After getting knocked out of the FA Cup in the 5th round by Chelsea, Hull City will have to turn their attention to the Championship once again as they are due to make a trip to the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday to face Middlesbrough. Nigel Adkins’ entourage are living dangerously on the edge of the relegation zone, being placed at the 21st spot in the league table with 29 points to their name from 31 games.
Sebastian Larsson collected his 10th yellow card of the season against Nottingham Forest and is thus suspended for the fixture against Middlesbrough. Jarod Bowen and Harry Wilson are expected to be sidelined owing to injury, which is a serious blow to Hull City.
Besides, Adkins would also be without the services of Ondrej Mazuch, Markus Henriksen, Stephen Kingsley, Abel Hernandez, James Weir and Moses Odubajo. The game against Middlesbrough is of huge importance for Hull City in their pursuit of staying in the Championship and here is how we expect Adkins to roll out his starting XI against Tony Pulis’ men.
Allan McGregor should keep his place between the sticks against Boro. The 36-year-old custodian has notched up 7 clean sheets from 31 appearances in the English second tier so far this season and has made 2.52 saves per game on an average.
Michael Hector and Angus MacDonald were resilient and rock solid at the back against the Tricky Trees and Adkins would be keen to keep them stationed at the heart of the backline once again in the upcoming fixture.
Ola Aina is expected to take the right-back slot owing to the fine balance he manages to knit between his offensive and defensive endeavours. In fact, he came up with a fine display at the City Ground in Hull City’s last league fixture. Max Clark should keep his place at the left-back position owing to the industry he showcases thus completing the four-man defensive wall.
In the absence of Larsson, Kevin Stewart should be the one to get the nod to start alongside Jackson Irvine in the middle of the park. While Stewart is likely to be used mainly to shield the backline and to dictate the tempo of the game, Irvine should get the license to move forward occasionally and try to carve out some openings for his side.
Jon Toral is anticipated to operate as the no.10. The 23-year-old failed to convert the penalty against Nottingham Forest but did make amends by scoring from the resulting corner. His creative prowess will be needed to give the Smoggies a tough fight.
Adama Diamonde is expected to be pencilled on the left-wing whereas, from the right-wing, we expect to see Kamil Grosicki making a start. Up front, Nouha Dicko should be the one to replace Will Keane in the starting line-up to lead Hull City’s attack.