KC to dictate matters.
And that will have made Tottenham's third goal all the more frustrating for Brown, who watched on from the sidelines aghast as Keane's flick eluded defender Turner and found Defoe strolling through the middle to score with ease. The goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of the hosts, and much of the second half was dictated by Tottenham's playmakers - Modric, Huddlestone and Keane all impressing.
Hull's biggest threat always looked like coming from set-pieces, and so it proved when Geovanni latched onto Turner's flick to guide a header towards the top corner, only for Cudicini, on for the injured Heurelho Gomes, to tip it over the bar. Still Spurs were a constant force in attack, and after Defoe had seen his goal-bound flick from Aaron Lennon's cross deflected behind by Turner's lunge, Keane grabbed a deserved first of the season.
The Irishman began and ended the counter-attack, eventually running on to Aaron Lennon's precise clipped cross to glance a header past Boaz Myhill. It was no more than his side deserved, and all that remained to see was whether Defoe could grab his first Tottenham hat-trick. The 26-year-old duly obliged in stoppage time, thundering home from 20 yards from Lennon's tee-up to underline the visitors' dominance. For their part, Hull will be hoping an alarming run of form that has seen them secure only one win in 24 matches is arrested sharply - starting with Bolton at home on Saturday.
Hull City boss Phil Brown:
"I don't think, hand on heart, 5-1 flattered Tottenham tonight - they were fabulous.
"It's difficult to say to our boys to go out there and do what Spurs do because the gulf in class looks alarming. The fact is, though, that anyone who played Spurs tonight will have got a hiding, I think.
"Luckily we don't have to play Tottenham every week. Next up we have Bolton, where we'll need to dig in and respond that's for sure."
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"It really was a fantastic performance from us tonight. The way we moved the ball, passed the ball, hit them with pace and skill, we were terrific.
"It was good to see Wilson Palacios score, he offers us so much, and Robbie Keane too has been great.
"But Jermain is flying at the moment. Physically he is stronger than I've ever seen him and he's absolutely unplayable right now.
"You can never tell until the season starts how you're going to get on, but against Liverpool we were terrific and tonight even better. But it's another big game next up and our focus is on that now."
06 Turner yellow card
19 Mouyokolo (Barmby 46)
11 Hunt yellow card
20 Boateng (Ghilas 69)
18 Folan yellow card
25 Cousin (Geovanni 22)
01 Gomes (Cudicini 16)
02 Hutton yellow card
14 Modric (Bentley 85)
10 Keane yellow card (Crouch 81)
Defoe 10, 45, 90+