At the weekend, Hull City face one of their toughest tests yet as they take on Slaven Bilic’s West Brom side.
Hull come into this game in fine form under Grant McCann, having won their last three games in impressive style. The Tigers have seen off Nottingham Forest and Fulham away from home, either side of a home win against Derby County.
Hull’s form sees them just three points behind sixth-places Bristol City, knowing that a win against the Baggies could lift them to the same points as the Robins. However, McCann will know that his side is in for a tough afternoon with West Brom currently sitting at the top of the table and only having lost one game all season.
With McCann’s side looking to build on their strong momentum so far, we take a look at the starting lineup we expect Grant McCann to field against West Brom…
The game at the weekend might force Hull to be a bit more resolute in defence and be patient for counter-attacks, meaning they should set up in a more conservative version of their 4-2-3-1 formation, making it a 4-4-1-1.
In goal will be George Long who has been in fine form for Hull as they look for their third clean sheet in a row against West Brom. In front of him in defence, it is expected to be unchanged too, with Callum Elder, Jordy de Wijs, Reece Burke, and Eric Lichaj. This settled back four is beginning to build up to becoming a very strong unit for Hull this season, as the current defensive record of late suggests.
In front of the defence, we expect a four in midfield of Kamil Grosicki, Kevin Stewart, Leonardo Lopes, and Josh Bowler. This is a slight change from the two holding midfielders and one attacking midfielder that played against Fulham, but this provides more rigidity when defending against the Baggies’ creative midfielders, leaving no space to play. However, having Bowler and Grosicki on the wings still allows for a swift break when the chance comes.
Just in front of the midfield quartet is expected to be Jackson Irvine. Jon Toral would have been one of the first names on the team sheet, however, McCann has revealed his twisted knee (suffered against Fulham) will keep him out for the weekend at the least. Irvine provides a good balance for the Tigers with great attacking presence but eagerness to track back and support the midfield.
The final player is none other than Jarrod Bowen upfront. Part of this season has seen the marksman shift from playing on the right-wing to playing as the main striker, and it has paid dividends with nine league goals already this campaign. If Hull are to get anything from the game, they will need all their players to be on top form, no more so than Bowen.