Hull City v Leicester City

11 Aug

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy


Jamie Vardy scored 24 times for Leicester last season

TEAM NEWS

Newly-promoted Hull City will be led by caretaker manager Mike Phelan, who took temporary charge after Steve Bruce left in July.

Hull’s inactivity in the transfer market leaves Phelan with few options and he could reportedly have just 13 senior players available.

Leicester City have a fully-fit squad for their opening game but defender Robert Huth completes a three-game ban.

Ahmed Musa and Nampalys Mendy could make their Premier League debuts.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Guy Mowbray: “There can’t ever have been a more scrambled preparation for a Premier League season than Hull City’s.

“What should be a day of celebration and optimism will instead be one of protest against the club’s owners, which – although entirely justified and understandable – will only make things harder for caretaker manager Mike Phelan and his woefully thin squad.

“Leicester, meanwhile, look to have strengthened – even after N’Golo Kante’s departure. Claudio Ranieri has cover for every position, and although he insists that an alien visit is more likely than a title defence, they should be up there somewhere.

“Given the Tigers’ turmoil, the champions might even lead after the first weekend.”

Twitter: @Guymowbray

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Leicester manager Claudio Ranierion his side’s chances of retaining their title: “It’s easier for ET to come to Piccadilly Circus.

“I work to be safe and continue to build a team, anything more that happens is fantastic.

“It is normal that we can’t win the league. For this reason I say the bookmakers must do 6,000-1. It is impossible. It is more difficult than last season.

“All the world is curious, what will happen with Leicester. I am very curious to see where we finish.”

Leicester's Danny Drinkwater<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Leicester City are unbeaten in the last five league meetings (W3, D2).
  • Hull have failed to score in their last three league games against Leicester, including in both Premier League meetings in 2014-15.
  • However, Hull knocked Leicester out of the League Cup last season, winning a penalty shoot-out 5-4 after a 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium.

Hull City

  • Hull conceded just 12 goals in 23 home games in last season’s Championship, excluding the play-offs. Only Middlesbrough, with eight goals conceded, had a better record.
  • A newly-promoted side hasn’t won on the opening weekend of a Premier League campaign since August 2012, when West Ham beat Aston Villa 1-0.
  • The Tigers have lost all five of their early Saturday kick-offs in the Premier League.
  • Hull failed to score in their final three games of the 2014-15 Premier League season and are without a goal in their last five hours and four minutes in the competition.

Leicester City

  • The last reigning English champions to begin their title defence with a defeat was Arsenal in 1989 (they lost 4-1 at Manchester United).
  • Leicester’s average possession in last season’s Premier League was 42.4% – only Sunderland (40.6%) and West Brom (39.4%) recorded lower figures.
  • The Foxes were top of the league for 147 days last season.
  • Claudio Ranieri only made 33 changes to Leicester’s league line-up during the 2015-16 campaign – 21 fewer than any other team.
  • Ranieri will be looking to secure his 100th Premier League win as a manager – he would be only the fifth non-British or Irish manager to reach this landmark.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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